1: Wanted: Mom Friends

1: Wanted: Mom Friends

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just Us Girls

Wanted: Mom Friends

Are we not like two volumes of one book?

~Marceline Desbordes-Valmore

For me, the early days of motherhood were isolating. I had quit a rewarding job to become a stay-at-home mom, and while I loved being with my six-month-old son, what I missed most was adult conversation. Every day, I pounced on my husband, Dwayne, the moment he came home from work, anxious to hear news from the outside world. We both knew I needed to make “mom friends.” But how?

Although I often took Ethan with me on errands, shopping at the grocery store didn’t exactly provide a chance to make a new friend. Ethan was content to smile at the other customers and look at the brightly colored displays, but I wasn’t. “We need to find something better to do,” I told him.

Surprisingly, the solution was just a few miles away.

“I want to pick up a few things at the library. Let’s all go,” Dwayne said on one of his days off. He didn’t need to ask twice. I loved to read, but hadn’t had much time or energy since Ethan was born. Perhaps a good book would lift my spirits.

After choosing a novel, I decided to venture past the adult department. The children’s area looked inviting, and with Ethan in the stroller I felt qualified to take a closer look. A decorated wall displayed schedules of activities for children of all ages, even babies. I picked up one and noted an upcoming playgroup for babies and toddlers. I doubted I would know anyone there, but it had to beat sitting at home.

The next week I gathered my courage, and Ethan and I headed to the library. “We’re going to go play, and we’ll have a great time,” I said to him, partly to convince myself. “Da, da, da,” he babbled in agreement.

The library’s community room was filled with a play kitchen, a small ball pit, lots of toys for babies and toddlers, and half a dozen moms and their children, none of whom looked familiar. Uh oh.

“Welcome to playgroup. I’m Misty, the playgroup coordinator,” said a smiling woman about my age. “How old is your baby? What’s his name?” she asked, her friendliness instantly putting me at ease. Misty introduced me to the other moms, and we began chatting about our children’s milestones, their favorite baby foods, and their sleep schedules while the babies and toddlers played around us. I left the playgroup feeling energized and excited about these potential new friendships.

After that first playgroup, Ethan and I rarely missed a date. As he grew, I added “Tot Time” and preschool “Story Time” activities to our schedule. And when his younger sister and brother were born, our calendar filled up even more. Together we’ve learned about gardening, met small animals from the local zoo, played math and alphabet games, and most importantly, we’ve all made new friends.

I’m grateful for the moms I’ve met at the library. We share similar backgrounds and interests, and with children in the same age group, we can offer each other a sympathetic ear and advice. To help pass the time when our children were younger, we met at a different park each week during the summer so they could play and we could chat. Nowadays, my friends and I get together for dinner or shopping without the kids so we can enjoy each other’s uninterrupted company. And we still attend lots of library activities with our children.

I’m still amazed how one small act of bravery made such a huge difference in my level of happiness. Go ahead and strike up a conversation with the mom at the next park bench. Seek out other moms at your church or your child’s school and start your own playgroup or book club. And don’t forget to check for activities at your local library. You just may meet some lifelong friends.

~Melissa Zifzal

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