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 Post subject: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:07 pm 
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Location: Louisville(J-town), KY
I'm 23, and just moved to a very suburban area with a whole bunch of "older" conservative moms who treat "younger" moms like crepe. My sister-in-law, who is 30, has been dealing with it for 3 years and has thus far failed to find any sort of young mom-friendly groups in the area that aren't really religious or otherwise unacceptable for a bunch of left wing heathens like us. So I'm kinda desperately lonely: I've got a 6-month-old, I don't know anyone in the area but my brother and his family, and I only leave the house for class. How do I meet moms with kids who are around my kid's age? Or even just people I have ANYTHING in common with and can stand? I tried to join school-related groups but never really found anyone there I could converse with much. Is it a bad idea to try to find a part-time job to get out and meet people? What about joining a gym with daycare hours? What do mothers of young children do to get outside, especially in the winter?

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 Post subject: Re: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:31 pm 
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When I lived in NH, I met some friends at the local parks and some at the gym (that had a good child care). I ended up meeting some of the best friends I've met in years.

Here I joined a meetup group. The problem here is that no one is really invested in making friends (military town) so even though I meet people and we talk, we still don't really have friends after 14 months.

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 Post subject: Re: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:10 pm 
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I wish I had a lot of good ideas for you, but um, I don't. At that baby-age I was pretty lonely. Hell, I'm still pretty lonely. The two things I really didn't expect about having a kid was how boring it can be at times aaaaand how isolated I'd feel. (ETA: We'd also only lived here about two years then, and I am notoriously slow at making new friends! So I hear you so loud and clear.)

I considered getting a part time job at that point too. Can't remember why I didn't. I think pumping and stuff seemed like too much of a pain in the asparagus.

When the Emperor was that age, the most I ever saw/met other parents was at a weekly new parents support group. And then a PPD support group.

I also went to the park all the time (and we still do) but at that age, all the kids were always older and I could tell other parents were like "uh why are you guys here" sometimes. But I think it's cool to start your kids at the park early, so they're not like "what why are we outside" when they're old enough to really play.

We went to story time at the library pretty frequently. The library was really good at that age. We still love to go to the library. Libraries rule.

We got into the habit of going to the coffee shop every day, too. A plain coffee habit isn't too too expensive, and at a coffee shop, you can put your kid in a high chair and actually have some time not holding him for a bit. (That's the first thing that drew me to it, honestly.) Plus you get to see people. And if you go to the same place all the time, you'll at least get to know the baristas. A stop at the coffee shop still the one thing we do more or less every time we're out, because my rule is that we have to do at least ONE mom thing every day. Not all baby things all the time.

We're going to a toddler tumbling class starting next week. It's through the city parks and recreation department, so it's pretty affordable. I'm excited by that, and really hoping we're going to meet some more people that way. Your kid's probably too young for that sort of thing, but maybe you could take some other kinda mom-and-me exercise class? Water aerobics or baby swim class or something of that nature?

As for getting outside, we walked (and still do) all the damn time. I would put him in a wrap and then just walk as long as he stayed happy or needed a diaper change. Sometimes we'd just walk for three or four hours straight. He'd get to look at things, I'd talk to him, if he fell asleep I'd call my sister on the cell phone. Lot of physical work (even if you use a stroller), but it's great exercise, and eh, it's something to do.

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 Post subject: Re: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:11 am 
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I can really relate to this... I have 2 kids, aged 2.5 and 11 months. When I had just one I went to some local Mommy & Me, Mother Goose and LLL meetings. It kind of helped but I didn't feel like I fit in with the mom's. Most of them were in their mid to late 30's and very wealthy/successful. I felt out of place being in my late 20's and still in college. Plus they all seemed to have the same mommy war rules and I only fit in with some of it.

Once I had my 2nd child I've pretty much quit trying to go all together. The last few times it took me so long to wrangle my kids into the car the meetings were over by the time we got there. I'm also not sure how to do things like handle both my kids at the park at the same time. It's really overwhelming for me, maybe I'm missing some kind of mommy gene?

Anyway, sorry I don't have any good suggestions, just wanted to say I emphasize with you on this. I hope you find a group you can fit in with.


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 Post subject: Re: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:13 am 
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I'm in the same boat.
We live out in the country. There are no parks, libraries, nature areas, or hell, even stores, within walking distance. I don't drive (right now). I don't have any real life friends around here, and it's hard to make friends when I'm stuck at home. I'm planning on going back to school this year, so hopefully I can make some friends there.
I'd propose a PPK parents and kids get together, but we all know that traveling with kids sucks.

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 Post subject: Re: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:41 am 
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peasandrice wrote:
It's really overwhelming for me, maybe I'm missing some kind of mommy gene?


I don't think it's you, I think it's just actually really forking hard.

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 Post subject: Re: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:01 am 
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Does your area have a MOMS club? It is a club for mostly stay at home moms (although I think some moms work part time). I just discovered one here and it is great.


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 Post subject: Re: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:00 am 
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keen_on_quinoa wrote:
I'm in the same boat.
We live out in the country. There are no parks, libraries, nature areas, or hell, even stores, within walking distance. I don't drive (right now). I don't have any real life friends around here, and it's hard to make friends when I'm stuck at home. I'm planning on going back to school this year, so hopefully I can make some friends there.


We are in a similar position. I'm an immigrant and a bit of a bohemian in a wee country village in the middle of nowhere. And we don't have a car. The nearest pub and cafe are about 3 or so miles away and the bus comes once an hour and costs a ton. (We love living here, though, I just don't have any friends other than my husband and kids.)

The local playgroup is about a 45+ minute walk (because my toddler would be walking and I'd be carrying the baby) from here (or I could take the overpriced bus), so I don't bother. Our local surgery disapprove of our vegan diet, even after the dietitian we were sent to said it was fine, and I'm worried they are going to get pissy that I don't take my toddler to a playgroup. They already have mentioned that he needs to be socialised and talked about how he can start preschool when he is 3, but I don't want to send him to pre-school for various reasons (one of them is the bus -- I would have to take the bus there and either go home and get right back on the bus or stay at the school with my baby the whole time).

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 Post subject: Re: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:45 am 
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Wow, I didn't realize this problem was so widespread. I wish we all lived on my block--we could tell off doctors who don't know anything about veganism, organize carpools, offer each other 50s-style casseroles, and never be lonely.

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 Post subject: Re: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:50 am 
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Hapax Legomenon wrote:
Wow, I didn't realize this problem was so widespread. I wish we all lived on my block--we could tell off doctors who don't know anything about veganism, organize carpools, offer each other 50s-style casseroles, and never be lonely.


I know. The ppk parents are the only people I trust for sane advice and conversation. And your kids are the cutest. I wish we lived closer :)


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 Post subject: Re: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:01 am 
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Zoey wrote:
Does your area have a MOMS club? It is a club for mostly stay at home moms (although I think some moms work part time). I just discovered one here and it is great.

Yes, I always mention MOMS Club; I love our chapter so much! Google MOMS Club International to find out if there is one in your area. I am a tattooed left-wing heathen and I've made some great friends; in fact, I'm this year's president! I am sure the demographics are different depending on the area you live in, but our group has a good number of younger moms. Our chapter is very welcoming and non-judgemental.

I did a lot of the same things coldandsleepy mentioned, but I'm shy and I had a hard time talking anyone up at storytime, etc. They were great things to do for me to just get out of the house though.

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 Post subject: Re: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:16 am 
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NJ has NJ Vegan Families, which has a Yahoo group as well for sharing information on vegan-friendly pediatricians, kid-friendly vegan events etc. It seems like a great resource if anyone is lonely in NJ. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NJ_Vegan_Families/

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 Post subject: Re: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:49 am 
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Oh yeah, I don't drive either. It's funny, I have seriously NEVER minded not driving before having a kid.

We also live up in the mountains, and it's basically an hour long bus ride to civilization. So we usually commute with my husband (who does drive!) in the morning and then do stuff around town until he's done work.

It's sort of mad to go out for 8 or 9 hours at a stretch with a baby or a toddler, but it makes me less crazy than staying home for all that time. So my heart really goes out to those of you who are seriously trapped at home. That's... that's my nightmare.

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 Post subject: Re: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:03 pm 
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Reno is about 3 1/2 and I still haven't made any real mom friends. We tried gym/swim/art/dance classes at the Y, daycare at the gym, we are at the park all the time in warm weather and nothing. Where we live though there are a ton of kids its just that they are usually with their nannies at those sorts of places. Even now that she is in preschool we still haven't connected with any of the other parents...everyone kept telling me that once preschool started parents would be throwing themselves at us because they would be friendless also but I've found that not to be true. I've gotten use to it though and actually don't mind it anymore. In the beginning it was rough. Now I'm happy for the occasional chit chat with a mom at the park. What also always seems to happen to me is when I do hit it off with someone they live an asparagus long way away and are just visiting family.

Tofulish wrote:
NJ has NJ Vegan Families, which has a Yahoo group as well for sharing information on vegan-friendly pediatricians, kid-friendly vegan events etc. It seems like a great resource if anyone is lonely in NJ. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NJ_Vegan_Families/


I tried joining this group not too long ago and filled out their survey or whatever it was and no one got back to me and as far as I can tell I'm not a member yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:01 pm 
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I joined playgroups to find some babies for Silas to play with and moms to hang out with, when Silas was smaller... that was a mostly a flop. The main playgroups were all military moms and not huge fans of anyone non-military. Silas was the only kid who wanted to run and play instead of sit while their moms talked, so I ran around with him the entire time. It was really awkward. Library story time led to Silas hitting it off with the only other kid who was running, discovering, hyper little ball of fun like himself. His friends mom became one of my closest friends... until they had to move. Now we're back to parks and all that, chatting with moms but never really bonding. My best friend has a kid a year older than Silas, so I do have her. It's hard where I live... we're in a really rural place, 30 minute drive to most everything. Rednecks everywhere. It's hard enough to find people that we mesh with at all.

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 Post subject: Re: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:01 pm 
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i have been reading what you guys write and i am glad that i am not the only one, but also sad that we are so lonely- is this what the life of a housewife is, or is it just our times? I live in a very small town, lived in the country outside of town for the first 9 months here ( moved here a year ago). there are some people with children my son's age, but they are all deeply rooted in the community and i am shy, so no connections have been made. I tried being friendly, but i have trouble reaching out when others aren't interested the first or second time. there are no playgroups, the library has no programs for kids, i do drive, but there's nowhere to go, especially in the winter. We have a tiny park on the corner, and we went there sometimes twice a day when it was warmer, but now its freezing and snowy. My son is super social and that is tough, since i know he wants and needs interaction, but he has me, my husband and the ladies from church.

its even harder since my husband works all the time, and his job has been... not quite what we hoped. its not hte hours- we knew that would be tough, but they hired him and said after 6 months if he was doing well, he would get a raise- he didn't get it even though he has turned things around. Its a nonprofit, and isn't in great shape, there were 4 full time people other then him when he started, one left for grad school, and last week, the girl he 'reported' to, who kept him from getting a raise, was fired. It looks unclear that they will refill these positions because of finances. He is looking for another job (and has been for 6 months) but in the meantime, we are here and i don't know how long we will be here/ how much effort i should make. I have thought about going back to school and i am torn- the university is almost 2 hours away (each way) and i would have to do a day a week to be part time. I don't want to be away, but i worry about us financially, esp with the cray cray that seems to be invading my husband's workplace.


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 Post subject: Re: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:06 pm 
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JENNA wrote:
Reno is about 3 1/2 and I still haven't made any real mom friends.


this is part of the reason every day here peas me off - I made great mom friends (the best friends I've made in 16 years!!) in ME and they had great kids that Livi loved and they loved Livi. it's like every day now is a letdown.

forking here.

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 Post subject: Re: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:27 am 
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The ONLY significant mom friend I made after the Emperor's birth was from the PPD support group. And it's been kind of hard to sustain our friendship because uh, well, when both of you are depressed introverts who have trouble getting out of the house, that complicates things!

I think part of my problem is that I'm not a super social person to start with. I don't make friends easily. I'm bad at social niceties and small talk. Other parents are even harder in some ways than normal people because it's so so hard to get past the stupid intro crepe that I could care less about. Yes, yes, little Susie is 13 months and 22 days old and she weighed six and a half pounds when she was born and her favorite color is puce. That's not the sort of thing that makes me remember you or makes me work up the nerve to ask you if you want to do something again sometime!

I actually met a really cool mom at the park the other day and I could tell that she thought I was cool too and was pleasantly surprised to meet another cool mom and OH HELL PEOPLE I DIDN'T GET HER CONTACT INFO. I have been kicking myself so hard ever since then. One really cool other mom in almost a year and a half of being a parent and I didn't get her info. Sigh.

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 Post subject: Re: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:11 am 
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i guess i'm the only one here who isn't dealing with this any more. i am a really social person, we moved to montreal while i was pregnant and knew maybe 2 or 3 people here, so the loneliness was killing me. i'm convinced i was pretty much depressed for the last few months of my pregnancy because i had literally no one in real life to talk to. it got worse after tzippy was born. i live in a really french neighbourhood, so even a trip to the grocery store was exhausting and boring... i couldn't even make small talk to the cashiers.

finally, in the summer when tzippy was about 5 months, i started getting really desperate. i started looking harder for moms groups and workshops and stuff. i joined one large moms group but never went because the stuff was more geared towards toddlers and kids, and it was all pretty far from me. one day i saw a posting for a baby-wearing workshop at a cafe in the west end (still like 40 min from me, but not bad) so i went. the workshop itself was kind of dumb, but there were a bunch of moms there who were so friendly and started talking to me. my husband says i was literally bouncing off the walls of the car when i went to pick him up after work that evening. they had all met taking a baby class, and basically invited me into their little circle. through them, i've met a ton more people, but the 5 of us are pretty tight and see each other at least once a week, usually 3 or 4 times!

it was pure dumb luck that i met them and that they weren't boring and superficial. i mean, it did take a while to get past the exchanging stats and birth stories stage, but i'm glad i stuck it out, because they are a very interesting and cool bunch. now we talk about everything. i think my biggest issue is that i still haven't found someone as active as me. it's winter and they are mostly content to sit at the cafe and drink coffee... i'd like to find someone to go skating with, you know? but i can't complain, i am so lucky, and much much happier than i was a few months ago.

i don't really have any advice except for putting yourself out there as much as possible, and trying to stick it out past the introduction phase... i think we're all pretty awkward about our new circumstances, it takes a while to find commonalities with other people when your day-to-day life can be so mundane and yet all-consuming.


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 Post subject: Re: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:25 am 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
I actually met a really cool mom at the park the other day and I could tell that she thought I was cool too and was pleasantly surprised to meet another cool mom and OH HELL PEOPLE I DIDN'T GET HER CONTACT INFO. I have been kicking myself so hard ever since then. One really cool other mom in almost a year and a half of being a parent and I didn't get her info. Sigh.


I think I actually did that w/ my favorite mom friend - keep going back around the same time - you'll see her again!

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 Post subject: Re: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:45 am 
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I'll let you borrow my 6 year old for a couple weeks, he's a mad phone number collector. I moved to a new city in July this past year and the kids and I ( and my husband ) started out not knowing anyone. I planned on just spending all summer going to parks and figured/hoped that we'd either eventually meet some people or at the very least, the kids would get to meet other kids and just play at parks. My 6 year old would/could strike up a conversation w/ anyone, then he'd march up to the parent/s and say "Can he come to my house for a playdate. Can my mom have your phone number, my phone number is....." I got at least 5 phone numbers this way and mulitple play dates..
A few of them ( of course ) turned out to be duds but a couple ended up being really cool people and families that we hang out with often. As a side note I think I should mention that before this summer I've always considered myself a pretty shy/reserved person. Kids are great ice breakers!
Hang in there, and like others have said, put yourself out there. It is a little scary at first but it gets way easier. Find a good park and coffee shop and just go there around the same time each time you go. Chances are someone else is doing the same thing....


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 Post subject: Re: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:53 pm 
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Have you tried meetup.com? If there isn't a group to fit your needs, why not start one yourself? I bet there are other moms in your boat also feeling isolated.

Out where I am there's a vegan babies group on meetup and I am kind of jumping at the gun to join them. Wondering if it would be weird to join while I'm still pregnant...


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 Post subject: Re: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:05 pm 
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When we lived in the city my very kind neighbor invited me to her mom group. It was completely informal which worked best for me. No obligation or expectations, just show up if you want, play as long as you want and leave. This was great for me because I am also quite antisocial. I swore to myself when I was pregnant I would have to reach out to other moms even if it was scary and stressful. Even having a brief conversation at the park with other moms made me feel a million times less lonely. To crack jokes and commiserate without committing to friendship is just what I needed. I connected early on with my mom's neighbor who had her baby shortly after I had mine. I emailed her, got her number and called her after her baby arrived. It was kind of strange and weird for me but as soon as we started chatting I was so glad I called. She is my very dear friend to this day and all 4 of our kids play together. I think the key is to meeting someone you like as a friend, not just for the sake of forcing a connection just because you have the same interest. Luck has a lot to do with it but getting out there will increase your chances. Also, my friend and I (on the surface) are polar opposites. Our parenting is very different, styles, interests etc. However, we learn a lot from one another, have the same senses of humor and we have a general appreciation for each others "lifestyles". Opposites can attract, even in friendship and chatting with lots of moms you may be surprised! That khaki wearing suburbanite could be a breastfeeding, dark humored, open minded person who would totally be thrilled to try out your dairy free goods. Don't pressure yourself. If you go to the play ground or story time you don't have to talk to someone every single time. If you are uncomfortable sometimes you just have to force yourself to chat and you may just feel better if you do. Some people are standoffish and you can just move on to the next. When you have a kid you automatically have something to talk about with other moms. Every mom I've ever met loves to talk kid stuff-poop, tantrums, sleep techniques etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:17 pm 
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So I checked out meetup.com and there's nothing in my area except "Get away from your kids" mom groups, and no vegan groups at all. Seriously, moms of my area?
I'm hoping winter ends tomorrow. Still trying out some of the suggestions I got here, but I can tell I need to get out and try to talk to people more, even though I've had a long string of failures dating back to pre-baby days.

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 Post subject: Re: Motherly Loneliness
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:27 pm 
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Location: Pennsylvania
It is really friggin hard, especially in the winter. Having a new baby is so hard. You basically have to re adjust your entire life as you've known it forever! How can a person not get lonely? Talking with other parents, face to face can help acknowledge what a hard transition it is. I can't tell you how many little playground conversations I have had about all those hard, dark times of new motherhood. Stuff that no one can understand unless they have a baby. When I had my second I thought it'd be a nightmare and I can honestly say the transition was a piece of cake compared to going from no child to one! It is HARD to develop a new life and adjust to parenthood. It can be so isolating. Sometimes just going through the motions to get out there can lead to meeting other moms. If you go enough then you will end up talking to someone.

If you are finding it difficult to reach out sometimes commenting on someone's baby is a great conversation starter. If I see a kid with a cute sweater on I comment to the mom how adorable it is. There have been times where a mom will say "oh yeah, I made that out of my husband's sweater after it got ruined in the wash" which leads to all sorts of conversation about creativity and things other than kids. Even noticing silly things someone's kid does is a great way to talk to other parents. I always am so thankful to moms who say something kind when they see me struggling. I, in turn, make sure I do the same for moms I see having a hard time. It can be pretty funny hearing other people's stories and sometimes the stuff you cry so hard over becomes so hilarious after the fact. When I see a mom alone with her new baby at the playground I always make a point to say hello and chat for a moment. I am definitely not the most chatty person but by forcing myself to do it I became more open to having natural conversations. Honestly, just that little outreach can be a enough to curb the loneliness. Don't pressure yourself into having to find a solid core of friends.Do it because it may make you feel better.

A lot of days I am not up to seeing lots of other people but it doesn't bum me out because I may have had some adult contact other times in the week. You don't have to make yourself something you aren't at all. Also, the suggestion of going for long walks is a great one! No matter how cold it is I make a point to take the kids out every day.Not to meet people but to get moving which helps with the loneliness. Even in the rain we go splash in the puddles. Again, I don't always feel like doing it but I go anyways because I know that the fresh air will work wonders for me and my kids and I feel so much better after wards. Not everyday is roses and rainbows, I do get lonely but it is way better overall when I make a effort to get out even when I don't want to (which can be a lot since my kids are 1.5 and 3). I have a friend who can spend days inside with her kids and she is totally content. I learned I could never do it but they are totally happy! Different things work for different people.

We go to this free "toddler exercise" class at a local parenting center and a lot of the moms totally look at me sideways (I think it's my tattoos or something). They kind of give off an aloofness since they have all known each other for so long and obviously aren't welcoming. You know what? We still go weekly because my kid rocks out. fork them for being snotty! I don't feel bad about it all. It's 15 degrees out and I'll be damned if some richie jerks are going to ruin my kid's time! If I actually cared about what they thought I wouldn't go back. Sometimes you do stuff because you and/or your kid enjoy it. I love seeing my little-ist dance her asparagus off with the other kids. I know that despite the a-holes I feel much better after because I got out and did something my kid enjoys. Don't let the unwelcoming people deter you from reaching out. There are good, fun, moms out there who don't take everything so seriously. People who can laugh at all the messiness. There are a lot of uptight crazies out there too but you just have to laugh at that and move on to people who get it.


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