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Wanted: good friends

For many years, I had several best friends. A bit of a contradiction, I realize, since there really should be only one "best." But mostly I just considered myself fortunate to have different people I could talk to.

When Brian and I dated, I did not consider him my best friend in the way many people in relationships do. In fact, sadly, I was closer to a few of my guy friends. But when Brian and I got back together again in the later '90s after a three- or four-month hiatus, I realized one should not be closer to her male friends than her actual guy. Fortunately, our relationship evolved to the point where I did consider him my best friend.

As time has gone on, I discovered that by being so involved in/with my husband and child, I no longer have many close friends, let alone a best friend. I get that your family should be your top priority; I got a taste of this when many friends started having kids before I, and we pretty much stopped going out. I swore I would never do this, but eventually I became like those people, partly because those friends were no longer willing or able to hang out like before, but also because I truly wanted to be with my family as much as I could, especially since I worked and had little time with them.

But now that my child is in school, I am realizing it might be good to try to make some new friends, specifically people who have kids in my kid's school. And then it occurred to me that I am no longer good at making friends. I never thought I would say or write that statement, but I have found that I don't have as much to talk about. My life is boring! And what further complicates these (potential) relationships is that you and another may hit it off, but your kids may not like each other. Or there may be someone who is raising her kids in a way you don't agree with, which makes it hard to maintain or start a friendship, even if your kid loves her kid.

A lot of the moms in Jordan's school are nice. I have chatted with a few of them, but I don't really see myself becoming good friends with them for varying reasons. Other moms, quite frankly, are snobby. In fact, those moms are the reason I started running again. I felt left out when they would chat with each other while waiting for the kids to get out of school. So rather than feel awkward waiting alone, I decided to do something productive. (For the record, even as a new parent in the school, I went up to these moms a few times. Eventually, I got tired of being the one to approach them, wondering if they just did not like me since they never came up to me.)

So now what? I guess I need friendship "dating" help! Or perhaps just to lower my standards. Either way, I can see that I am going to have to be the one to take the bull by the horns, as no one is knocking on my door.

Comments

Sherri said…
I completely understand what you mean. I, too, find my life focused on kids & home - find it hard to use my very limited time to even make a doctor's appointment let alone try a new coffee place or meet up with people. I tried a mother's group recently and found it, at times, unfriendly - definitely intolerant of diversity among "friends", etc. - more focused on moms trying to find themselves and define their own interests and personalities, I think, as opposed to making friends or getting to know others. Anyway ... we should start a morning coffee group or something :-). Your post kinda made my day ... made me feel like I'm not the only one who feels this way :-). Insightful...
chris h. said…
So true! I've had similar experiences myself (as the only childless one in a "family" neighborhood) and so has a friend (mom with 2 young girls finding it hard to break into the 'mom clique'). So many of my friends have come from work -- and now I work from home (and live in the boonies, relatively). There aren't many opportunities to meet new people, let alone people you really click with. A real bummer.
Anonymous said…
I am afraid some moms at Catholic schools are mean. Don't know why (but let's face it, there are mean moms everywhere).

You probably will have to feel the waters to see which moms stick and which don't. Good luck.
Facie said…
Sherri, do you know if that playplace-coffee shop you mentioned in one of your posts opened up yet? It would be nice to meet there sometime (provided it is not too expensive!). Otherwise, until I get a full-time job (and when I am not subbing), I am happy to get out of the house to meet up.

Chris, I made so many friends from work that I did not feel as if I needed to make others. Since I don't see those people much anymore, it became clear I need new friends. Most of my friends with kids are so busy with the zillions of activities their kids are in that it makes it hard to get together. And my childless friends tend to want to go to a bar or stay out late. Ugh!

Anon, several of my friends said what you did. Perhaps the moms I speak of were not that way when their kids were in K (and they were new). Who knows.
Bill Applegate said…
It's even harder being a Dad / guy and trying to make friends with the Moms. Meaning I take my daughter's to birthday parties and being the only dad their is always a little weird...for me...not for my girls.

Some of the Moms just aren't that friendly and when they start talking about other kids parents...just makes me cringe at what they must think about me...
Facie said…
Bill, what you speak of is a big part of the reason why I prefer guy friends over girl friends. At my last job, I ate lunch with three guys. Very little drama there. I know I am generalizing, but women can be so petty.

I am sure there are other moms out there like me who would welcome your conversation at kids' parties. I would try not to worry about your being the only dad there.

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