Friday, August 26, 2016

New City, New Mom Friends

Nearly a month has passed since we moved. We're still living in a hotel, so we're far from settled. Everything still seems new and temporary. But I'm trying to familiarize myself with the area and allow myself to ease into our new home town.

I'm a social extrovert. I love meeting and connecting with people! When we made the decision to move, one of the very first things I did was browse local groups to connect with: church-related, profession-related, and mom-related. After a few weeks of attending church- and profession-related events and not getting a chance to meet any other moms of babies, I decided to focus on that particular need.

Where I moved from, I also felt deficient in the area of mom friends. I would say I had one good mom friend whose baby appeared in this world 5 months before mine did. She helped guide me through my pregnancy and first months of motherhood. We grew close and it hurt to move away from her.

I tried to remain friends with the women I took birth classes with through our doula, but they didn't seem to want anything to do with me after classes were over. I tried to connect with other moms through a church group supporting breastfeeding women, but the group only met monthly and none of the moms were ever receptive to my invitations to hang out outside the group. I attended a moms group at a hospital once but the nurses who ran it focused on health-related Q&A and discouraged group socialization. I connected with two local moms groups on Meetup but was turned off by their policies. I mostly gave up trying.

Here, in a new town, I could reinvent myself and build a new circle of friends from the ground up. I decided it was worth it to pay a $25 membership fee to join the local MOMS Club. They seemed to have plenty of members with lots of activity. I also liked that the club is divided into tiny regions, so activities were likely to be very close and any mom friends made were also likely to be close. Convenient travel times makes it easier on everyone.

This morning, I attended my first playdate at a local playground. When I first arrived, I was surprised at how many moms and kids were present. I soon learned that none of them were part of the MOMS Club; they simply liked to visit the park at 10 AM on a sunny Friday morning. Josephine is still rather young for playgrounds, but she did enjoy being pushed in the baby swing. I struck up a conversation with the mom next to me pushing her toddler in the swing. It was pleasant.

After a few minutes, a mom approached me and introduced herself as the president of the club. We chatted as I sat on the grass with my little grass-eater. Josephine is a rapid crawler, but surrounded by so many people, she preferred to sit still, observe, and occasionally stick a freshly picked blade in her mouth. Another member of the club approached and made small talk. I didn't have an immediate BFF-at-first-sight with any of these women, but it was nice. I was laying the foundations.

Then, I got an unexpected urgent call which forced me away from the playground after only around 15 minutes of play. So goes life. I will try again another time.

Will I made any close friends through this group? I hope so.  

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