Thursday, September 23, 2010

Guest Blog: Making Mom Friends

I want to introduce a good friend and a faithful Three Bean Salad reader, Kristen, as she posts her first guest blog. I have been talking a lot lately about trying to fit in, meet new people at the Lady's school and trying to overcome my own anxiety about being in situations where you have to interact with strangers. I am currently dreading my Ladies Night Out with the other moms from the Lady's class, not because any of them have been anything but incredibly nice and inclusive, but because I don't thrive in situations that I am unsure of and quite frankly feel like I am an outsider. The Lady, however, announced today that she has new friends and proceeded to list everyone in her class.

Kristen, has a similar but in many ways much more difficult situation to deal with. Not only does she have to go out and meet all new moms (in three classes no less!) but she is also trying to meet new friends in a new place, without the support of other friends (geographically speaking--she certainly has support from me!)

Oh, BTW. . . CNY to any of you whose brother didn't go to Colgate or aren't a friend of someone who lives "upstate" in New York means Central New York.

Here is her story.

Making Mom Friends
Having (very) recently moved from a small rural town in CNY to a suburb of Nashville, it is an understatement to say that it is a bit of an adjustment. Moving in general is hard work – the cleaning out, the packing up, the unpacking, setting up a house, new doctors, new schools, finding your way to the grocery store – you get the picture! While all of this can be trying, I am suffering the most when it comes to the fact that I have no friends here. Having left a supportive community where I had wonderful friends, I am really feeling the loss.

Not being one to sit around, I sent my two older daughters off to 1st and 2nd grade respectively and jumped right in to activity finding/doing mode with my 3 year old daughter. I started on the Internet looking for “meet-up” moms’ groups -  I signed up for one only to be told I was on a waiting list as the group was currently filled. It is a group that is meant for meeting other people – I am not sure how they can turn people away, who must clearly be in need if they are putting themselves out there and signing up but who am I to judge – well, let me not speak so soon!

Next I try a story time at a (large chain) bookstore. It was very crowded and almost not worth the time it took us to get ready and get there since the stories lasted all of ten minutes. We were surrounded by many children and moms so I hoped for the best as my daughter headed for the train table to play once the stories were over. There was not much conversation for me to engage in and after a while, we left for home. Feeling disappointed and thinking that if I went back again, I may find myself turning to someone out of desperation and begging them to talk to me!

I decided to try the local library. We headed to library story time and found a lot of children and moms. While it was very crowded, it was a much better story time with a theme and songs followed by a craft. My daughter loved it and I was pretty happy that we made the effort to go. As we headed out of the story room, I was hopeful of having an adult conversation as my daughter headed to the computers to play a game. As my daughter donned the headphones, I smiled at the woman standing next to me who had a headphone clad child sitting in front of her as well. The woman did smile back but then proceeded to click away on her blackberry – she did not look up once in the time that the children were on the computers – maybe 20 minutes. In the age of technology, how am I supposed to make new friends? Maybe I can get someone’s number and text them while we stand right next to each other?!

Bean Says. . . (more, of course)

First of all, thank you for guest blogging. Second of all, all those blackberry addicted moms are missing out on an incredible friend and third of all, I think that this is confirmation that the story time at Barnes and Noble is no good. Check out a very early Three Bean for a similar experience.  Finally, I think that meeting new mom friends is harder than dating (which I know nothing about, having met my husband in high school and "dating" him from the end of college), but I think that the fear of rejection probably stings just as hard. I give you a lot of credit for making the efforts that you have. If worse comes to worse, start stalking Nicole Kidman or any other celeb living in the Nashville area! Love you. Thanks so much for doing this and good luck with all your Southern adventures. You are welcome to blog about them here anytime.


  1. O daughter of mine....I'm glad you're talking about your experiences...I know you'll find a way to gather "friends" or at least travellers along the same path in your new place....wish I had a magic wand! You keep at it and definitely blog again!!!!! Love you xoxoxox
    Hi, Bean....

  2. I feel the same way- a great friend is irreplaceable-while I have many non as great as one who just very recently moved to Nashville TN!! I will vow to be even more friendly to newcomers in my area!

  3. I have experienced this as well. It seems like so many people have established their lives, friends, and routines and it's as if they're saying, "We're full, thanks anyway." Occasionally I meet people with a "the more, the merrier" attitude but that is definitely less frequent. In the south, churches seem to be the place to go to meet other families so you might want to try that as well.

  4. Thanks again for writing this. Would love to read an update in a few weeks/months to see how the transition has gone. Love you much.