Thursday, March 20, 2014

Making New Mom Friends

“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . ."” ― C.S. LewisThe Four Loves

So, this month I am cultivating three new mom friendships, which is not easy, even for an outgoing person like me. It's totally different than making a regular acquaintance, for lots of reasons, but mostly because children are involved. What I mean to say is, let's say your kid and my kid are playing together nicely, and I'm enjoying talking to you. Being the kind of person I am, and always very focused on socializing my little only child, I ask if you want to meet up sometime and we swap info. I then go on to figure out the most affordable, fun thing we can take our kids to that they'll like and that'll give us a chance to talk.

Then, here we are, talking. And I remember that you don't know me very well yet, you don't know all the things my other friends so generously overlook about me, my not-at-all-clean house, my politics, and all the ways my parenting may differ from yours. So my brain starts trying to figure out how to get you to like me, so that you, too, can overlook my faults and be my friend.

The other awkwardness about new parent friendships is trying to parent your kid, knowing your rules or lack of rules may rub up against the other parent's rules. And most of the time this is fine, but you never know when something they've been working so hard on with their kid gets all disrupted by my kid who just hasn't learned it yet.

All that to say, if you're a new mom friend of mine, I just want you to know, I'm so grateful for your friendship and for taking a chance on me, and I promise not to get in my own head and obsess too much, but I am probably overthinking things just as much as you are. Also, my house is a mess and I'm a bit of a liberal. And I apologize in advance for any bad habits my offspring pass on to yours!

Sometimes we make it work even with a big age difference - though this baby's momma is an old friend of mine!


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  2. Oh my goodness! I'm so glad to hear you say this. I have such anxiety about mom friends. I especially get anxious about the rules that my kid is supposed to abide by in social interactions. I never know when to intervene and when to stand back. I also find it super difficult to have any kind of coherent conversation while simultaneously keeping an eye on my kid, so my biggest fear is that people will think I'm an idiot because I ask them the same question twenty times.