Our latest Featured Mom has a daughter and a son, is an active blogger (at Marlie and Me), and on top of it all, is now a working mom. Somehow Teresha manages to do it all and look amazing doing it. Seriously, we should have asked her secret! One challenge she has faced is making mom friends who are local – the kind of friends she could grab for a yoga session or coffee talk. In today’s post, she talks a little bit about transitions, moms groups, and what she’s looking for in a mom friend.
I have been through several transitions a mom that made it hard for me to establish friendships. When I first became a mom in 2009 I was adapting to a new city and trying to figure out my identity as a stay-at-home mom after being a career woman for 10 years. I had no friends or family nearby and it was unbelievably lonely for me. I was depressed for a long time and that kept me from socializing more. Then three years and two kids later we moved again and I found myself trying to build a circle of friends all over again. I joined a couple of SAHM groups in my area, but so far I haven’t clicked with anyone in a meaningful way (beyond the fact that our kids play well together). I recently returned to workforce which I think is going to help me put down some roots in the community.
Trying to make a friends as a mom threw me for a loop. I quickly discovered that parenting styles became the basis for which clique you were expected to join (Type A mom, crunchy mom, helicopter mom). I tried making connections with all types of moms but ultimately our different parenting choices would create conflicts. Like the time I showed up at a mom group play date with my contribution of healthy snacks and the table was filled with juice boxes and packs of cookies. I spent the whole time trying to divert my preschooler from that table and explaining to the other moms that we don’t eat processed foods or drink sugary drinks. Some of the looks and comments I got made me feel unwelcome. I didn’t take my kids to anymore play dates with that group. But I have been to MNOs which are fun, but I always feel that pang of envy when I see the moms pair off and engage in deep conversations. I would ask myself, what made them connect? The answer hit me: I was looking for friendship in all the wrong places. I was going to activities and events where the main common thread was being a mom. But moms are women with other interests and hobbies and talents. So I joined some groups based on my interests like power-walking and running. But the biggest change in my strategy was going back to work. I think I am going to meet some incredible women who happen to be moms through professional networking
I cannot exaggerate how blogging saved me. When I was at my lowest emotional point, feeling completely isolated and lost as a new mother, I blogged. I had no expectations. I just wanted to exhale. To my surprise many women reached out. They blogged too. We bonded over our similar backgrounds, parenting philosophies or sense of humor. but most importantly we shared an honesty about how hard motherhood was for us (whether due to depression or our own less-than-idyllic childhoods). Blogging helped me find my mom tribe online and they live all over the US and even in other countries!
Most days I feel torn in two. I could really use an “onboarding” buddy. someone to show me the ropes. someone who will call and say meet me at the yoga studio or let’s go for a run!
My online moms friends get me right off the bat. I don’t have to explain, qualify or justify my parenting decisions. This is a reciprocal relationship. We support each other through comments on social media and email, maybe the occasional text. If one of us goes silent for awhile, it’s okay. We understand that real life gets in the way. It’s a bit trickier IRL. You have to meetup consistently or at least talk on the phone often or the friendship withers. I am looking for an IRL mom friend who is spirited, open-minded, funny, and willing to work on maintaining a friendship.
The best part of being a mom is watching them grow up. the hardest part is watching them grow up.
Would you like to be the next Mom Meet Mom Featured Mom? Email christa at mommeetmom.com to find out how!