Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mommy Friends

When Little Guy was born and I commenced at-home mothering, I was so happy.  I loved watching every flutter of his eyelashes, holding him for every sweet, milky breath.  I was so glad to be the one enjoying his smiles and soothing his cries.

But I was also very lonely.  I was 26 years old and staying home with my child, living in an apartment in the middle of downtown DC.  Around here, it was a bit countercultural, to say the least.  I missed terribly the natural friendships that arise in school and office settings, and the friendships that might come from living in a neighborhood just weren't possible.  The friends with whom I previously had spent my free time were still working long hours and enjoying late nights out, while I was home by day and attempting to snag precious hours of sleep by night.  Suddenly, our social calendars were incompatible.

I longed for mommy friends.  Or even just one mommy friend.  Someone who could relate to the way I spent my days, someone who wouldn't mind if a blowout diaper suddenly meant lunch had to be cut short, someone who could say oh yeah...I know...me too.

I went searching.  I became more active in a women's volunteer organization.  {And met a lot of really cute, unmarried grad students.}  I joined internet groups and went to meetups with strangers...mommy strangers, but still.   {They didn't much like the looks of my jarred baby food.}  I went on a few mommy dates that, for one reason or another,  just didn't blossom into friendships.  {Mommy dating is hard!}  I stalked mothers at the museums.  {They were usually tourists from Idaho.}  I hung out with the wives and babies of FBI agents who were temporarily lodging in our building.  {And then, they left.}  I made a friend here and there, but the relationships never seemed to take off, due to a move or a return to work or what have you.  Mostly, I just called my Mama each morning and talked the Mister's ear off each night.

And I was still lonely.

A year and a half into this motherhood gig, when I was about 82 months pregnant with Buddy Boy, a friend emailed me to ask that I meet a friend of hers who was moving to the city, a young mother with a daughter just a bit younger than Little Guy.  She suggested that maybe I could introduce her friend to some of my mommy friends.  And, oh, I was excited.  Embarrassed that I had no one to introduce her to, but excited, nonetheless.  Here was another possibility for a mommy friend.  And I didn't even have to join some online community!

Well, that friendship took off and it blossomed into not just one but a whole bouquet of sweet friendships.  We gather for play dates and girls' nights, pancake breakfasts and Bunko games.  We share potty training horror stories and we laugh about toddler trials.  They have babysat my children and brought meals when the going was rough.  They are a support network and a social club.  They are long-awaited.  They are much-desired.  They are my mommy friends.

The perfect antidote to loneliness.
Last night, these dear friends of mine threw a surprise party for Baby Girl and me.  Everything about it was perfect...the delicious appetizers, the sparkly champagne, the lovely gifts for Baby Girl.  And most especially, the fact that I was surrounded by friends who can say oh yeah...I know...me too.


Golden Gate Fam said...

I'm sorry it took so long for you to make mommy friends - I definitely worry about that for myself when I become a stay-at-home mom. Sounds like you have a wonderful group now, though, and I'm so happy for you!

Aunt Betty said...

I am so happy for you and they are all such cute girls/mommys!!! We all wnat you to bring Rachel and LMC to birmingham for a visit we would love to get to know them, they sound like so much fun!

Vir said...

Oh so glad I came across this post! How wonderful of them to do that! What dear friends!! Only wish I could have been up there to celebrate, too! Precious! Can't wait to meet baby girl!!!

The Cagles said...

:) It's ALWAYS better when we're together!

Andrea L. said...

It was so wonderful! Julia is the most precious little thing!

Wanting What I Have said...

What a sweet time! I know you felt so loved and I am happy you have such a wonderful group of mommy friends!

Faris said...

I'm so glad this happened for you!! And thank YOU for taking care of Rachel in DC!

The Steffens said...

I have been trying for a WEEK to comment on this post, but blogger hates me apparently. So here goes again. hope this one posts!!!

I feel like you reached right into my head and pulled out this post. It is so very very hard to make mama friends in the city. And add in the layer of subtle prejudice where ALL the moms think I'm a nanny, and it makes it even harder. Hoping a move to the 'burbs helps me out.