I have been thinking long and hard about the entry I am about to write. Not entirely sure if it will all make sense or if it will even be everything I have thought of. But, here it goes…
Being a mom and having friendships is HARD. Whew. There, I said it.
Sometimes being a mom has been one of the loneliest times in my life. I am not looking for sympathies or saying woe is me here. No no… I am simply stating some facts that come from my life. Some people may agree, others disagree.
I have a wonderful handsome husband who is my best friend in life. He is amazing. He would turn this world upside down for me and his son. I have a partner in crime for life with him. I am blessed beyond compare in this aspect of my life. I can sit down and talk to him about anything, and he can sit with me and do the same. He will change a diaper when I ask him to, he takes the trash out, he does SO MUCH for me and his family that it is almost embarrassing to say that he probably does more than me around the house and he has a 9-5 job to boot! He is my love. My friend. My husband.
I have a wonderful mom who is also a best friend. Over the years it seems to me that the line between mom and daughter vs. best friends has blended ever so much that we can now talk about anything and do anything with each other. In fact, she comes over everyday to play with Xander and help me out if I need it. She loves to do this and I love that she loves to! She and I have always been there for me as a child and continues to be there into adulthood. I honestly think about her first a lot of the times when I want to do something during the day. I love her dearly. She is my friend. My mom.
Is this enough? I am sure this is more than some women have in their lives, and again… this is me speaking. This is how I feel. Do women need more than just a husband and a mom? I think so. I think women NEED friendships. Especially mommy friends if you have a child. Let’s face it, when I became a mom many of my friends fell off the radar. I understand that the fault falls on me as much as it does them. I understand that if you are not a mother yet, you may not grasp the concept of naptimes interfering with afternoon coffee, or dirty diaper interfering with a good conversation – now where were we? Or a toy thrown at your face, or a random temper tantrum. Or why all of a sudden my speech is baby speech high pitched and shrill. And yes, I need to get home by 8pm to put my child in bed. And also, why my conversations 100% is now currently about my child and only my child and nothing else. How BORING that must be to those who do not have children. It is simply difficult for both parties. Difficult for me to schedule anything and difficult for non-mommy friends to endure the rigid new lifestyle. Add to that I am a complete non feminine geek so the conversations I do have are silly, pretty naive, and about the newest SciFi movie or how excited I am to see Dark Knight Rises. I am not one to talk about hair, makeup, crocheting, and romantic comedies. It isn’t ME. I have and I can of course, I do love me some makeup! And if anyone has a cure for frizzy hair I am willing to listen. But these topics to me take up a moment in time. So what then?
When it comes to socializing, I have seen a pattern: Not many moms seem interested in making friendships beyond one get-together a month (aka mom groups, or bible study etc). Sometimes I blame Facebook for making it too easy to sit behind a screen and count that as friendship. But in my humble opinion, virtual mom friendships will never replace the warm fuzzy feeling you get from sharing a laugh over something your son did or commiserating over sleepless nights. Women, especially NEW moms need other moms of their peer age to commiserate over LIFE in general. Someone they can trust and go to to ask for prayer. Someone they can whine to about spit up or dirty diapers. Someone they can lean on and also be the one to be leaned on. Friendships between women are different than a husband or a mom friendship. It just is. Friendships among women feed a part of the soul that no other source can fulfill. (And honestly… I think my husband would prefer me not to talk about my periods with him!)
It’s not that I don’t have friends. I have a few. Not entirely sure what any of them have been up to the past 6 months until I read a status about it, but I do have them. I guess I am craving for something more. I don’t want to go to a mommy group where the child gets whisked away into a daycare situation while I sit in a room with other moms discussing car seat safety or the latest fashion trends giggling and smiling fake smiles – and how on earth did they do their hair and makeup so perfectly, and is she wearing high heels? I want a situation where me and my child are both accepted by everyone and we both socialize. I want my child to be accepted along side me. Side by side. He is part of me and I am part of him. However, I also want “date” nights with friends minus my child while my child has some daddy time. I am in a constant search for the right fit in a mommy group. I have not had a good evening away with a friend since Xander was about 6 months old. I am reminded of this as my husband goes off frequently to hang out with a friend of his and I am stuck at home alone.
Alone. Sometimes being a mom is very lonely. I am surrounded by my childs presence every day. I shouldn’t feel alone. My husband comes home to me every night. My mom is around almost every day. So why do I sometimes feel so lonely? I do not have that someone I could talk to on the phone for hours. That someone I can call up and ask to come over for coffee. Honestly, I don’t think I ever truly had that prior to Xander. But I know for certain I do not have it now. I know it is hard for non mommy friends to understand my new life. My new topics of conversation. I do understand. This is why it is important to develop new friendships too with other moms. I guess the problem here is, they are also too busy with their own children to develop new friendships. Perhaps we are pining over the same thing but too busy trying to fit into this new role of a mom to do anything about it.
I love that my life is so ingrained in Xander’s life. It gives me purpose, hope, and love. I cannot wait to teach him so many things about the world and to show him everything in it. I want him to fall so he can pick himself back up. I want him to ask why the sky is blue (and ask why again…) I cannot wait for these things. But one day he will get older and not want to hang out with his mom and on that day I think it will become painfully clear how lonely mommyhood really is.
I am blessed to have such a wonderful husband and an amazing mom, and a child I love and adore. I know it might be silly, but sometimes… I feel like I need more. I haven’t lost hope. I am still new at this whole mom thing. I am sure I will find mommy friends out there someday. Ones I can actually socialize outside of Facebook and have something in common (Buffy? Doctor Who?). I want Xander to see that even mommies can make new friends and be social. Much like I want him to see my love for my husband so he knows his parents love each other, I want him to witness that friendships are important and can be healthy.
There are a couple women who are also moms that I am currently doing a bible study with that in my heart of hearts I wish we were closer. I already call them friends but other than Facebook and the study we do not talk to each other. Perhaps this bible study will open up a few doors for us all. It is a process I know. One I am willing to go through. I pray that somewhere out there someone else is willing too
So, uh… anyone care for a playdate? Or a ladies night out?
A good article about this topic — Mom Friendships: Why They’re so Important to You.
PS. To all my non mommy friends: I haven’t forgotten you. I love you dearly and crave to have you in my life. But I understand that my life and your lives are different now. And it is difficult for both of us to have our planets align and I need to make more of an effort.