When summer comes around and I’m whisking Abby off to various activities, I’m hopeful for new friends, not only for the kiddo, but also for me. And then I get a little scared. I mean we are going to weekday morning activities, the ones where SAHM’s frequent. Will I have anything to talk about with them? Will they want to continue a friendship with us once the school year begins and weekend play dates are all that we can fit in, and this it’s we’re not too busy trying to get all the things done? It’s just overwhelming, and I wonder if it really needs to be, if it’s just all in my head.
This summer I’ve been doing parent child swim lessons with Abby, and it turns out that one of Abby’s friends from daycare, whose mom is also a teacher, is in the same class. Both of them. It couldn’t be more perfect. Two working teacher moms with two kids who already know and like each other. We’ve been seeing each other twice a week for a few weeks now. And all we talk is pleasantries. I mean we are busy trying to manage parent child swim classes, helping our daughters acclimate to the pool, but still, both of us, the same thing. Not much real chatting going on. I wonder if she finds this whole making friends as a working parent as daunting as I do. But the next time we see each other, I’m going to make an effort to plan a play date outside of swim classes. I’m going to do it.
Then two week sago, while Abby and I were at our favorite store, Target (:::obviously:::), we ran into a mom I knew from toddler gym class, a group that meets on Saturday mornings. Her daughter and Abby always got along, and share in their love for the Seattle Sounders as they’ve both taken turns donning their toddler soccer jerseys from week to week. I’ve always wondered if she was a working mom. I mean Saturday classes and all. Because of our kids’ ages, the gym class is a parent child one, so we’re always busy making sure our kids don’t run off to the trampoline, and don’t have much time to chat.
But at Target, we noticed each other and stopped to chat. I learned she was a working mom, whose schedule gives her some weekdays off. Turns out her daughter is just 2 months older than Abby. We chatted for 10 minutes, and it didn’t feel forced. There was lots of talk on daycares in the area since we’re looking for a preschool for Abby in the fall. I learned that both of us don’t have family nearby. And then, I just took a deep breath and suggested we exchange phone numbers. Her eyes lit up. And in that moment I realized that I’m not alone in this endeavor to make mom friends. I could tell, at least I think, that she was hoping to make a connection. And to find a working mom with flexibility to be able to hang out during the week and weekends, well this is perfect. Since then we’ve texted a bit and have plans for a playdate in a couple weeks.
Overall, I sometimes wonder if I try too hard. Like having to talk myself into arranging a playdate or taking a deep breath before asking to exchange numbers. (:::It’s like dating all over again:::)I have these high expectations, try so hard to foster relationships, only to be disappointed in the long run. I’ve reached out to moms in the past. Ones from daycare even, and things just don’t pan out. Making friends should be an organic experience, not forced. Yet I find myself having to put more force into these matters at times. The older I get, the harder it is to make friends, and I don’t think this is just a working mom issue, just that working complicates the matters more. I’m trying to not try so hard and to understand that if new friendships are meant to happen, they will, in time. I do have high hopes for these two, hopefully, budding friendships, but I’m also going to understand that if it’s more of a friend connection for Abby, and not me, that it’s OK too. No more pressure please.
What about you? Do you struggle to connect with other moms? Am I the only one who feels they’ve been trying too hard at times?
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