“Where would you be without friends? The people to pick you up when you need lifting? We come from homes far from perfect, so you end up almost like siblings to your friends – your chosen family. There’s nothing like a really loyal, dependable, good friend. Nothing.” ~Jennifer Aniston
There comes a time in every parent’s day where you have to admit to your “Yup, today I suck at _________________. ” Usually, for me, it’s that I don’t have enough patience or that I’m not spending enough quality time with the kids. Today, though, it’s different. Today’s it’s about something I feel like I have little control over.
Basically, I need more mommy friends. Somehow when you have children you suddenly have 100 friends…on Facebook and Twitter. People come out of the wood work to be your friend. People you may not have talked to since high school may now be commenting on or liking your status, simply because, now that you both have children, you have something in common, a bond that no one can break. You are both MOMS and that pretty much means you get all the stuff going on with each other without even having to talk or be “in real life” friends.
Parenting is like a club (or if we’re really being honest, like a cult) and you have to really be IN IT to be IN. It’s not something you can fake or buy your way into.
With all that being said I have a ton of mommy friends…on the Internet. In real life, not so much. Which never really bothered me until now. I don’t really see myself as a social person. I tend to not like many people and am very choosy about who I spend my time and energy on. Unfortunately, for me most of my company these days in in the form of the childless. Don’t get me wrong, on most days this is awesome and EXACTLY what I need. Time and space away from my family life and mommy life to just be non-mommy me.
Lately I have been wondering how this is affecting me kids. In the same way that I am not very social, they are very social and need more time to socialize with kids their own age (or at least close to it). I know they get to do it at school, but I’m talking about your average, garden variety play date. I feel bad that they don’t seem to have any friends outside of school. For me, this was the best part of browning up where I did and I don’t want them to miss out simply because I can’t seem to get my shit together.
For a while I thought maybe it’s because my kids are weird (no, really, they are) but now I realize it’s probably me. I have no idea how to put myself out there and make friends of the mom variety. I’m sure I’m constantly being judged in some way (yes, I let my kids pick their own clothes so they usually look like color blind homeless people, yes we tend to spend a lot of time outside so we are usually dirty, yes that IS a non-organic juice box my kid is drinking-points for 100% juice right?).
Am I being judged, or am I doing the judging? Maybe it’s just a little bit of both. Point is, I need to make some more mama friends quick before I simply begin accosting random people on the street and asking them to play. I have a feeling this will be frowned up and not win me any points (or play dates) in the mom community.