Thursday, January 17, 2013

Make New Friends

I was really lucky when Laura was born: our three best couple friends all had babies within a few months.  Three instant friends for Laura, and a group of new moms with whom I could share horror stories and seek guidance.  Lightening struck twice, when all four us of had our second children the same year.  We are able to lament potty training, sibling rivalry and everything else.

I hear all the time from other friends, my sister-in-law, and other bloggers how hard it is to maintain friendships with non-mom friends.  I hear you.  None of my best friends from college or even high school have children.  I do everything I can to maintain our friendship... but it's hard!  I can only go out for drinks on Thursday nights - and when I do, I have almost nothing beyond baby stories to share.  I'm sure my friends adore my children almost as much as I do (they are pretty fabulous), but it must be exhausting to hear about poop over drinks every time we go out.

And for that I am sorry.  Friends without (human) children (kittens and puppies are totally children) - I am sorry that I am not more fun on the rare Thursday night I go out for drinks.  I still love you.  You are important to me.  I hope you feel the same!

To my friends who have recently become moms themselves?  I'm sure you are feeling lonely and cut-off from your non-mom friends!  It's hard!  But here's the thing: you have to get out there and make NEW friends.  I promise.  It's life-altering.

I remember being so scared the first time I reached out to another mom at daycare.  I left a note in her daughter's cubby: "Hi! I'm Caitlin, Laura's mom. Laura talks about A all the time. I hope it's mutual. Here's my email, I'd love to have a playdate."

I shook with fear as I placed that note in the cubby.  I shook with nervous apprehension every time I checked my email.  Did this chick think I was nuts?  Am I nuts?  But lo!  She emailed, we set up a playdate, and it was FUN.  This same mom and I have made friends with a few other moms at school.  We have a monthly wine and craft night where we can have a few drinks, bitch about the woes of daycare, laugh about poop, and share recipes.  It's fabulous.

capesWe made superhero capes back in June!

Looking back, I can't imagine why I was so afraid to put that note in that cubby.  It's the best thing I've done as a new mom.  And if there's any advice I can offer to other new moms it's to do the same.  Put yourself out there.  Go to a mommy and me class, a meet-up, a story time at the library.  Take a deep breath, shake out the nerves, put your kid in a front-pack and get yourself out there.  New friends are wonderful.