A few years ago I took a pretty in depth personality quiz. I remember it was long and I remember hearing “if you get this answer (the answer I did get) then you probably don’t have a lot of friends.” For some that might seem harsh but in my mind I thought: Yes! I haven’t had many friends, I can’t help that, it’s just how God made me! I was fairly relieved to have an excuse as to why I didn’t seem to have a gaggle of girls to go to constantly, even my bridal party was a one person party, my sister. To further explain the “you have no friends” answer it was answered that I tend to be overly honest, blunt, loud, and I have a general social disability when it comes to taking the first steps in a friendship. Add in the fact that I wear my emotions on my face (and my emotions are usually disapproval for some reason) and you do not have someone with many close friends.
So growing up I constantly had a good girl friend but it was usually only one. Don’t worry, I still had friends, most of them boys, some girls but I usually kept them at arms length because I didn’t need a large amount of friends it felt like too much responsibility when I just wanted to play, I just one or two really good ones to rely on and in return I was a good and reliable friend to them. Even from a young age I hated drama and kept it to a minimum.
I remember when we moved across town the summer after 4th grade. I attached myself to the other new girl when we started 5th grade at our new school. When October came around I asked her point blank if she would go trick or treating with me, really I had no one else to go with because she and I were the only two that lived in our new development, but she liked soccer and also had dark hair and freckles like I did. After that we stuck together and played every day except Sundays and Wednesdays. Right before 7th grade I moved to Arizona, and Megan came to visit during spring break, she confessed that she did not like me before I asked her to go trick or treating (I was loud and confident or as I like to say now, I was a boss), she had no one else to go with so she said yes. This confession actually did not hurt me, it did surprise me a little but it more just reaffirmed how I had always felt about myself.
This is how my life has played out. I wear my emotions on my face too often. I’m timid about approaching other females, and in return they see me as intimidating (my college roommates would tell me this later after remembering our first encounter where I said little to them because I was shy, yet they saw it as aloofness).
Now that we live in a place I consider our forever home I’ve revisited what it is to make friends again especially with kids in tow. Many moms feel anxiety when it comes to making friends. Part of this is just the everyday stress that having kids creates making it hard to make plans or even phone calls but another part is the fact that we have created or been warned about mommy wars. We want to be friends with those that support us so if we feel like we are being judged for whatever parenting choice we make shy away from others who are not in the same situation making of a whole new level of insecurity. This isn’t good, plain and simple, on both ends we need to be more open, willing to put ourselves out there and more accepting of those that do not make the same choices we do. I look for friends who are understanding, support me, keep me honest and are honest with me (and preferably love wine, food, don’t mind messes, are flexible and laugh a lot). I accept them how they are and hopefully they do the same for me. I look forward to making new friends, I feel like I can pick them out pretty easily but it’s hard for me to make the right steps towards companionship without being super awkward.
So what is my friendship situation like currently? I’m in love with my long-term friends that are spread all around the states and here in S. Dakota. I’d say I have two very close friends that I can lean on anytime and a few more that I’m hoping grown into great friendships. I feel supported and loved, I am not alone, it’s encouraging and wonderful, a nice way to live.
If you are a mom or are moving to a new area or both here is what I suggest to make friends: Find local activities, MOPS groups, Hike it Baby groups, find a local church that you like, get a part time job, volunteer, go to library story times, sign up for an adult education class, or join a yoga studio. Find something that you like to do, be brave and put yourself out there and the universe will bring you someone to you, be patient and open, sometimes the really good ones take a while to appear.