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Well, they’ll take your soul if you let them. Oh yeah, but don’t you let them.

by Miranda on January 28, 2013

The single hardest thing about leaving the work force and staying home, for me at least, has been the significant drop in adult interaction in my life since last June. And by significant drop I mean Dan is sometimes the only adult I see in an entire week, except dropping Joshua off at school.

No more idle chit chat over lunch about what was on TV last night, or politics, or the news, or being invited to go grab a drink after work even if there was a strong chance that I’d have to decline because, hi, two kids and one of them’s still on the boob.

Now I spend an inordinate amount of time talking about Wonder Pets, Angry Birds, Captain America and Mario Kart and what, exactly, Joshua would do if he encountered a special flower that let him throw fire balls and can I please look at Emma and make her say “brother” right now this very second and can I also get some more milk and a cereal bar and also sister is looking at me the world is ending because she is looking at me.

So I go to Twitter and say “OMG MY KID WON’T STOP TALKING AND I JUST NEED TO PEE.” And sometimes I get a few responses of “hang in there” but frequently I get nothing and then I’m all “oh, okay, so I’ll just stop my whining and keep on talking to myself inside my own head. Carry on then.”

I mean, I’m incredibly grateful for the many, many people who talk to me daily, like Alena, and Isha, and the women who also defected from a popular message board for women with babies on the brain.

But even if I do get to talk about those above things with people who live in my computer, it’s not always the same as a flesh-and-blood person sitting across from me having a conversation that makes my ears have to work to hear more than just the click click click click of my fingers on a keyboard.

Basically, my adult friends are Dan and two or three people who live here in the real three-dimensional world with me. And that’s it. And our lives are such that getting together regularly is really difficult. We’re all spread out, or they work during the day, or our kids have conflicting schedules.

I watch Joshua on the playground, and when he’s not growling at strange kids he’s got a gaggle of preschoolers following after him, playing chase, climbing structures, and asking to be his friend. (Yes. Growling. We’re working on it)

Imagine the shock on another mom’s face if, at the playground, the mall, wherever, I just walk up and say “Hi. I’m Miranda. Would you like to be my friend? Awesome. Now let’s go braid each other’s hair and gossip.”

If it were that easy, I wouldn’t be writing this. But it’s not that easy and so I am. Basically, I feel like I don’t know how to make friends.

Making friends used to come so easily to me. I used to be the girl who never met a stranger. And while I’ll talk to anyone about just about anything, I find that it’s increasingly harder to develop real friendships as I get older.

I know there are a few mom’s groups in the area because I’ve sniffed them out on the internet, but I’m scared to try them because what if they find out about this blog and read this and think I’m some kind of neurotic freak?  What if they don’t like me? What if I don’t like them?

What if I’m too fat? Or too loud? Or too control-freakish? What if I try to compensate for some of those things and I become some sort of shy introvert?

What if I’m being judged for my choice of whatever choice it is that I’ve made??

I feel like my tolerance for bullshit has lowered considerably as I’ve gotten older. Either that or I’ve gotten more efficient at weeding out those relationships that I know will not put into my life what they’re taking out of it. Or both.

What I want in a friend is someone who doesn’t think twice about the fact that I maybe haven’t showered in 2 days, perhaps have hair that hasn’t been washed in 4, and who doesn’t stop to wonder just what, exactly, the mystery stain on my faded yoga pants might actually be. (Peanut butter, cheese, or drool. Probably even bits of graham cracker, if you’re wondering. None of which came from me. Thanks, Emma.) (Also, hi J. I just described you. ::smooches::.)

If you meet the above criteria, applications are now being accepted.

Judgy Judgers need not apply. I won’t let you take my soul.

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erica January 28, 2013 at 11:36 pm

I could have written this post, this exactly how I feel. I have two best friends, but neither one lives in my town and it seems impossible to make new friends. I meet people and they seem nice but we never get past the acquaintance part. Or we get to know eachother and I realize that they are not good for me. I tried one mom group and the women were so rude and cliquey that I have been scared to try again. So yeah in other words, I totally get what you are going through.

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2 Miranda January 30, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Yep. Moving from acquaintance to friend is the hard part. So, sad that I’m not alone but also glad?

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3 Julie January 29, 2013 at 9:19 am

Yup. All of the above. Tried some mommy groups, left feeling frumpy, uncool and wondering how all the mom’s were so skinny. Blah..

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4 Miranda January 30, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Maybe the secret is lots of wine and not lots of food?

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5 Erin January 29, 2013 at 10:51 am

Yep, making friends is hard. I’ve avoided mommy groups because they either sound clique-ish from the start, or make me wonder if I’m going to be automatically adopted by people it turns out I don’t like and be constantly barraged with invitations I don’t want or can’t accept. (Now THERE’S neuroses for ya!) I thought I’d made a new friend each year my daughter has been in MMO, and they both moved when the year was over. I’m even worse at long distance friendships than in-town friendships. I do have a few close friends, but only one of them has a baby of her own, and there are a few who’ve managed to stick through the years, but are on to their own things. Oh, and? No comments about what I’m wearing unless you can see my private parts, because I’m lucky I made it out of the house today.

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6 Miranda January 30, 2013 at 3:48 pm

I feel you on the making it out of the house business. I went to Target the other day and realized I was in my slippers/moccasins when I was walking across their parking lot. :/

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7 Kathryn January 29, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Your words. My thoughts. Exactly. Although I am not a SAHM, and I do have interactions at work, I haven’t been able to meet true, relatable, lasting friendships with other moms who understand. I have my core group that I know I can count on, but meeting new ones? Not so much.

So hi. I’m Kathryn, and I have a toddler and an 11 month old, and can exactly relate to the non-shower days, the random, mysterious stains on shoulders and pants, and the longing for that face to face interactions of moms who…know. Wanna be friends?

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8 Miranda January 30, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Hi new friend Kathryn! My answer is yes. :)

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9 Emily @ Baby Dickey January 29, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Dude, we’d be besties. Sometimes I can’t even remember when I last took a shower. I wrote a post not too long ago about how finding new mom friends was like being back in the dating world… I feel ya, it’s hard!!!

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10 Miranda January 30, 2013 at 4:44 pm

It is like being back in the dating world. So why isn’t there a mom-match.com?

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11 Emily @ Baby Dickey January 30, 2013 at 4:57 pm

omgosh, GENIUS IDEA. Make it. You’ll be rich. I’ll help. :)

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12 Dawana January 29, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Where do I sign up to be your friend? Also, what’s my excuse for wearing stained, faded yoga pants when I do go to work every day? Yeah…

I feel like I don’t interact with adults either. I skip lunch in lieu of going to feed the baby and during my plan time, I pump. Also, I suck at making friends because I’m a bitch and many people don’t like that quality in a friend (who knew?)

So, I wil continue to talk to the people in my computer. Whatever.

xoxox

P.S. I typed this with 1 hand while pumping & eating lunch. Therefore, I am not responsible for any typos!

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13 Miranda January 30, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Can you please move to GA? There’s no snow here. And it’s closer to Florida.

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14 Stephanie January 29, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Moms groups are the BEST. They are the least judgy places in my experience. I didn’t know a soul in Roswell when he moved out here. By the time S was 3 months old I swore I would never leave.

I see the women from my group 3-4 times a week (for playdates), and we text regularly.

Seriously…so worth it.

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15 Miranda January 30, 2013 at 4:48 pm

I’m just afraid to put myself out there, I think. Situations where I know no one make me uncomfortable in a way they didn’t used to.

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16 The Many Thoughts of a Reader February 2, 2013 at 9:37 pm

I can relate. I’ve done baby steps in this department. 1) Started a books and bars book club with a single friend of mine (mashing of aquantainces = oppurtunity to meet someone new and get drink and talk books once a month) 2) joined the local mommy’s group on fb. started toeing in with comments.. met one or two at a time at story times and/or they came to book club .. now i know a few mom’s enough that i don’t feel toooo weird going to a mom’s night out or a playdate because i at least know their name. working on talking more than 2 sentences next. ;)

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17 Miranda February 4, 2013 at 8:22 am

I keep scoping out FB for a local group and I’m not having a ton of luck. I think they may be secret groups. And I’ve thought of just starting my own group, but my mom friends are so spread out and most of them work outside of the home, so it would have to be MNO things, which are better than nothing.

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18 Elizabeth January 29, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Oh, how I wish making friends as an adult was as easy as it was as a kid. I didn’t have a single mom friend when my son was born 9 months ago. What I did was attend my local La Leche League meetings every month and scope out the women I thought I could relate to. I joked with my husband that it was kind of like Mommy dating. I would be taking mental notes during the meeting and then go chat one or two of them up afterwards. (And I’m fairly shy. I had to give myself a pep talk to do it.) I now have a few moms with babies close to my son’s age that I would call friends. We’re not terribly close yet, but we enjoy each other’s company and get together for play dates a couple times a month. I found it to really be a lot like dating. You may have to kiss a few frogs, but if you don’t put yourself out there, you’ll end up sitting home alone.

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19 Miranda January 30, 2013 at 5:33 pm

I’ve definitely thought about LLL meetings. I just wouldn’t want to also take Joshua, at least not in the beginning, and they meet on days when he’s not in school.

Mommy dating is stressful.

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20 Elizabeth January 30, 2013 at 10:39 pm

You might be able to bring him along. At my local meeting, moms often bring their older children. The kids play in the corner while the moms talk. Might be worth looking into.

Good luck!

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21 Miranda February 4, 2013 at 8:24 am

I know I *could* take him, but he tends to be…hmm….annoying? In my face? Overly nervous and hyperactive to compensate? In new situations. Basically, there’s no way he’d play in a corner while I met other moms. He would be alllllll up in my face because my attention was diverted elsewhere.

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22 Michelle January 29, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Couldn’t have said it better myself! My name is Michelle…would you like to be my friend? Lol

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23 Miranda February 4, 2013 at 8:24 am

Yes, yes I would. ;)

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24 Jenn B. January 29, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Yep! And I love you. I also love that you overlook my stains, the ones on me, the ones on my carpet, the ones on my piles of laundry.

And good(ish) news! With B in school during normal school hours now, S and I have a very open schedule until 1:20. HOORAY! On the downside, there’s no B, so Joshua might not be so happy. On his school days, maybe? Coffee will flow!

Since I’m already one of those two or three, I can’t help you with the “adding more” friends part, but I’m still gonna be a good one. Quality over quantity and all that jazz…

Here’s the conclusion I’ve come to: I’m good at weeding out who I won’t like–it’s pretty much everyone but you, and that’s because you are me but with one less ankle-biter (or in our cases, boob biter). You and me? Good stuff.

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25 Miranda February 4, 2013 at 8:25 am

I’m just now seeing this comment, but yes, we are good stuff. And yes, we should get together more often since it’s actually possible. And Emma could use some socializing and she seems to like you. Which is good because she likes no one. LOL

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26 story January 30, 2013 at 9:45 am

I have to say this. I suck at making friends. SUCK. Except on twitter.

When my older girl was about 9 months old, I had to ask Lauren Hale and the whole ppdchat army to *make* me go to my first mom’s group meetup. And it was awful, I couldn’t wait to leave.

But then I went to another one. And it was freaking amazing. The moms are all smart and snarky and don’t mind yoga pants at all. And I honestly think it saved me, it’s what brought me back from my darkest place.

So that doesn’t mean I’m saying it’s the only right answer for everyone, but if you need a shove to try it, I’ll shove you. And if you don’t click with the first people you meet? It’s because they suck. Not you. Never you.

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27 Miranda February 4, 2013 at 8:27 am

I didn’t used to suck so hard at making friends. I mean, I will talk to anyone. And also probably overshare with anyone. But making friends used to come more naturally. I think the level of behavior I’ll accept from other adults has just gone down drastically as I’ve aged and I’m just not playing games anymore.

So I might need that kick in the pants at some point.

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28 Charity January 30, 2013 at 1:15 pm

I so relate. I’ve been home since the end of October and it is gut wrenching to have just my computer and phone to interact with. I have a couple irl friends but they are busy and we’ve been sick since Christmas, so… All that to say it is PAINFUL.

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29 Miranda February 4, 2013 at 8:28 am

It IS painful. Because as much as I love this online world I have, I have to live in the real, three-dimensional world more.

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30 Isha January 30, 2013 at 3:03 pm

I so wish we lived closer, because we would have so much fun all the time. I felt at ease with you instantly. You have that effect on people!!

If I could give you one non-givable gift, it would be the gift of the very same confidence you instill in me. Time and time again, you inspire me to BE and DO my best. In every single facet of my life. As a wife, as a mother, as a teacher, and as a human being. Anyone who judges you isn’t worth your time. But I think, honestly think, if you put yourself out there, you would find a lot more GOOD people than worthless ones. Truly.

You are who you are. Who you are is beautiful. “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.” Right? I know it’s hard. But I also know you can do it.

<3

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31 Miranda February 4, 2013 at 8:29 am

I mean, it COULD have been the beer putting you at ease and not me. ;)

And yes, you’re right. There are more good people out there than bad. I know. I just wish they’d all wear signs around their necks so I’d know who to look at first.

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32 Marla January 30, 2013 at 7:03 pm

The Internet rabbit hole brought me to your Twitter and from there to your blog, which I really like. And I totally could identify with this post so so so much. I wrote about something similar, sort of, wrapped up in a book review and a lot of rambling, last year here: http://aplacetowritethings.blogspot.com/2012/03/semi-kinda-sorta-book-review-mwf-seeks.html

Hi, I’m Marla, and I like your blog. :) *waves*

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33 Miranda February 4, 2013 at 8:30 am

I love the internet rabbit hole. It’s so good at bringing good (and also freaking weird) things into our lives.

Hi, Marla!

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34 Andrea January 31, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Sometimes it can be so lonely & so hard to try to meet other moms & actually form real friendships with them. So glad that I am not the only one who feels this way.

I also feel like a lot of moms around here don’t even seem like they want to connect or get any closer than being acquaintances & I am not sure why that is. When we go to the library or an open gym & no one even bothers to say hi or interact in any way, it sucks, it’s disappointing, & it can be really frustrating. But I ended up starting a moms group in my area while I was going through PPA/PPOCD & it was a huge help for me! I have made three very close friends through it & one I consider a best friend now. As scary as it can be, you never know what can happen if you put yourself out there right?!

And I wish it were that easy to just go up to another mom, introduce yourself, & become instant friends. That would be awesome :)

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35 Miranda February 4, 2013 at 8:31 am

That’s what I’ve experienced, too. That moms have their groups and they’re not really looking for new members to that group but they like to say “oh, hi! we’re so open to new people!” Except not really. As acquaintances, yes, but not as FRIENDS.

But maybe adulthood is marked by making acquaintances and not friends. Maybe that should just be my philosophy.

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36 Annie January 31, 2013 at 10:35 pm

I could have written this post – but tons of women in my church read my blog and I really don’t want to offend them. The thing is – I see women at church, but there isn’t any socializing afterwards. I never hang out with any of the 3 moms (small church) my age that go there.

I have a daughter in ballet – and I speak to this one mom every week. But I am so nervous about “asking her out.” LOL!! Like, do I invite her over? I don’t know how this works. I suck at making friends too.

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37 Miranda February 4, 2013 at 8:32 am

I understand not wanting to offend people, and I actually hope I haven’t offended any real-life mom friends who’ve read this. :/

I don’t know how this is supposed to work either! To invite a mom over for coffee, I’d have to wash the coffee cups piled up in the sink first! LOL

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