I really suck at this whole keeping my blog updated thing. Again, my apologies for that. I actually put a sticky note in my day planner so that I am faced with a reminder the same time each week! I was reading a thread in one of my facebook groups about moms who have no friends and that’s what inspired this post. As a matter of fact, this is the meme that was shared with that particular thread:
What do you think of it? The meme itself made me giggle because I actually know a few people like this, but also because I don’t have this option. I moved to Virginia five years ago leaving my family a few states north and had trouble making friends because of the whole introvert thing, but then when I became a mom it got even tricker. Suddenly people didn’t just judge me on my personality alone, they judged me on my parenting style, too. Then, to really kick it up a notch we moved to a small, traditional, southern baptist town where everybody already knows each other (but the safety rating is awesome and the schools are unparalleled). So now I’m known not only as the outsider, but as “that alternative mom.” That’s fine, I am confident in my parenting style and life choices, but it’s damn lonely.
If you surf google for a bit about how to make friends as a mom you’ll find some pretty common suggestions:
– Put yourself out there (I do that!)
– Make the first move (I smile and say “hi” to everybody)
– Get contact info (Hard to do when I don’t get a smile or “hi” back)
– Plan the first playdate (Again, hard to do when I haven’t gotten the previous two steps)
– Be yourself (Ehh…that seems to be what people don’t like)
– Don’t gossip (in this town, I’m the source of the gossip so that’s fun)
– Talk about something other than your kids (which isn’t as easy as it sounds)
– Don’t shy away from moms who don’t parent like you (I’ll be blunt, if we witness you hitting your kid or talking down to them we don’t want to be friends with you anyway, but other than that this isn’t a big deal for me)
You’re getting the gist, right?
Whenever there is something kid-related or family-friendly going on in the area I try to make sure our calendar is open so that we can attend; not only do I want to meet people but I want my daughter to make friends, too. One of our favorite activities is the library each week; they do a weekly story time so I get to talk to other adults and my daughter (and daycare kids) can play, listen to stories, sing songs, and do a craft. It’s great for their growing minds and socialization. Well. For the first few months nobody spoke to me except for the women who were bringing their grandchildren, which I’m okay with but it’s not like they were jumping to be friends with me, you know? There was one mom in particular there who was always cold towards me and I never understood why until I found out that she’s the other in-home daycare in town. So basically I’m the competition and she has big pull here, so other moms weren’t talking to me for fear of betraying her. On the days she wasn’t there, though, people spoke to me. Mature, right?
I created a facebook group for the moms in our town hoping that it’d break the ice, we could chat about common things amongst the group and then we could add each other and get to know each other better, you know. Well the group is doing fair, but once people find out that we do gentle/attachment parenting and we don’t go to church you’d think we were personally here from the bowels of hell just to sacrifice their children.
I have no problem keeping my religious preferences hush hush, I’m quite used to it actually since I’m the black sheep in my catholic family, but because of my daughter’s age (she’s three) it comes up pretty quickly. I’m often asked if I’m sending her to preschool and “the absolute best preschool in town!” happens to be a catholic-based program. I mean heavy catholic. I’m okay with religion and I teach different ones at home, but I’m not going to pay (what I think is a high amount) for my daughter to go to a program that doesn’t teach much outside of the ABCs of the bible. So I try to graciously explain that it’s just not for us and I’m often met with rebuttals ranging from “There’s a scholarship option if money is tight” to “Ohhh, do you go to a different church?” I usually respond with, “That’s fantastic, it’s just not something we’re going to do, we really enjoy learning at home and while we’re out and about.” My answer is apparently a big red flag because I have had two different moms completely stop talking to me because of that.
Another thing that is apparently taboo in motherhood? Not drinking wine. I don’t drink at all, but I don’t see why wine needs to be a part of a playdate? I love coffee. I worship coffee. I pray to the java gods every morning. Coffee is a much more suitable beverage when surrounded by kids (and trust me, I’d know). I had a mom once ask me, “Should I bring a red or a white?” when I asked her and her sons over for a late-morning play date. What?! I can understand a glass or two after the kids have gone to bed, but after breakfast? No.
You know what else seems crazy to many moms? Enjoying being with your child. I schedule activities that I know my daughter would enjoy because I love seeing her have fun. I love seeing her learn and enjoy herself, it makes me happy. So when I’m not going to leave my daughter with a sitter on a Saturday to go lay out on the beach with you (one, I don’t even know a babysitter and two, I freaking HATE the beach) that doesn’t make me a shitty person, it makes a happy mom.
I like to use my weekends for family time since that’s the only time my husband has off (as long as it’s not an overtime weekend). Apparently that’s bizarre, too, because I’ve often been asked to just leave my daughter with daddy so I can go do things with other people. That’s fine, my husband would be supportive of it, but I wouldn’t enjoy myself because I’d constantly be wondering what my daughter is doing and if she’s okay. Plus, the only things anybody invites me to are those stupid MLM parties (Scentsy, Pure Romance, LulaRoe, ItWorks!, etc) or to those Painting with a Twist parties. Those aren’t really my style.
I think my biggest problem is that I don’t like doing things that many others enjoy; for example, I prefer coffee shops to bars, museums to clubs, I’d much rather stay home in my jammies to watch a movie than go to a theater. I like being home, I like doing things that are free, I absolutely hate being surrounded by tons of people, I definitely don’t want to have to buy things from you for us to have a friendship.
It would just be so nice to have a friend come over for coffee or something that understood the restrictions that come with having a kid, it’d be awesome if they had a kid so all of the kids could play together. A friend who I could text with about the silly things in life and one I could meet up with after lunch to bring the kids to the park. We could talk about everything from the kids to the weather to politics to husbands, everything. I was told once that “in order to have friends you have to be a friend.” I think that’s kind of a messed up statement. In order for me to have friends I have to do things they like and enjoy, but nobody wants to do that with me. Instead I’m mocked for my likes and dislikes, mocked for my lifestyle and choices, but I’m kept around because it’s convenient for them. No. That’s not how this works.
Morning frustrations have put a sour taste in my mouth so I’m going to wrap this up before I sound too jaded lol. I hope y’all have a great day!