I used to think I needed quantity; now I’m a firm believer in quality (of friendships, that is).
I’m the kind of person who can make a friend anywhere. For example, I once saw a girl in the restroom whose hair I really admired. I went over to her and simply asked her where she gets her hair done. Several years later, I still use her hairdresser and hang out with her on the weekends. What can I say? I like people! What I really like are strong, interesting and loyal women. In high school, I had many friends and even had a handful of best friends. So when I became pregnant I became a bit depressed.
You see, I moved to Southern California only knowing my in-laws. I became friendly with some people through work, but once I was let go (it was horrible!) and found out I was pregnant, I felt very alone! Sure, I had friends back home, but we either spread out or lost touch. I also didn’t know girls my age who were expecting or had young children and who lived close by. I only knew single or recently married girls.
I sulked for a few days. I did just get fired! Then I went online and Googled something I thought I never would do in my life: “How to form friendships in your 30’s?” (I wasn’t quite 30, but I thought 20-year-old would be too young for me.) I read some of the posts and came to a few conclusions: work, groups and/or clubs. Since I was just fired and pregnant, I thought no one would give me a job at the moment. Groups, clubs…? Where or how do you do that at this age? Should I join a sports team? Knitting group? I thought it was weird! I’m not in my teens or in college, so where do women my age form groups?
I once again went to my computer and Googled some words. This time I typed “mommy groups.” A lot of links appeared. I felt a bit of relief! I decided to narrow it down to “mommy groups in the Conejo Valley.” A website called Meetup came up. I searched some more, and found two local groups that interested me. I requested to join them right away. One group was a mommy group which met during the day with their kids. The other group was a mommy “social” group which met on weekends and evenings. I was excited!
My former personality would have been to sign up for multiple events and attend the next day, but I didn’t do any of that. I couldn’t help but think the other moms would think it was weird that I was joining a mommy group while only being pregnant, not with a child at my side. A couple of lonely weeks went by. I woke up one morning and decided it was time to make some friends. I signed up for a coffee date! I thought, “This shouldn’t be too overwhelming.”
I’m so happy I had the courage to attend the event! We sat there and shared our pregnancies, our worries, our backgrounds, etc. It was just what I needed! I didn’t feel alone. Most of the moms I met were not even from Southern California. It was great!
Since I enjoyed myself with the daytime moms, I thought it wouldn’t be too scary to meetup with the social moms. I’m so happy I was right! I met some really fun, intelligent and funny women! They accepted me with open arms and I still see them regularly.
Fast forward to having a baby. I found myself once again alone. These women that I met had multiple kids and some had older kids. They couldn’t understand my first time mom struggles.
Six months go by before I find myself looking for another group. Through Meetup, I discovered a local group of first time moms. Within a day, I found myself attending a meet up at the park. I walked around for a few minutes trying to locate my group. I guess this was the spot to meet up because there where many groups of moms spread out through out the park. I walked up to every group i came across asking if they where here for meetup. It was scary, but I needed to find this group more than they needed another member! A lot of moms had no clue what I was talking about. A few even said I could come back if I didn’t find my group (wow, that was nice of them!). I finally found the group. I met two moms that afternoon. Sure, it was a small group, but it was just what I needed. I connected with one mom and hoped I see her again soon.
I saw this mom several times and always felt comfortable with her. We exchanged numbers and naturally and quite easily became more than just acquaintances. I met a few moms from the group, but didn’t connect with anybody as quickly. She was welcoming, nice and we had a lot in common. We are both from the east coast, we both wish we could move back, we are both here because of our husbands’ work and we both have kids close in age. I’m so glad I met E.Y. She’s genuine, smart, funny and I’m lucky to call her my friend. Thanks for being you, E.Y.!
Thanks to the group, I have made many wonderful friends. I cant wait to see our kids grow up together and to form stronger bonds with these moms.