Mum Shares Her Thoughts About Making New Friends As A Parent
Sometimes, making friends is easier said than done. For parents, the struggles are often real. Check out why, and this mum's honest thoughts here.
Remember when you were growing up and your parents emphasised the importance of making new friends? It wasn't always easy then...and for some new parents out there, it's not easy at all now.
So is the case for Rosie Majka, a stay-at-home mum and head of the blogsite LifeArmyWifeStyle.com. In a recent heartfelt open letter published by The Huffington Post, this mother reflects on the struggles she has when it comes to making new friends as a parent. As she so delicately words it: "If only it were that easy."
Majka, in her post, shares about how mothers are often left holding the short end of the stick on the parenting spectrum...at least when it comes to meeting new people. When you have a child, you won't have your friends handed to you on a silver platter, like you may have in the past.
As she says in her post, "After the first couple months of being cooped up in the house, only leaving when you have to, you decide it is time to figure out how to make friends with other mums. But then you think, “Where do I meet people with babies? The park? Target? The library? Organized mummy play groups?”'
And, unfortunately, therein lies yet another problem for mums struggling to make friends: once you meet someone, it's all about them liking your kid--not you.
"[N]ot only do you have to like the other mum, but you also have to like their kid(s). In return, they have to like your kid(s), and the kids have to like each other."
And while it may seem rather depressing to think of such a wonderful person like a mother struggling to find new friends, Majka doesn't want your pity. In fact, she's hardly concerned about the prospect of making a new friend because she realises what's important in the end...is making friends for her child.
When you do happen to meet someone with whom you can relate, and someone whose children and yours can bond, the important thing to keep in mind is your child. "Is it even worth trying so hard to make a friend for my kid?," she writes. "My answer is: YES. Your child needs friends and so do you."
In the end, she urges parents to get out there and do what they can to make friends for their kids. It's for the better! In fact, she notes the importance in saying, "[I]f you stay at home...your kid eventually gets boring and lonely."
Don't just do it for you, parents. Think of your kids and all the benefits of having new friends, and meeting new people! Don't ever be shy to broaden your horizons and improve your social life and your child's if that what you see best!
Making friends as a mum is hard. Real hard. Hard like trying to go to the bathroom while holding a screaming newborn, hard. Hard like trying to walk your dog and push the stroller, hard. Hard like trying to eat and breastfeed at the same time, hard. I think you get the picture, it is pretty stinkin’ difficult.
Up until you became a mum, friends have been handed to you on a silver platter. When you were a baby, it was your caretaker’s responsibility to make friends for you. Then, you started kindergarten and you became friends with all of the kids in your class, or at least at your coloured table. After completing elementary school, you entered middle school where there were tons of clubs to join. As you started high school, you probably had a few best friends. Since most high schools combine with other middle schools, there were also new people to talk to and eventually hang out with, outside of class.
Next, there was college. Drinking made making friends a whole lot easier: liquid confidence. After college, you probably got a job and had drinks with a few acquaintances during happy hour. This probably turned into a couple real friendships after you felt comfortable making work jokes in front of them.
Then you had a child.
I am hoping, for your sake, you were able to keep friends you already had, pre-baby. But now it is your turn to make friends for your child so that this crazy cycle of friendship can continue. And so begins the hardest stage of friend-making: mum friend-making.
After the first couple months of being cooped up in the house, only leaving when you have to, you decide it is time to figure out how to make friends with other mums. But then you think, “Where do I meet people with babies? The park? Target? The library? Organized mummy play groups?” I can honestly say I have met people at all of these places. I have considered making business cards to hand out to other mums I meet saying, “Hey, you’re cool and your kid doesn’t suck. Call me!”
If only it were that easy.
That’s the problem with making mum friends, not only do you have to like the other mum, but you also have to like their kid(s). In return, they have to like your kid(s), and the kids have to like each other. Sounds complicated, right? But wait, there’s more. You also have to find someone who has a child around your child’s age. To put the cherry on top, the parent you become friends with has to have their child on a similar eating and sleeping schedule. Honestly, the schedule is the most important part. Kids nap and eat at all different times. If your kids are on completely different schedules, hanging out becomes more of a chore than a luxury.
I’m telling you all of this because one day you will decide to put real pants on and leave the house. And if you come home without any new friends, you won’t feel like it was a waste of makeup. It took me a long time to have the courage to even introduce myself to another mum, let alone give them my number. Fact: It’s harder than dating, and, unfortunately, they don’t serve wine and beer at library time. Sure, I had a lot of bad “first dates”: I didn’t like them, they didn’t like me, their kid was annoying, my kid was annoying, etc. But, eventually, I met a few keepers. Someone needs to come up with a platonic dating website for mums. It would be a hit, I swear.
Now you are wondering, “Is it even worth trying so hard to make a friend for my kid?” My answer is: YES. Your child needs friends and so do you. I truly believe all mums are desperate to make friends and need to make a connection with someone else who is going through the same situation they are in. Yet, we are all scared to take the first step; no one wants to look weird, needy, or creepy. But in order to survive motherhood, mum friends are a must. And if you stay at home, like me, hanging out all day with just your kid eventually gets boring and lonely, for both of you.
So get out there, Mummies! Put on pants, brush your hair, try to look like a normal human being, and go make some friends. You got this!
Be sure to check out Rosie’s personal blog, Life, Army Wife Style.