I was speaking with a mom friend the other day who commented on how she felt like she was back in high school, and I fully understood. Here we are, two “later” moms in our 40s, feeling like we’re 16 again, wanting to be liked. Holding on to old/existing/close friendships, yet yearning to connect with other moms in our local area for playdates, lunch, etc.
We’ve got many years experience on the work and personal front behind us, yet now we feel like we’re backpedaling in the mom friendship department.
What is that about? Has that happened to you?
Case in point….
I was at McDonald’s earlier this week with Seth. We are far from regulars there, but he was craving a Happy Meal toy and loves playing in their climbing maze.
We went there for lunch, and after eating, I parked myself on a bench in the outdoor area while Seth befriended some other children and ran around, having a great time. I had brought with me a supply of magazines and my Blackberry, so I could stay plugged in to emails (yes…I’m obsessed) and catch up on some reading.
Two moms entered the play area, one of whom I knew from the neighborhood. Our children had both gone to the same nursery school, and we’ve had some casual encounters since at local parks. She said “hi” and proceeded to look around for a place to sit with her friend, when there were two seats on the bench beside me. For the moment, it felt as if she ideally wanted to sit somewhere else, but since other seats weren’t available, she opted to join me. She was polite enough and introduced me to her friend, but my instinct told me she wasn’t looking for my company. I tried not to take it personally. Afterall, it wasn’t our playdate. But, it made me very conscious of the notion of mom cliques, and how great it is to have a local, fellow mom buddy to pal around with and without the kids.
Another pair of moms came into the McDonald’s play area with their kids, and after they were done, one said to the other, “I’ll speak with you tomorrow.”
I have to admit…I felt a pang of jealousy. While I don’t want for friends, and have some close ones I treasure, many don’t live near me, some are single, others work so aren’t readily available, etc.
It takes a lot to be in sync with someone, and making new friends is never the easiest. Especially if you are seeking relationships with some level of depth, which I’ve always appreciated.
I just never expected to be thinking about this at this stage in my life.
Some of the moms I’ve met, I’ve noticed, who already have a mom social circle, have children older than Seth, so they’ve already had the opportunity to meet through school and other outlets. And, they may also have a close family, which makes a difference too.
My friend Debbie whose two kids are older than Seth tells me that it will get easier over time, as Seth chooses his own friends. And, perhaps I can get involved with the PTA. I’m certainly open to that option.
This is not to say that I haven’t met any moms whose company I enjoy. I have. And certainly, starting MotherhoodLater.com has helped. But, it takes time to cement real friendships. I would welcome more of that into my life….for both Seth and me.