In January we moved about 45 minutes away from all of our family and friends. At first, there was plenty to do around the house and we had plenty of house guests who wanted to come check out our new place. In February, though, the hubbub died down and it became extremely lonely. Having previously re-located halfway across the country (which is crazy far for a RI’er who has to back an overnight back to go to the other corner of the smallest state in the US), I had experienced that loneliness before. I felt a little relief when I began working but even then, I worked 45 minutes from where we lived which was quite the drive for me (again it’s a RI thing) and or them so socializing after work didn’t come easy. I knew this time something had to be different. Yes, I’d see my old friends but it wouldn’t be the same. We’d have to get settled in and get right to work at fitting in in our new town (SIGH). This is a tough concept for me because I am an observer at heart, I really like to get a good lay of the land before I insert myself into social circles.
I was disappointed when we moved in to find that in the middle of winter people don’t come right on over and welcome you to the neighborhood with a tray of brownies. It was about two weeks before our first neighbor even acknowledged us and even then it was awkward at best—and still 6 months later we wave and say “hi” but I don’t know anything about them.
I joined the local Moms’ Group thinking that this would be a great way to meet new mom friends—only to discover I had infiltrated an already very establish “we’ve known each other since High School” Moms’ Group. I knew right away that despite the other mom’s being friendly—I was the youngest at 26 years old, with only one baby (also the youngest)—and I didn’t really fit in. Well, shoot—I was hoping that this was going to be easy! Darnit. Each week we go, the other moms are friendly-enough but not super-engaging. But why should they be? They don’t owe me anything. Clearly, I have to claim some of that for myself—I keep trying but then end up being too shy to say something or not determined enough to find something to chat about—so that’s on me.
Yesterday, I had a revelation. At Moms’ Group a new mom was there with her two children and she walked up to every mom and said the following: “Hi, I’m _________. We’re new.” Seriously, GENIUS. Why didn’t I think of that? Why didn’t I approach being the New Mom like that—rather than expecting everyone to come to me and introduce themselves to me? Uh Duh.
Finding new mom friends is like dating: Awkward, Embarrassing and Hard.
Here’s to working harder, being fearless and showing Tristan it’s okay to be the “new kid”.
Here’s my plan for moving to a new place with a baby.
- Find a group with like interests—start small. (Mom & Tots)
- Join said group. (Done.)
- Attend said group. Regularly. And be fearless. (Okay—I need to work on this!)
- Put yourself out there. If someone shows a bit of interest engage them. (Mom who lives near us and said a while back we should go the the park since we live so close. Next week get her NUMBER!)
- Make plans with new mom friend (TBD)
- Keep trying. (Do I Have To?)
- Remember to be a model for Baby T. If I would advise him to step out of his comfort zone—I damn well better be prepared to do the same. (Wahhhh—I hate being out of my comfort zone!)
- BABIES ARE GREAT ICE BREAKERS. Take total advantage of this while he is still cute and little. (Noted)
Here’s to trying harder at being the “new kid”! I’ll keep you posted.
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