I’ve had relationships on my mind a lot. My very best friend is getting married this summer and I have been trying to come up with interesting things I can do for her or say at her wedding to express what our relationship has meant to me. Also, I’ve been thinking a lot about how having children has had a profound impact on nearly every relationship I have. How as my children grow, my relationship with them changes, as does the relationship I have with myself. Having children was also the catalyst for some of the most treasured relationships I have today. In becoming a mother and searching for a group of women having the same experiences, I found my people.
When we moved to California, Bryan and I were lonely for the better part of a year. We were eager to meet new people, but we didn’t want to seem to eager. And it took me well over a year to find my own friends I could spend time with outside of work. Things shifted significantly when I had my first baby and joined a Mother’s Group in my neighborhood for like aged children. After just a few months, I had friends and went to coffee and made play dates for the baby mostly so I could hang out with others moms. And I am still really great friends with several of these women after nearly three years. One of them watched Henry when I had Cora. And we watched her oldest when her second came. It is because of this that I understand the value in a Mother’s Group and having a community.
I am still seeing all of our friends from the city pretty regularly – and this time of year especially since all our firsts are celebrating their third birthdays, basically all within 8 weeks of each other. But I knew it was important for me and for the kids that we establish something like it in our current city of residence. So I went on the Internet, I did a search and I joined a Mother’s Club.
The hardest part has been going to meetings. I have been forcing myself to go, because I always feel awkward and out of place. Everyone already has a familiarity and common topics to discuss. I feel relegated to the sidelines. So far everyone has been exceptionally nice and overwhelmingly welcoming. And I am going to keep going. I am going to find people I like, whose kids like my kids and whom I can grab coffee with someday, when I am able to sit and enjoy coffee with the kids present (a girl can dream can’t she?).
This part is hard for me. It feels like I am shining a magnifying glass on all the things I am already insecure about. Am I friendly enough? Interesting enough? Do I seem interested enough in the other party? And while all these questions are running in a constant stream through my mind, I am trying to listen, remember names, ages, interests and where everyone lives. I am out matched. I am distressed. And at times, I feel horribly alone. What is it about these situations that brings all of these issues to the surface. I have successfully navigated these waters before and come out on top, with good friends to whom I believe I am also a good friend. And yet, here I am. Questioning my ability to have a conversation and maintain a relationship. Questioning my inherent worthiness.
I am going to keep going. I am going to keep talking and listening. I know I am enough. And I know eventually I will make new friends. But in the mean time, I have this blog, right?