I nervously introduce myself after group one day. It seems like we have a lot in common, so why not give it a go, I think. Maybe this could be great. “Hey I’d love to hear more about what you do, do you want to meet up for coffee sometime?” “Sure!” she answers. She said yes! I think, but keep cool on the outside for fear of coming off like a weirdo. Gosh I hope she likes me.
No I’m not talking about picking up dates, I’m trying to make mom friends.
In college making friends was easy. The person sitting next to you in class, a sorority sister, someone in your grad school group; the possibilities were endless. As an adult, I find that meeting women who make great friends is extremely challenging, even more so once I became a mother. Not only do I have to find women my age and with a young enough baby to start a conversation, but also hope that a friendship flows organically. I try to attend lots of moms groups and classes, primarily to keep my sanity and get out of the f—cking house, but also to try to make some friends that feel just as isolated and alone.
Writing this I feel a little pathetic. But there is something about the way I am able to connect with another woman who has gone through the same experiences I have in pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. There is a new kind of sisterhood that unites us, and opens the door for an easy introduction. Talking about cracked nipples or baby poop isn’t off limits, in fact it’s a hot topic of conversation. Dishing about your forever-changed love life while boobs-out breastfeeding in a restaurant? Common place.
Hearing that I’m not alone in clinging to my sleep-deprived sanity by a thread is assuaging. The fact that I’m not alone in letting my infant watch TV so I can have 20 minutes to myself helps me let go of my bad-parent guilt. Reassuring another mother who sobs about feeling so isolated and alone with her family thousands of miles away is uplifting. I feel that way, too, I tell her, but we can do this. Let’s get together more often.
Creating a circle of not only powerful women, but strong mothers, around me has been crucial in getting through these early and difficult months of motherhood. I never knew motherhood could ever be this challenging, but I’m not alone in my struggles. Getting together with these women allow us to celebrate our accomplishments thus far, while not forcing us to look far ahead at the challenges to come. I always feel grounded after getting together with mom friends. I feel that I am doing okay. And I realize that I am.
Find your tribe of women that lift you up, share common bonds, and that you can enjoy spending time with. Call your local hospital and ask if they have a new moms support group. Search Facebook for Your City + Mom group. Sign up for Meet Ups in your area. Go to song and story time at your local library. Google baby swim classes near me. Think outside of the box. If there is a hobby, you can be sure there is a group for mothers doing it. Get out there mama!