A lot has been changing lately for me in the friend department. I have never made friends easily and can be pretty particular about the kinds of people I want to spend my time with, which doesn't make it any easier to make or keep friends. When Iris was born I felt terribly isolated. No one I was already friends with had a child, so although I spent a little time with them, it felt like I was on an entirely different planet. When I attended birth classes I didn't make any friends. When I went to First Weeks class I didn't make any friends. I gathered occasionally with a group of mamas I met on the Babycenter message board and kind of spent time with them, but no one ever felt like a close friend. I met a mama who hired me as a nanny, so we were sort of friends, but it felt like "we're friends but you pay me to be here, so that's sort of wierd". I started taking Iris to pre-school and now, a year and a half in to the program, I still have yet to make a friend. yes, I have met people I can chat with at social functions and occasionally exchange babysitting with, but not good friends. Almost two years ago I met my closest friend through the woman she nannied for. We were like kindred spirits and spent tons and tons of time together for several months. Then Eloise was born and I was doing the single mama thing and I didn't get out much. Then school started for our toddlers and her son went on opposite days from Iris and she often worked when they wasn't at school. Then her second child was born the night before Thanksgiving. The two of us have gotten together with all four of our children exactly once and that was last Friday. She was here for just over an hour, I think.
Life is crazy. Being a mama of two is crazy-- and lonely. I miss friends. I miss the ease with which I could get anywhere with little pre-planning. I have again been trying to find a group of mamas I can relate via MDC. Of course, we're all mamas, so we all have busy lives. I am sure that getting us all together for something will take some serious planning. I am even more sure that making close enough friends that we actually get together on a regular basis will be next to impossible. But, I also tend to be a bit of a pessimist, so we'll see.
Recently I read this article and thought it was amazing. I would love to have a tribe. There are mamas and children everywhere, so why is it so difficult to even make one friend, let alone find a tribe? I just don't know. So many of us are raising families far away from our own parents, siblings and extended family. It seems like a perfect solution would be to utilize friends as family, but in actuality, it doesn't really seem to work like that. For instance, my daughters have "aunties" who are gals I have been friends with for a very long time. Even though they are dear to my heart, they aren't very involved in my life, nor I in theirs. They don't have children, not that that necessarily matters, but our lives rarely cross paths.
I am very lucky in that I have friends who would come to my help at any time if I needed them to, and lord knows I have. Although I appreciate that quite a bit, it's really quite nice to just have more friends who want to get coffee once in a while. I have gotten myself stuck in the message board vortex, as well. It's like I think I have friends, I mean, I can tell you the names of several different mamas and their kids, the funny thing Jimmy did last weekend, and what a jerk so-and-so's husband was last night, but you know, I've never met these people. I really know very little about them, and the online interaction certainly no where near takes the place of having a real friendship.
I will continue to give this some thought, and some energy. We'll see.
How about my mama readers? Do you find mothering to be a lonely task?