One of the things that I always had such a hard time with is making new friends in the area.
You go through High School and College, making friends left and right. You meet someone at a party, you’re friends. You have classes together, you’re friends. You have no one to sit with during lunch, you’re friends.
After college things change. The close quarters and separation from the rest of the world disappears and we’re on our own. Those around you already have their friends and if you move to a new location, like we did, you’re on your own.
In your early 20′s you can overlook this by driving 2 hours late into the night to see your friends. Partying till 2 am and then driving home or crashing on a couch? No problem. Who needs friends where you live?
By mid-20′s you settled down. Or we did. You start putting down roots where you live. Your friends are also putting down roots and so they are busier than before. You start wondering if you’ll make friends in the area…but you’re not too worried. You figure, once I have babies, friends will be easy to make.
And then you start having babies. Except you are still working full time. Your days are scheduled. Structured. You barely have time to brush your teeth, much less make new friends. Weekends are for chores, food shopping, and family time. If you’re like us, they’re for traveling to see the friends and family you have and make sure that you’re investing in those relationships.
And, if you’re like me, one day you wake up and wonder if you’ll ever feel like this new place you’ve “settled” is going to be home.
This was a huge struggle for me. Coupled with my babies growing up in front of the eyes of their daycare teachers, constant struggle for time, and feeling like work is taking over my life, I decided to make a major change. I spoke to my husband, my family and, after some time, my boss. And I went part time.
I know that this solutions isn’t for everyone but for me? It’s given me so much.
I have 2 days to bond with my girls. To be on my own with them – something I rarely if ever get to do. Jon and I are pretty 50/50 parents and so we are almost always together on weekends, splitting time. These 2 days I am on my own. And, as scared as I was, I’m loving it. Every moment of it.
We do all the things I’ve always wanted to do – mommy play dates, beach dates with new friends, rainy library coffee dates. As a result, we’ve made new friends. Amazing mommies with kids that match the girls’ ages. Mommies I’ve come to trust, rely on, and consult with. Ladies I feel comfortable texting at a dull moment and instantly having something to do. It’s everything that I imagined it would be and so so so so much more.
These last few weeks I’ve joined an infant support group at my Pediatrician’s office, an online mommy group with local moms (some of who are also part-time!), and reconnected with the friends I started to make but was barely ever able to see.
I know this isn’t for everyone but for me it was the missing piece of the puzzle.