So trying to make new mom friends when your kids are beyond the playdate stage and are in the school age stage is really hard. You’d think it would be easier because you see the same people at pick up and drop off, but many of these people were so absorbed in their phones they were running children over as they walked down sidewalks. They never made eye contact or had their own buddy they talked to. Not a one said, “hey I think you are new here, where are you from?” This would have invited more conversation. So I could never really engage with anyone except for my kid’s teachers whom I asked to speak with daily in the weeks they started attending. I needed to know the kids were adjusting well and a daily meeting helped for that first month. But then again you really can’t go out and grab a cup of coffee with your child’s teacher. It just doesn’t work that way.
When we moved here to the front range, I joined a bunch of Facebook groups. One of them was a Fort Collins mom’s group page. A lot of people post in there about many different things. Mostly about how to deal with things with their young babies or toddlers or what fun things there is to do in Fort Collins. I saw a post from one mom I felt connected to. She had just moved here from out-of-state and posted about how she just wanted some friends to hang out with. I thought well I’ll reach out because we have something in common. I reached out and told her it would be fun to get a group of moms together and find a local Fort Collins restaurant and get to know each other and that we could invite other moms in the group too. I felt really good about it. As soon as I started to organize it and see some of the people who RSVP’d to the event…I chickened out and didn’t go.
A couple of reasons why I didn’t go were simply based on profile photos or comments left in the group. One profile photo was a mom standing in front of her bathroom mirror in her underwear showing off a butt tattoo. Another profile photo was a selfie with that pursed lips look with the camera looking down on her and her breasts, once again not my kind of mom friend. Another photo of a mom was someone who apparently never grew out of the goth stage, she had a choker, black lipstick and deep black eyeliner. One comment asked if anyone was planning on being a DD. I quickly realized that these moms were not my kind of moms and that they weren’t looking to just go grab dinner, a glass of wine and chit-chat over the joys and woes of parenting tiny humans. They wanted to get drunk and party…I was NOT that kind of mom! In fact, I’ve never really been that kind of person. There were only a few times I partied til dawn in college. It was probably right after finals when I was glad to be done with classes. Anyway, it has just never been my scene, and I can’t even stay up too long past 10 pm since children have come into the picture. I never talked further in the group and never found out if anyone ever got together on the event I organized because it slowly became something I didn’t understand.
At any rate, making friends here in Colorado has been nothing short of slow. There was a bunco night group in my neighborhood a few months back. My neighbor across the street invited me, (but she’s moved away since this occurred) I thought it was amazing to have this kind of community and that I would get to know a lot of people in the neighborhood. We’ve only had one get together…it was awkward not knowing anyone and it was clear these neighbors knew each other well. I found out some of them went to the same church and there was a small group that met in the neighborhood, but when I tried asking questions about it, hoping maybe to attend…the conversation quickly changed, which I thought was weird. Why wouldn’t they invite me? It was one of those moments where you thought maybe you had something on your face, or you were projecting something that seemed unfriendly, maybe they sensed I wasn’t a native? Colorado natives have a disdain for newcomers and don’t like people from California or Texas. Don’t ask me why, I don’t even think they know why. Anyway, something was just off…so I didn’t push it.
I know I could get more involved in my church to gain friends, but past experiences with that when I changed churches due to some things I didn’t quite agree with made public encounters a bit awkward. Plus I have a general untrust of the behind the scenes finances that go on in churches. So I’m laying low for a while until I get more comfortable with the church as a whole, but that’s a post for another time.
I have however connected with a mom directly across the street from me. She has two boys around the same age my boys are. We’ve met up at the park a few times, taken our kids on a few walks around some nearby lakes and our kids play over at each other’s houses on occasions. We’ve even had the family over for dinner. At any rate, at least I have one friend here in Colorado. I’m hoping my involvement with the PTO next year at the kid’s new school will gain me a few more friends. I just want to make this clear though, I’m not a person that needs a lot of friends. I just want one or two I could meet up with, grab some coffee or dinner with a couple of times a month and feel a connection with over similar life events. I mean isn’t that what everyone wants in life?
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