Since moving to our new state 6 months ago, I’ve struggled to find local friends. I’ve tried, oh, how I’ve tried, but I just haven’t found “my people” yet.
For me, the isolation of motherhood is by far the hardest part of staying at home.
I feel stuck at home most of the time due to the cold weather, nap times, and well…I don’t have anywhere else to go but to the grocery store.
Sometimes I yearn for connections with other people outside this house, so I leave. I walk aimlessly through Target (which is not really a good idea for your bank account!), or I take the kids to a local deli for lunch, but it’s not the same as really connecting with others.
I’ve moved multiple times in my life…3 since becoming a mom. I’ve always had successes in finding friends, and even wrote a post about it here.
But I am struggling this time.
Maybe it’s the fact that I’m a mother of two, so I have more to juggle. Or maybe it’s just that I’m not meeting the right people. Who knows why, really? It’s just not as easy this time.
Because this is something I’m struggling with, I’ve started looking for solutions. Here’s my current plan of attack.
- Leave the house! I find I’m so much harder on myself and feel so much more lonely when I don’t go anywhere. So, I try to go somewhere at least 4 times a week. Dropping my son off at Mother’s Day Out totally counts btw.
- Do something that makes me happy! I have joined a gym…and am loving it. The kids get to play in the kid area while I get to spend time just for me. I’m hoping that I might meet some new people too.
- Be grateful for the friends I do have! Truthfully, I have some amazing friendships in my life. Unfortunately, none of them live nearby, but that doesn’t mean we can’t connect with each other. I talk to my best friend of 20 years multiple times during the week. Her friendship fills my soul like nothing else, and I need to remember to be grateful for that, especially when I’m feeling lonely. I also need to remember that I have some awesome friends scattered all over the globe and Facebook keeps me connected with almost everyone!
- Keep trying! I have to remember that in order to have good friends, I need to be a good friend first. I will do nice things for others and really try to take care of the people in my life.
I will continue to put myself out there, and pray that there is a connection soon!
- So tell me, do you ever feel the loneliness of motherhood?
Stacy @ Share&Remember
I’m sorry this is your experience – it sounds hard but like you have a great plan! The gym is a good place to meet people. Good luck!
Thanks Stacy! I’m loving the gym…guess I should take some classes and get to know some people 🙂
I like your plan of action & I understand what you’re going through. I feel like I have great, local friends now, but it has taken a while to get to this point. Here are a few more ideas: check you local library for story time, find a nearby Moms Club, join a group on on meetup.com and look for free local events. I gave some helpful resources on my site, Local Fun For Kids. Hang in there! There will definitely be challenges along the way, but you’ll find your groove. It just takes time! : )
Thanks for the suggestions Heather! I always tell myself that it takes a year to feel really settled into a new place, and finding friends is always the hardest part! I need to give myself a break. I’m happy with my life here so far, but sometimes the loneliness takes over.
This is how I was in San Francisco. It was very hard to meet people in that city and the city was so diverse with many foreign residents whose culture habits were so different than the south! Moms wouldnt even say hi to u in the park even if I said hi first! I felt very lonely there and it was coupled with a lot of change. Moving cities, leaving my job being a stay at home mom for the first time, and having a one year old and one car because wasn’t parking for two! I did meet nice acquaintances in some mommy me type classes there. When I moved back to arkansas it was like coming back to a new city again because now that I was a mom at home that was a different life than I had lead there before as a career woman. Most of my close friends still worked and it became hard to see them as our schedules are ao different. I did what you are doing “put myself out there”. I admit I didn’t so it as much in San Fran. I have an abundance of friends now there and feel like it’s my home! Does your area have a mops group? Mothers of preschoolers? My group has been such a blessing and have a made many close friendships and so awesome to connect with moms like me in the same season of life! Also I joined meetup.com and joined some local playgroups and such when I first started and have made down great friends through that (aka Jessie is one of those) 🙂 so try that site out and see if anything is in ur area! And good for u joining the gym! I started working out again last year and it has made such a difference in my mood on this lonely days! I can tell a major difference in my mood and my patienence when I miss a week or two! Keep it up! And read the article I shared on Facebook this morning!
Thank you so much Katinka! I was so excited to move here because I already knew people and I thought I would just join back in with my old group. However, we were friends before our mom days, and I am a newbie to their current group. Our lives are very different and I’m the only stay at home mom. It’s hard to connect with them now.
Thanks for the suggestions! I’ll continue to put myself out there and maybe something will come out of it.
The very first friend I actually made on this last move was through swim lessons at the YMCA, another mom of one of the kids in the group. It’s an extra effort for us as military spouses, and tough knowing there will most likely be a “grace” period. It took almost a year before I felt I found “my people.” Now were moving again this summer, and we’ll only be there for a year. Talk about pressure because of a time frame!
It always seems like it takes a full year to find the right people. I just joined the Y, so it looks like I need to start some lessons :). Good luck on your move. We were at our last base for one year and I was very lucky to meet an amazing Mom right when I got there and she has become one of my best friends. I hope that you find “your people” quickly!
We moved twice since our son was born. It was really hard to find my way out. I was quite lonely. Liam was quite little when he wandered over to another family at a park. I am pretty shy but made it a point to chat. When they were about to leave, I asked if they knew of any parent groups. They were a part of one and invited me to join. Met some of my greatest friends ever! Good luck and sounds like you have a great plan. We do the gym thing too. I haven’t made any forever friends but I have people who I am gym friends with at least.
Good for you for stepping out of your comfort zone! It’s hard for me to strike up conversations sometimes too, but I have to if I want to meet people! Thanks for the encouragement.
The loneliness of motherhood is HUGE. We moved to a new city when I was five months pregnant with our second son and was soon on bed rest and then delivered right before Christmas. It made finding/meeting friends almost impossible. Getting mobile and past the holidays made it a bit easier to get out and try story times, some mom groups, etc. I didn’t find the right fit right away, but kept trying. What worked well for me was being out and about in my neighborhood and starting to introduce myself to other moms walking in the neighborhood or nearby playground. By initiating some play dates, etc, I’ve met a nice group of friends who live near by and are in the same stage of life. Many of them were looking for friends as well and were actually thrilled to have someone initiate a friendship. It didn’t all come easily or feel completely natural to me initially, but by the end of the first year I had some nice friendships and now at almost two and a half years, I feel like we are at home and have a great core group. I read a book called “MWF seeks BFF” and it provided the inspiration I need to keep trying.
Oh man. I can’t begin to tell you how much I can relate. I’m sitting here in the dark with baby #3 in a milk coma, a very lonely momma. I moved to this small town 8 years ago and got married two years later…not a single friend have I found. I cry consistently over this because growing up, I was a military brat and an extreme social butterfly. I went to 16 different schools, and never had a problem making friends. Not sure what happened…but just know that you’re not alone!
I ran across this post on Pinterest- and it really hit home with me… Another military spouse here and my husband is recruiter, which means we are never near an installation. I really didn’t realize how hard making mommy friends would be until I tried to make some. I have to force myself out of my introverted comfort zone, but I’m proud to say 1 and 1/2 yrs in I’ve made a couple of friends. I constantly have to remind myself that friendships are usually not made overnight, but over time. I also think as my son gets older it will get easier as he becomes more involved with school and activities. Oh and I totally do the Target trips too! I hope you meet some great people
Yay Target! 🙂 You’re right, friendships don’t usually form overnight and do require lot of work. It’s hard to put yourself out there, and friendships take a lot of work. I’m looking forward to my kids being in preschool or another group so that we can all make some friends!
I feel like this is such a big issue! Even if you aren’t moving, but you’re a new mom, I think you can still be lonely–when all your friends are in a different stage of life, it can be really hard!
I really really lucked out when we moved to our current city….not only did we have some awesome families and people on our street who all hung out, when I got pregnant, so did literally six other girls a my church. There were six babies (and ALL boys!) born within a few months, all to new moms. So we had our own little support group right away! It’s been truly amazing….I’m not sure what I’m going to do without them! We’re moving this summer, and not having good friends is what I’m most concerned about–we almost didn’t move because of it!!! I’m definitely going to be using some of your tips…. meeting new friends is just so hard! I feel like it’s dating….for friends 🙂 It an just be so awkward and hard!
Good luck with your move and finding friends in a new place! Making friends is totally like dating!!!
Ha ha yeah, dating for friends, totally… And some of them, the chemistry just isn’t there! I never really thought I was too choosy with friends but I seemed to realise I was after becoming a mama, I guess you also have less energy or tolerance for really needy folks or those who don’t give much back. At least, that’s how I was. I had a bit of a fall out of childless friends who simply didn’t understand that I couldn’t give them hours of undivided attention anymore… It was like they were competing with my kids for attention! I guess your whole expectations of friendships change.
The lovely thing about motherhood for me is that friendships do become more real, you need to support one another more and help each other out. I have found that with school-aged kids. The friendships become much more practical. Also, some of my childless friends have come back a bit now that I am past that intense baby phase… I have recognised the limitations of the friendship on both sides and realised we are kind of in different worlds, but I can appreciate the things I liked about them now without expecting them to understand how dramatic the changes are post-motherhood.
Hope that makes sense?
Jodie @ Growing Book by Book
I think that is a great plan of action! I need to use it myself. I’m trying to start a mom and toddler story time in the park this summer to help meet some other moms. I’ll let you know when I get the details worked out. In fact, maybe we could work on it together since we live so close!
I’ll be in touch, Jodie! 🙂
Check out groups through your local schools for Moms. I have met many people who have the same-aged children through our S.K.I.P. (Successful Kids Involved Parents) or P.A.T. (Parents As Teachers) program. They go by similar names depending on the area and are funded by the state. It’s a program to get us involved as parents to make sure we do all we can to prepare our young kids for school. Ours here accepts applicants from birth until school age. Not only do they offer home visits and developmental screenings for your kids, but they have free programs at schools to get kids and parents together. We have been a part of music classes, gym nights, holiday family fun events, play groups, field trips and have a licensed educator visit our home and give our kids attention and has been a part of our family. It’s been a great program I have been a part of for almost 4 years now and my kids and I are far better and happier for it. Great way to get us through the long winters here in Michigan, as well. Good luck to you and thankfully your kids will drag you into meeting new people every day where you least expect it. My girls say hi to everyone and constantly meet new kids at the playground and parks. It’s great, also forces me to talk to people I normally wouldn’t. They get me out of my comfort zone. I always want to make sure my girls are better than me at so many things, but they show me every day what good I’ve done making them amazing little people. If that’s not pat on the back I don’t know what is 🙂
What a great idea! That transition to school can be so tricky. I wish I had something like that when my boy started school!
Huh! I have never heard of that! It seems perfect for me and for my kids. I’m looking into ways to help my son be ready for kindergarten and this seems like a great resource. Thank you so much!
See if your local library has story time, its free and its child friendly. I take my son twice a week. It helps us both socialize. It’s generally stay at home moms and grandmas near me .
It does, it’s right in the middle of Baby E’s nap though. Once that nap is dropped, my world will really open up! Thanks for the tip!
I feel for you on this. It is very hard to find good friend when mothering. I highly recommend MOPS mothers of preschoolers. I have meet some of my very best friends that way! You can go to http://www.mops.org to see if there is meeting location near you. Good luck finding your people!
I have looked into MOPS, just didn’t do it this year. Guess it’s time to give it a try. Thank you!
I feel exactly the same way. Maybe it is something about the 6 month mark or this terrible winter, but moving with children is so hard. I have met people, but it’s not the same. The friends I made while pregnant before moving were the kind of friends you could just show up on there door step and they would welcome you in with a “thank goodness you’re here!” The people I’ve met here have to plan everything or are happy never leaving there house. With winter as it it there is no where to go! I am one trapped mama! In fact I have given up. I am going back home for a month with my son and hope that with winters passing and rejuvenated spirit I’ll be able to gibe it another shot. Hang in there mama, you are not alone!
Hope life gets easier for you and you find people who are more relaxed! I guess some people want to hibernate in winter, but I bet there are lots of mums and little ones feeling just as housebound as you are! Hope you find each other soon…
Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I think this winter has really made it difficult, for sure. I too miss my friends who were always so welcoming and happy to see me. Hopefully we’ll both meet some great people soon! Good luck in your journey!
You are not alone! Loneliness is not a sign of failure on your part, I really believe it is a mix of circumstance and dumb luck. I remember when I had a bub, mum’s groups just didn’t work for me… I couldn’t relate to the mums just because we all had babies… You need more things in common (at least I did!)
I moved to a big city from a small, close-knit country town and it took me a while to get the hang of it. I have come to realise that a lot of people seem at their most relaxed when they are outdoors around green leafy areas. Truly, I have noticed that! They are much more likely to smile and say hello.
We have joined the local community garden (can be tricky with bubs but a great scene for families) and we take our neighbours’ dog for a walk every day to the local dog park. Something about standing around with other dog owners laughing at the dogs is really relaxing and eases the loneliness for me… For me those two things helped so much. I guess everyone will find different things help.
Oh, another one that worked for me was taking a morning walk at the same time each day. You tend to run into the same people all the time, either out walking or in their garden and before you know it, you’re exchanging friendly comments about the garden or the weather. There’s something very soothing and uniting about cheerful, friendly small talk. I think it gets a bad rap but it really can lift your spirits.
Anyway, maybe this will bring you some comfort. Life has a way of sorting things out if we are patient, I know when I first moved here I was so lonely and never thought I would connect with anyone but it does pass. Having babies and toddlers is a bit isolating. It gets much easier to have a social life as they get older. It will happen! Hugs!
Oh thank you so much for you kind, sweet words. I really appreciate everything you said.. I think this very cold, snow filled winter has really made it difficult to meet people, because everyone is indoors. Last summer, we were moving here, so there wasn’t much of a chance to meet people…then the snow came. I’m looking forward to warmer weather so that I can get outside!
Thank you for your tips and sharing your experiences. I really appreciate it!
Oh, sorry, I didn’t realise you were in a wintry place! I am in subtropical Australia and we are in midsummer so it’s easy to forget that not everyone is in the same boat! Maybe it will get easier in the summer months? That baby/toddler stage does make it more of a challenge, it really gets so much easier once the kids are a bit older, don’t trash the place or need naps or a huge bag of supplies every time you go out… Actually, casting my mind back, I remember finding blogging really helpful! I met some great folks online who I could talk to, hope you feel less alone knowing we are all out here expressing our support and commiseration from far-flung reaches of the globe! 🙂
Hi. I love your blog. Such great play ideas. Im making a list of your ideas so I can do them all with my toddler. I too understand the isolation. My husband and I moved away from family and friends so we could get a house we could afford on just my husband’s salary so I could be home full time. It means I dont see them much nor hardly have any help. I find it so hard to meet people as they all seem to know each other already and you cant go over and just jump into their conversation. I have sooken ti people but nothing really comes from it. Im hoping when my daughter goes to school that I might meet mums there and make some good friends. I was thinking of homeschooling but there are no groups where I could meet up with other people who homeschool so mevand my children could interactbwith others. Its hard when family and all my friends live far away as it meansvwe cant get to see each other often and we all have things going on in our lives, especially those with kids. I use to go to a sensory class each week when there were several groups of people eho knew each other and just didn’t talk to anyone outside their group. I used to nearly cry each time I went but kept going as my daughter loved it and seeing how happy it made her made me happy. If I ever see someone new to a group I go to I try to say hi and make sure they dont feel like I did. Thank you for your post, its made me feel less alone.
As a mom-to-be, I dread the days of being alone. I live in the suburbs, where everything is a drive away. I love my neighbourhood, and at least in summer, there are parks and trails to be explored. Right now, in the dead of winter (and on the tail end of a Polar Vortex), I know that it’s going to feel like an eternity until spring arrives. My friends are all working moms, and they live a bit of distance from me as well. This is going to be quite the challenge, and I suppose I’ll just have to force myself to join a couple of mommy groups (ick) and be more social.
I am right there with you. It took seven years to have my son. I was a career women ina job that didn’t facilitate close female friendships. It was a male dominated career field. Once I had my son I made the best decision for our family and became a stay at home mom. Now I sit at home and hardly get out of my pjs. Not to say I am so lost I cant I am just not motivated to get dressed in clothes that are uncomfortable to play on the floor with my son. I have found joining the local badass breastfeeder group has somewhat helped. I just happen to be the oldest in the group and the only one eexclusively pumping. All of my friends have high school or college student aged children who were raised differently than my goals are. It is isolating even from long time friends. As a military brat and now military spouse I never thought motherhood would be lonely but as we are moving again in three months maybe I will find my people there.
Another military spouse. We moved twice in my little one’s life, at 6 months and 13. It has been so hard to meet people and make friends, something I’ve never had a problem with. Sad thing is we have family nearby and they didn’t want us to move here because they are “too busy” so they have been so cold and unfriendly. They were helpful by letting us stay a.couple nights and having us for dinner while we got settled but did it begrudgingly. I am so sad to learn how horribly they have chamged from the way we were raised.
Someone may have suggested this already, I haven’t read all the comments. Have you heard of mops? Mothers of preschoolers ? It’s a great support group for moms. They have a website you can check to see if there’s one in your area. I’ve been in your situation as well. Living in a new place & a mom of two toddlers. I joined the gym as well & that’s helped in many ways (boost my mood, built my body confidence, made a few friends, got out of the house! ) I hope what your going through is a short season & that you find a good community soon. It’s hard being lonely.
Yep! I’ve heard great things about MOPS. Thank you 🙂