Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Moms Need Friends, Too

The kids and I moved 4 times in one calendar year. 2 of these moves were cross country, and a third move was 2 states away from where we lived at the time. Every move we made, my first concern at each new place was how my kids would adjust. Would they make friends? Would they like the area? Would they do well at their new school?

Would you like to know what I found? Kids are resilient. They adapt quite well to change, and making friends for them is as easy as going outside to a playground.

What I forgot to concern myself with was... well... myself. With each move I was moving toward family or toward friends, and with this last move to Arizona, toward putting my family back together, complete with a Hubby. That fact alone has made me the happiest woman ever, happy to have my family back together, happy to be a stay-at-home mom again, happy to have the time and means to reconnect with my kids, rekindle the love between Hubby and I, and finally find myself.

The thing is, I moved 2000 miles away from extended family and friends. Out here, while the kids are in school, and Hubby is at work, I'm so bored I could scream. Even when I keep myself busy with errands or shopping or reading or catching up on my television shows, something is still missing.

I've come to realize that moms need friends, too.

If you were fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home mom when your kids were young, you'll be able to relate to the picture I'm about to paint. From the time your child is born, you tend to their needs, answer every cry, change diapers, feed, nap when they nap (or clean when they nap or hide in the closet and cry when they nap- whatever suited you), speak baby talk, kiss toes, and conform yourself to a mental age that matches your child at the time because that's all the human interaction you have during the day. Then your spouse gets home from work, and you feel like a little yippy dog when their owners come home, jumping up and down, talking 90 miles an hour, just excited to have another person around- an adult person.

When your kids are older, like mine, and they go to school during the day, not much changes for the stay-at-home mom. While we no longer have to conform ourselves to the mental age of our kids because they aren't at home, we now spend most of our day alone instead. No human interaction whatever, with the exception of commenting on the weather with the cashier at the grocery store. Some days like this are amazing. I revel in the silent house, meditate, do yoga, clean the house knowing it will still be clean 20 minutes later, take a bath, and relax. Some days, I feel like that little yippy dog, staring at the door, waiting for someone to come home to give me some company.

See if this rings true with some of you.

Signs You Are a Mom Who Needs Friends, Too: (like me)

  • You talk to the cats (dogs, hamsters, birds, frogs, fish, whatever pet you have). Not only do you talk to the cats, you get pissed that they don't answer back.
  • You look forward to the time when the kids get out of school just to have some companionship.
  • You lean to the person next to you and say, 'Damn, did you see how nice his ass was in those jeans' as a guy walks by. Then you look up to realize Hubby is the person next to you. Oops.
  • You talk to one friend or family member on the phone, hang up with them and call another friend or family member immediately. 
  • You sit around watching shows about women hanging out with their friends... and cry.
  • You hang around some of the groups of moms at school pick up so you can eavesdrop and have gossip to tell Hubby when he gets home... because he's all you have to tell.
  • You send a text to a friend or a family member that simply says, 'Hey'. 
  • You try to get Hubby to do a home pedicure with you.
  • You talk to yourself... and yourself answers back. Why? Because the freaking cats won't talk to you.

I've finally gotten to the point where I can't stand being alone during the day. I have enjoyed my hermit-like state for a month now, embraced the quiet, slowed life down a bit. I've gotten my routine down pat, so efficient now that it takes a fraction of the time it used to. That means I have more hours in the day to do nothing. I want to fill those hours with gossip and coffee out with a fellow mom, or with taking a walk around the block with someone while we talk about absolutely nothing of importance. Maybe even get a pedicure with a friend while we sit back and plan the cookout for the weekend.

This want comes as a shock to me. I'll go ahead and say it now- I'm not a big fan of women. Yep. You read that right. A lot of women I have come into contact with over my years have been bitchy (and not in a good way), immature, drama-filled and petty. I can't stand that crap anymore. I want friends in my life who don't add to my headache level, who aren't annoying, who embrace me for me, and who I can relax around. I haven't had a lot of luck in my life with finding friends who fit this criteria. Those friends I have made that clicked with me felt the same way as I do about other women- can't stand them.

To put it bluntly, I'm a freak and have found true friendship in other freaks. That's the best way I can put it. And I'm completely happy with this. The cool thing is, those friends of mine who read my blog aren't even going to take offense to the fact I just called them freaks. They are amazing women... who are a little 'off,' just like me.

But those wonderful ladies are 2,000 miles away. A phone call is great, I get my laughter and sometimes even some gossip, but sometimes it's just not enough. I want to go out to breakfast with them, or to the mall, or just have someone ride to the school with me to pick up my kids and talk smack about the other moms with me. That's something I seriously miss.

So I have to figure out what to do about this. I've joined the PTO at the school, but we don't have our first meeting for another month. I've thought about approaching some moms at school pick up and striking up a conversation, but I'm scared I'd end up picking out the annoying mom, and it'd quickly become clear why she's standing outside by herself.

I know in 2 months when we move on base that this won't even be an issue anymore. We military wives love to seek out the attention and companionship of other women to whom we can relate. We want moms with kids our kids' ages to have play dates with, and sit and gossip while our kids throw legos at one another. And, we're nosy. It's as simple as that. When the new woman moves onto the block, we want to know everything about her, the family, where they are from, and whether or not we're going to be gossip buddies or gossip topics.

It's simply getting through the next 2 months that will be tough. I'm ready to have coffee dates again, gossip, even take a walk or two around the block in efforts to 'get in shape' before we go have mimosas at 11 in the morning; to find a kindred freak of a spirit, just like me.

Plus, I'm tired of talking to my cats. Even more than that, I'm tired that they don't answer. It's just disrespectful at this point.

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  1. Thanks for writing this. It pretty much sums up my relationship with women. My closest friends are still men, and though I enjoy them, it's not the same. Before I had kids it wasn't so bad, but now that I'm a mom, I really need some women in my life!

    Also, I work part time from home, and what you said about talking to yourself made me LOL. Yep!

    1. I'm glad you could relate to it. I used to hang out with guys, and could relax around them... until their women came around. Then I was always being accused of doing stuff with my guy friend. Too much drama for me!

  2. So get this! I was like this during maternity leave and after 18 months I went back to work to save my sanity!
    There aren't many people in our area who are like me - we live in a very conservative town and I am anything but. I have one close female friend nearby, one who lives 1hr 30 away and a mother in law who (whilst not a proper mate) can come close most of the time. I find it's my online blog reads (like this one) that keeps me sane, especially during the school holidays! The trick is to keep surviving; pinterest, facebook connections (alot of my old uni buddies are abroad) and the blogs keep me going until I can return to the adult world once more. Keep going, and chin up!

    1. Thanks! Right now, reading blogs keeps me going, facebook, and phone calls back east. I tried making a friend or two here at the apartment complex, but with me moving again in 2 months, there wasn't a connection made worth keeping. Oh, well. LOL! You keep your chin up, too! =)

  3. Wow! I feel like this is a post I would have wrote, word for word. Stay-at-home mama here with older kiddos in school and a hubby who gets his ear talked off when he walks in the door. I've always had better luck having friendships with men so I didn't have to deal with drama or bitchy chicks. Ugh! I've got one female friend who is my bestie but ONLY because we don't put up with each others bullshit and we tell it like it is. Plus most of the mamas at the kids schools look at me weird since I have tattoos. Don't judge a book by it's cover!

    1. Are you by chance in Tucson? It would be awesome if you were, lol. My friends back east and I are the same way; call each other out on stuff, don't take any crap off each other. That's the only way to be. And thank goodness I don't get judged too much because of my tattoos... because I have a lot of them, lol.

  4. I think we'd make great friends. A woman needs women friends, nomatter what. Men friends are good, but there is nothing like a kindrid friendship between women. I move a lot due to my hubby's job and I am in the exact same boat as you right now. It sucks. I guess we can take comfort in knowing we are not alone. Pfft.

    1. LOL, I find tons of comfort online. It's the real life comfort I'm wishing I had, lol. I think the biggest thing I miss is gossip. I know it's not nice and blah blah blah, but we women love knowing crap about other people, lol.

    2. It's too baqd we are not closer to one another. I am in NC. Isn't that closer to where you just moved from?

    3. Yep. I lived in South Carolina and Virginia before moving out here to Arizona. That sucks, lol.

  5. Erm, I talk to my cats and then answer back for them. I've gotten into arguments with them and realized it was with myself. That was around the time I decided to go back to work though.

    Even with going to work, I still have a hard time making adult friends. I just don't know how.

    Maybe you could take a class to meet other women? Anything you want to learn like knitting or cake decorating?

    There are also various local mom forums which you might be able to find through Google.

    Good luck with your quest!

    1. I've never thought of taking a class... I would LOVE cake decorating. I'll have to look into the local community college, see if they do like weekend classes of anything where I get a certificate of completion. Those are kick ass, lol.

      Thanks for the idea! =)

  6. We moved out of the city a couple of years ago and I felt really alone as a SAHM. I have found some great friends, or my co-workers as I like to call them, through my daughter's preschool. Parents of your child's friends are experiencing the same child, age-related issues at the same time.