Monday, January 18, 2010


When I went back to work after having L, I wrote this post about feeling disconnected and unsure of my new "position" as a parent.  It's interesting to read that now and remember how it felt to be a new mom.  After the encouraging comments I received, I started a sort of moms group that met once every few months for dinner and a chance to get out of the house.  With the exhaustion and sickness of my pregnancy with Em, I sort of let it go.  I have to admit that I was disappointed that no one seemed to notice when the dinners stopped. No one asked why or when we might meet again.  Since the interest didn't seem to be there, I never started the dinners again after I had Em.

Now that I have two kids and a much better daycare situation, the guilt I feel for working is not as heavy.  I view work as my break.  I can eat, go to the bathroom, and have adult conversations whenever I want to.  It's practically a cruise.  My disconnected feeling, while still there sometimes, was helped greatly when I got an iPhone.  That may sound silly, but having access to news, weather, social networking and almost everything else connects me to a world that can feel a little lonely, sometimes. 

One of the goals on the list for my 2010 Plan is to reach out to people and make more of an effort to connect with others.  Lately, I have been wondering what that means.  I have, maybe, two friends who I spend time with and kids are always involved.  I have no friends in the area that I can spend time with away from kids without a monumental effort to coordinate schedules and procure sitters.  To be honest, the effort combined with my constant exhaustion level makes me lazy about planning anything.  I know that my friends probably feel the same way.  I don't remember my mother ever having many friends when we were little, other than her sister.  M told me that his mom really didn't have anyone, outside of family, to go out with.  It wasn't done back then and mothers didn't expect it.  That leads me to the question of entitlement.  Am I expecting too much?  Is it selfish of me to want to go out and have time with friends outside of my role as a parent?  Should I save any free time I have to spend with M?  If I am able to get out of the house once every 6 months, should I just be grateful and shut up about it?

Sometimes I think that this drifting feeling I have is just a part of my motherhood experience.  I know that there are other moms that have tons of mom friends and know many people with kids the same age as theirs, but that just isn't me.  For whatever reason, the efforts I have made have felt forced or haven't panned out.  Some say that things will get easier as the kids get older; they will join sports or other activities and we will have more opportunities to get to know other parents.  That just isn't our reality right now and maybe the angst I am feeling is my inability to accept that. In the mean time, I am going to keep drifting, I guess.

Is that your reality as well? Do you have many friends with kids the same age as yours?  How did you meet them?  Do you still have friends from your "single" days?


  1. I find now that I'm a mom, some friendships are way more work than they are worth - Sure, it's awesome that my hubs WOULD watch the kids so I could go out dancing with my non-parenting girlfriends-but I find most of the time, it's just not worth the effort because 6 am comes awfully early whether I want it to or not. I'm already sleep deprived as it is...
    I love getting together with other moms because they just *know*. I don't have to justify why I'm uptight or tired or...(fill in the blank on any given day).
    Rob and I cherish our time together but we also cherish our time apart, alone, without kids in tow. For me right now, that seems to be, like you, work, hair appointments or some other somewhat lame thing but...
    I'll take it...for now.

  2. I wish we lived closer so we could hang out! I do feel your pain, but I'm trying to see what I can do about connecting. I try to call up a different friend or two every couple of weeks and we just go to Starbucks, or out for ice cream or something relatively cheap and chat for a couple of hours. My MOPS group (which I find mostly a waste of time) just started a montly Bunco night which gives me another chance to get out and get to know some of the other women better.

    But I've had the same argument with myself about whether it's okay to want more time for myself, or whether it's just selfish and I should find a better way to devote myself to the boys. But I think that I'm a better mom if I get some time away from them - it makes me miss them. :)

    I hope you find a great group of women who understand what you need now, and not in a couple of years!

  3. i think all moms know exactly what you're going through. although i don't love my job, it's still a break. and no, i don't feel guilty about that. (ok, sometimes i do!) i do still hang out with my friends from way back. we hang out with & without kids. and i still hang out with single friends. plus, mattie & i try to go out alone every now & then too.

    i don't think it matters if you connect with other moms or old friends (or just reconnect with M). what's important is that you do connect with other people!! we're very thankful to be back home where we have more baby-sitters to choose from. hopefully you can find a network (church maybe?) where you have the same opportunity.

    good luck!

  4. Pretty much same experience here. We have had many experiences of starting something up with other couples/friends w/without kids--and they all end up the same--we have a great time, we all say we want to get together real soon. And then we just never can connect again. Our circle of friends is small, but they all have something in common--they accommodate our children, we do things with them that include our children. I would say 80% of our interaction with other people is in the company of our children at this point. BUT, we do have that 20% of outside of children time--once a month on each spousal side (he goes role playing gaming; I do scrapbooking or Ruby Feathers).

    I think it just is the way it is for now. Sometimes isolating...but not so bad, I think.

  5. Oh my gosh, I just wrote a freakin book and Blogger ate it! I just can't even remember everything I said and maybe that is a good thing cause it WAS long.

    Anyway, I was just letting you know you aren't alone. I think once women add husbands, kids, jobs etc. to their lives it just becomes difficult to devote much time to friends. My girls night our group has met about 9 or 10 times in almost 24 months since we started it. We have one single woman that we always include, but she always has other plans which I'm sure has to do with the dynamic of the group and the fact we are all moms and she isn't. M and I go out with other couples from time to time.

    I wish we lived closer because I would totally do a monthly dinner with you and I would love for L and Smooch to have playdates.

  6. I have the same problem. All my friends with kiddos live out of town, makes logistics hard to say the least, but we do make the effort. In town, I have only my cousin who has a little boy the same age as McKenna, but we work at different times, so we virtually never get together anymore. We really need to make some local friends, but when? Have made attempts to find a playgroup to no avail. Alas, I play with my husband! HA Jeffra

  7. Oh, I wanted to add--something that helps a lot for us--we invite people over to our house. Usually close to the kids bedtimes, so that the friends (who all at the very least "like" children) can spend time with the kids, but then they are put to bed...and the rest of the time is adult interaction time. We invite people (as a group or individually) for movie nights, game nights (board and/or role playing) or sometimes we just talk.

    I think the thing I miss out on is more one on one girl talk--but I am working on this. Me and another girlfriend have instituted a Thursday night each month to go out together.

    All this being said, I must say that in the last 11 years that I have had children, I would say there have only been a handful of times that I regreted not being able to just "go out". Maybe its because a lot of my pursuits are introverted (movies, books, hiking). Or maybe I just like doing things as a family unit more. (I think its a little bit of both).

    As your children get older, the more you want to share your experiences with them, the more you just want to do everything with least that is how I feel...

  8. I have close friends from high school still. Of the 3, 1 has a kid (with one on the way), 1 is living with a boyfriend, and the other is single. These days I meet up with the 2 kidless ones seperate from the 1 with the kid, only because that one can never find a babysitter. I like to spend most of my time with my kid, but like a little "girl time" when I can get it.

  9. "It's practically a cruise." BWHAHAHAHAHAH! So true! I don't so much love WORKING, as I do just being away from the house, in a quiet place. Where they pay me. :-)

    The Creeps were my first friends with kids. I KID YOU NOT. I had NO idea how much my life was lacking until I found y'all. Bless their hearts, my childless friends mostly make me feel like shit. They're always like, "Why don't you ever do 'x'?!" or "Just get a sitter!" It's like you said about the exhaustion. They just can't relate. Even my own sister, who had grown kids, could not relate to my life anymore. Plus she had never worked when she was a mom, so she couldn't grasp what that might be like.

    I dunno. It's hard. I guess I'm just glad I have SOME people around who understand, and who are willing to cut me some slack. I need alot of slack. :-)

  10. Most of my friends have kids, all generally around the same age. They are either friends I had forever, or moms I have met through school.

    I rarely get time with girlfriends without my kids, but I think as the kids get older, those times are less about constant child management and more about you hanging with your girlfriends while you occasionally check on the kids.

  11. I wish I could move all of my bloggy friends to one area and we could just have playdates and dinners and pedicures any ole time...ahh, yes--the disconnect feeling is something I can relate too. Just the past few days of spending LJ and V, I can totally admit I feel much more comfortable with my blog friends than any of my previous and current IRL friends--the disconnect of being an IF mom is just so powerful for me, that I have a hard time reaching out and staying connected to friends WITH or WITHOUT kids.

    Im rambling--but yes, I know your feelings--and Im ready to move to our big ole bloggy dude ranch whenever you are ;)

  12. I'm ok at navigating the parents/kids/friends thing. I found one friend through a moms group when V was a toddler. We still keep up on facebook since she moved to texas. Once V started school and I came to his class' events, you meet people that way.
    My advice is that it all starts with a spark of interest at daycare or at school. Ask your kids who they like and then try to set up a playdate at a neutral place like a park. It's great to meet your kids' friends and I've made friends along the way that way. It may be easier for me because I work at a school and it's pretty easy to find other teachers with kids...

  13. Aahhh, I've been disconnected for ages. I was never one for a big circle of friends anyway. After ages around my hometown, I moved to a new city with our first born. It took years to cultivate a small circle of friends, and it was based on the wives of other residents in my husband's surgical program, so someone was always moving away. Then we were on the West Coast for the brief year with the twins -- no friends except for one bloggy friend I had coffee with 2x. Now I'm again in a new town, overwhelmed with establishing a household again and parenting twins mostly on my own while hubby gets his practice established. Friends? What are they?

    We do try to keep up with some college friends, but that is only a couple visits a year. I'm working on meeting other moms, but with the age gap in my kids it can be hard. The moms I've met through my oldest are mostly done having kids and can't relate to the toddler life. And with twins, I haven't ventured out to any playgroup to meet that set. I'm going to try joining the Y and hitting a music class if I can get my butt in gear. I am having coffee with someone new next week.

    But mostly -- it is just too exhausting to add "meet new friends" to my TO DO list. I wish the bloggy land of friends existed!