Monday, 8 June 2015

#Microblog Mondays: "Mom friends": Are they worth it?!



So, sometimes I think I should be trying harder to make "mom friends." Most of the small group of people I consider long term friends are child free and intend to stay that way, with the exception of one friend in the UK with a son, and another two who have gotten/are getting married this year and say they want children.

Yesterday one of my colleagues shared this blog entry The No-Bullshit, No-Drama Friendship Manifesto on Facebook. The second time I read it, I realized, Oh yeah, that's actually funny. The first time I read it (or skimmed it, rather) it made me want to curl up on the couch with a book and avoid all human contact.

I have to ask: Moms with mom-friends, or people who are forced to hang out with moms, is there really that much drama? Because if there is I think AJ can forget about play dates or birthday parties until she's old enough to go on her own. I can't deal with it!

Just kidding. Maybe.

Leave has definitely given me the option to get re-acquainted with my introvert side. It never went away, but while teaching full-time I didn't have much "alone time." I learned to cope with it. (There were also advantages to the job I had. Such as, working with the same students over 3 years, rather than new classes constantly. Many adults in the room, allowing for bathroom breaks pretty much when I wanted them. Which sometimes = sanity break. Probably another reason why I'm clawing pieces off myself contemplating a change.)

In all seriousness, there are at least two families in my city who I could make an effort to get together with. I seem to remember saying so to them. Two, three weeks ago? Where did the time go?

I feel like now is a great time to get to know people because AJ is so cute, I have an easy icebreaker. It's summer. People are outside. They talk to me as they pass on the street. Even call to me from their trucks.  We have a very walkable neighbourhood. With an active community association. A new member of the legislature about my age, with a child. Mr. Turtle grew up (at least part of his childhood) in a neighbourhood where Everybody Knew Everybody. I'm so impressed by that and would love for AJ to have the same opportunities. If there was Drama it didn't seem to hurt my mother in law; she's quite happy.

So many opportunities!

So many books and blogs to read, too. Such as all the ones over at Microblog Mondays!

23 comments:

  1. I force myself to make mom-friends. But I confess, the best friends I have are the ones that happen to be moms or not-moms, but were friends first. I don't deal well with drama. ;)

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    1. It's nice to know that other people have to force themselves too, haha! Yes, I plan on keeping my "from before" friends too. They are a drama-free crowd, as far as I can tell.

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  2. I'm actually counting on mom friends to be my gateway into making actual friends. Since moving to a new city 1.5 years ago, I haven't made any real friends. Work hasn't been that conducive to making friends and I'm getting lonely. My hope is that there will be a few women I connect with outside of just the mom connection and can become real friends. (BTW, that was me who friend requested you this morning on FB)

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    1. Oh, thanks for letting me know re: FB. I sent you a request. I tried looking for clues to see who it was but I couldn't tell LOL. Must mean that you are very good at keeping your online identity anonymous :-D You're right, work isn't always that great either. I suppose it's like anything else, look for opportunities and take them when they present themselves!

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  3. I LOVE Renegade Mothering. There's always something good on there.

    I want mom friends. I want a place to go on Wednesday at one o'clock when everyone else is working, I want Owen to be able to socialize when he's ready, and I want more friends. I'm bad at making friends, so I'm hoping Owen will do it for me. Ha!

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    1. That would be nice haha! AJ so far is very relaxed baby who enjoys crowds and people, so I like to imagine she will get along with people easily, but you never know. I also feel like I should be setting an example either way! but sometimes it conflicts with my personality. I hope you find some fun places to go with Owen. So far I'm just doing mom/baby yoga, and I'm thinking about swimming, but it sounds like a lot of work so I haven't convinced myself.

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    2. Renegade Mothering is amazing! Also, follow her on Instagram if you don't already. Her kids are just delicious.

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  4. I'm with Justine. I've forced myself to make mom friends through my kids' daycare. Figure they already know the other kids so might as well. But it can be hard. My best friends are those who come from all walks of life.

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    1. I know; it seems kind of weird to me to become friends with other people just because they happen to also have reproduced. But it seems necessary.

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  5. I'm looking for some mom friends in my neighborhood, but part of me thinks they're just going to be super young and I won't have anything in common with them. I'm more looking forward to spending some mom time with a couple of women from my office who are also off on mat leave right now. I think that'll be way better than just trying to make friends with other women when the only thing we have in common is that we're moms and we live in the same 'hood.

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    1. Two sounds like a good number! And knowing people from the same office you could support each other when you presumably return to work.

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  6. I found it much easier to make friends with other parents when the twins started school. Suddenly you needed to get together for the playdate, or to plan a school activity. And the friendships grew out of that. I think it's good to have people to bounce ideas off of, though I don't know if I really need people to be leading the same sort of life in order to find the value in the friendship. Some of my best parenting advice has come from non-parents.

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    1. That's true! and I want to stay friends with non-parents too; I think people who aren't parents have a lot to contribute.

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  7. I too have to force myself to put effort into new friendships. We don't have too many friends that have kids and find it difficult to set up anything with friends without kids who want to meet in fancy restaurants or ask us to come out for drinks which would mean leaving 3 kids 2 and under with a babysitter - and call me overprotective but I can't think of anyone I'd trust with that task (yet).
    My issue is that a couple of old friendships have really suffered from differing views on parenting. We practice attachment parenting - not super strict about following guidelines but it is what feels right to us. I don't push it on anyone else but found that some of my old friends never seemed to be able to give it a rest. We'd get together and they'd always bring up topics we disagree on like discipline or a baby/toddler's emotional needs.
    I'd love to meet some new mom friends who will be respectful of my parenting method even if they don't practice it.

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    1. I'm surprised anyone would criticize the parenting style of a family with a toddler and infant twins. I mean, do they want to switch places with you and see how much better they are at it? I have to admit when I see photos of you out and about with the little ones my thought is "MOTHER GODDESS." I'm sure it's a little messier in real life, of course. :-) I know almost nothing about parenting styles so I hope not to be judg-y either.

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  8. The idea of mom friend drama scares me. Just what little I see from friends is so scary (and unnecessary). I'm finding the older I get, the more I need alone time. But it does sound like a great conversation starter to have a cute baby with you! I hope you find some mom friends that reject the whole mean-girls-turned-moms-judgy-judgerson thing. They have to exist out there, right?

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    1. Yes I'm sure they do! Also I like to think I wouldn't really attract the drama queens either. I'll just flash my dumb phone and say "I send texts never!" and they'll move on. :-) I do think I should take advantage of the cute baby icebreaker. It just might be easier to be social than when she's a toddler running around screaming and destroying things. Not that MY CHILD would ever do that. But wait, she might :-)

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  9. Hhhhmmm...I must the an odd (wo)man out in this, because I read that article you linked to, (have never before heard of the website) and *most* of the bahvaiours the author describes as 'drama' just strike me as keeping good manners. I can't stand flaky types who bail at the last minute or can't be bothered to show up at all. Haha! I'm getting old and cranky!

    But I digress, because your question was really about making mommy friends generally. I agree with Cristy that the existence of offspring does not automatically make for a good bonding experience, and I'm by nature a bit of a loner. But as I've written before on my blog, I usually force myself, even before having kids but rather as an expat, to at least make some friendly acquiantances wherever I go. I also don't want my kid to end up a little hermit baby! Hanging out with other moms is definitely one of the more challenging aspects of parenting for me.

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    1. Yeah, one of my fears is having a "hermit baby" too, because although I had a wonderful childhood in a lot of ways, I do feel like our family was a bit too isolated, a bit too insular. I went through a phase of being very afraid of the world and did not understand that it was simply because I lacked the skills, not some horrible personal defect. I want AJ to feel like a part of society, in age appropriate ways.

      I think people have probably gotten flakier in general. Maybe it is because there are so many distractions around. I think the drama happens when people get "offended" and gossip and think that they are the centre of the world...or something. Actually it probably comes from having unrealistic expectations of yourself and others and not being able to live happily in the imperfect moment. Remembering that self and others are flawed and it's not a big deal is a good way to stay calm and happy.

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  10. I'm sure there can be that kind of drama, but I think the key is finding someone you do actually get along with, just like any friend. I'm lucky that my husband and I have really hit it off with a coworker and his wife who have similar interests--they happen to live near us, and our kids get along well, and his wife and I are way more similar than should be allowed! The things we're passionate on, we tend to agree, and that's probably the make-or-break thing. I definitely think it's worth it to try to find mom friends! Adventures of a Labor Nurse had a great post about mom friends recently, and you should definitely read this Scary Mommy post about MBFFs:
    http://www.scarymommy.com/11-signs-that-youve-found-your-mbff/

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    1. thanks Emily for the thoughts and comment! that's great that you found a family you connect with. I agree they are out there! I think I will focus on having a sociable summer, once I'm past my current existential pre-occupation with going back to work in the fall. (blog coming). Well I hope I can get past it, at least some of the time.

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  11. This is a fascinating subject and lots of though provoking comments. When we were trying to get pregnant (in the very beginning), I was obsessed with how I would meet some mom friends to develop a community for support and friendship since we don't have family here. Most people I asked said that meeting other parents would happen naturally after baby was born and were vague about how that would happen, cue me panicking. As it turns out, I had a big dose of friendship drama during fertility treatments and friendships ended. The drama was mostly gossip and could have easily been avoided if people had been up front, as stated in the article. I also think texting has made people even flakier and adds to the challenge of building a connection or real relationship. I have some mom friends from my fertility support group, but we are more friends via motherhood and likely wouldn't be otherwise as we don't share common interests. Oddly enough, several of my newly forming mom friendships are the wives of J's friends. I still might retry starting up my book club (not exclusive to mothers and actually intended to be a total break from mothering). I am also planning to join a local MOPS group (not sure if they have them in Canada) as they meet in my neighborhood and I've found close proximity is critical to forming relationships as people are lazy and it's easier when the distance is minimal. Good luck to you as you navigate new friendships and ensure AJ isn't a hermit baby. :-)

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    1. thanks for the comment! I too heard that I would meet moms "naturally" but I (as per the rest of parenting experience) I think "nature" will need a little help. I kind of wish I had been part of a IRL support group, but by the time I looked into it we were pregnant and I forgot about it. Thanks for the MOPS tip (had to google as I hadn't heard of it, and the first image that came to mind was a bunch of women with mops) It looks there is one near me. I'll look into it further to see if it is something that might appeal. You are probably right about the proximity. I know there is also a parenting group nearby the trouble is it conflicts with yoga. I think texting is flaky but then I often spend more time on FB than with people so I'm probably a bit flaky in that respect, too.

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