I hated middle school. I had a group of friends whom I thought were close to me. But then, one day in 7th grade, I got a note in my locker which was the same words, over and over again, that showed me I was out. Done. Finished. They ignored me to my face, refused my calls, and continued on their merry way. I had to start over.
Why am I talking about this? Well, because I feel like it’s happened all over again. No, not the bullying part or even the suddenly ignored part. It’s the “breaking in” part. How does one do this? How do you find some mom friends that you can talk to about just about anything, but with the added bonus that your kids *might* like each other and play, so you can drink some wine and complain about them? It’s just as difficult as it was for my 12 year old self.
Yes, I have friends who are moms. Most of them started off as friends, then we stayed friends as we became moms and our luckily enough, our kids do like to hang out and are buddies. I have a few friends who became friends during motherhood, too. But some groups are so hard to break into!
While on a playdate last weekend, the mom I was with and I were chatting about our kids and how their years at school went (they go to the same school). The mom then said, “do you notice how clique-y the mothers are at the school?” I don’t know what surprised me more, that she said what I was thinking or that she said it to ME, because I didn’t know if we were on THAT level yet. Wow, YES! Onward we went, and have exchanged texts about more playdates or even hanging out, just the two of us, to get drinks sometime. So, I found someone else to chat with, who is going through similar situations as me, but it was accidental.
Other moms and mom friends always seem to have other groups they are super close with. You often hear them talking about what “they” all did when they had a party, or when they went out for someone’s birthday, or worse yet, you wonder why they aren’t somewhere they might have been (and where you are stuck, i.e. a kids birthday party – eye roll) and you see a check in on Facebook with all of their “group”. I can’t help but be momentarily transported back into my 12 year old mindset, and wonder, do they really like me? Or do they hang out with me when it’s convenient?
Usually the rational side takes over once I start thinking about all of this, again. We all have busy lives, especially those of us with three kids (hell, one is a challenge!). We have our own circles, our families, and just some me time we’d like to work into our busy 24/7 schedules. I can usually quiet my nervous and anxiety-ridden side to a whisper, and move on after. But man, it’s a tough world out there. My 12 year old self had nothing on what it can be like for a mom to find friends!
I’ll continue to try to break through to others. I’ve done it already a few times, and I plan to continue trying. I might be that mom who randomly suggests your kid who is in my kid’s class at school come over for a play date, and offer to have wine for us. And if we don’t click, no worries. Just don’t put rude notes in my mailbox to top it off; I don’t think I can take that again.