Friday, 27 May 2011

Making Friends

I am friendly and relatively outgoing, but a little shy when it comes to jumping in and meeting new people.  So it has been hard for me to make new friends here.  But I really wanted to, for myself and for my kids.  I really needed the adult interaction, and I knew the boys would love some other little friends to play with.

Just a few months ago there was still snow on the ground and I spent just about every day cooped up inside the house with my boys.  It was so depressing, and I felt so alone.  Occasionally I'd manage to get us all dressed up to go to the Early Years Centre, only to feel just as depressed there where I knew pretty much no one.  None of the ladies that I had become acquainted with in the fall were going anymore, and it seemed like all the other moms that were there already knew each other and had their little group of friends.  I was just the outsider.  I remember feeling really down about it.  Those were the times where I hated it here and wanted to move so badly.

Fast forward a few months and things are so different.  We seem to have a weekly playdate thing going with the family around the corner, and all the moms I met in the fall have been resurfacing now that the weather is nicer.  Everyone is feeling much more social.

So now in just the last few weeks, my fridge has started to become littered with names, numbers and email addresses of moms who would like to get together.  There is talk of parks and gymnastics, playdates and fun.  Now I'm just trying to figure out how to fit it all in!

Making new friends is like dating.  You prowl all the local haunts hoping to meet someone.  For me I've spent many mornings and afternoons wandering the streets hoping to run into other moms pushing strollers around.  I've hung around the park with an eye out, or gone to the EYC in hopes of seeing familiar faces. 

Then you gather up the courage to strike up a conversation.  It's pretty easy with kids around, everyone loves talking about their kids and there's no shortage of things to say!  Of course you're waiting to see if you hit it off initially (do your kids get along, do you have similar parenting views?).  Maybe after you've gotten a feel for each other, one person is brave enough to say casually "so we should hang out sometime", or even go so far as to write down their number. 

Of course it might take a few playdates to know if you are compatible and the kids all get along, otherwise you might opt to go your separate ways.

It's all very amusing.

So six months ago I felt pretty doomed to wander this town alone, an outcast among mothers with no one to relate to and no other kids for mine to play with.  These days I'm feeling pretty good.  I'm even trying to figure out ways to bring groups of moms together, maybe by forming some kind of club.  Although I don't want to be cliquey, I would just like a way I could maybe organize events and then notify all the moms I know to see who wants to join me.  It seems like in this town, being a lot smaller than where we came from, it's easier to form close knit groups.  I looked into maybe starting a group on Meetup.com, but there is a monthly fee and I'm not sure I'm ready to pay for that sort of thing.  Maybe if some of the moms I know are on Facebook I can create a group that way.  We'll see, I'm not quite at that point yet!

But I do foresee a great summer filled with lots of new friends!

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