Friday, February 26, 2010

Friends for the Stay at Home Mom

After Aiden was born, it was an easy decision for me to decide to stay home. Like a lot of things in my life, I just sort of assumed that was what I would do. My husband supported this so it worked. I never really thought about what that would be like. I had moved to Austin 5 years earlier, had friends and felt comfortable with life, why would that change? Oh boy, how good I was at underestimating the impact that baby would have on my life.

After being traumatized by the presence of another human in my life, it now turned out that I didn't really have many friends. I had worked for a company with several women I really liked, but unfortunately I was often the boss and this did not bode well for healthy, outside of work relationships. Most of my friends were wives of my husband's friends....great women but I didn't usually do things alone with these women and unfortunately they weren't reproducing. Turns out people that don't have kids don't really want to sit around and talk about sleep and poop...I wouldn't have wanted to hang out with me either. Besides, none of them were willing to quit their jobs with me so we could hang out. So selfish of them.

I have always had a lot of friends in life. I am pretty outgoing, not usually intimidated or nervous with new people....friendship making had always been easy. I had the advantage of living in the same town, going to school with the same people until I was 18, and this gave me my best friends in the whole world that I can't envision my life without. I went to college where I quickly joined a sorority and instantly had 100 women that were my sisters! (Ok, I didn't love everyone, but I did love a lot of them and was so grateful to have that network for friendship building.) Post college wasn't as easy, but work, boyfriends, and trips back to my hometown fulfilled my need for girlfriends.

So after the baby I was lost. I wasn't exactly feeling my best and there isn't really a formal meet and greet for new moms so if you don't have something (turns out I did not) that connects you to other mom friends, life is lonely. So what do I do? Well, I start stalking other Moms. Yep, stalking.

I lived in a cute, young neighborhood. I had a dog. I went walking and found other Moms that were out walking or running with their small bundles of joy. I followed one girl for about a week through the dog park before I just stopped her and basically asked her out. Lunch, nothing overly weird like cocktails but it did feel like dating. I didn't care if it was akward, she seemed normal and she was going to be my friend. Alex stalked for me as well. Any Moms walking by the house while he was working in the yard were forced to stand there while he went to get me so I could meet, question and then collect their info so I could call them. I made more mom friends near-by that I felt connected to and friendships grew. Once Aiden started preschool I met more Moms that I really liked. I lingered at drop-off and pick-up and soon playdates were scheduled. Other friends eventually had babies and being a stay at home Mom was feeling less isolating. And then.....

About nine months ago Alex and I decided that we wanted to move. We loved our adorable home and neighborhood (particularly the neighbors) but with two little boys and an idea of a third, we were out-growing the house and the busy street on which we lived. We dreamed about a cul-de-sac lot with tons of playmates for the kids, and us. We envisioned a spacious home where we could invite people over for dinner or a birthday party and not have a pile up of people crammed in our mini-house, or have to ask everyone to whisper past our kids' 7 pm bedtime. I personally just wanted to be able to get up at night to pee and not be afraid of waking up a child due to the very close proximity of all bedrooms and the bathroom. I had learned how to contort my body so that my bladder didn't feel as ready to explode so I could avoid getting up. I did not want to have this skill. It was time to relocate.

Well, we successfully sold our house and found a house that we really liked. It was on a cul-de-sac, in a good school system, it had character and space. It had forest green carpeting and a glass bedroom door which read, "Silver Saddle Hotel and Bath House." Ok, it needed some work but we were still really excited. The only drawback....our new address was in Round Rock, which required us to drive by several cows, some buffalo and a donkey to reach our lovely new home.

Umm...who lives out here?

I have done several circles around the neighborhood with my two kids, my dog and my belly, doing my best to advertise that I am home and I want to mingle. Guess what, no one is home. Every Mom I have met in my new hood works. The post-5 pm scene is great, the weekends are fine, but Monday through Friday from 8 am until 5 pm the neighbors are gone. No one to hang out with me or rescue me. I still have all my friends from Austin and I still see people, but having someone nearby is just a million times easier. My vision of my kids playing with the neighbor children while the mom and I hung out and made margaritas (it did happen in my old hood) was crushed. Who am I going to make a margarita with if everyone is working? Now, my focus has shifted from stalking to trying to convince someone to quit their job. Turns out this is much more difficult than just trying to get someone to have lunch with you.

I know it will get better. Every new place takes some time to start to fit, but I am not an overly patient person. I would really enjoy a person down the street that wants to drop in for dinner or margaritas (in 12 weeks). It will probably help when the boys start going to school in Round Rock instead of their continued schooling in Austin. If not, we'll just have to move back and I'll rework that bladder control position so I can keep everyone sleeping.

1 comment:

Roni said...

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