I know that I’m usually sharing recipes or food-related posts, but I thought I might take a shot at coming out of my shell and talk a little about friendship. KMB is no stranger to the friendship talk and there have been a few other posts about making friends as a mom. Because it is hard to be a mom and make friends. But I figure that there are going to be moms out there who struggle, like I do, in the friend department and the struggle isn’t really due to having kids…even prior to kids, I found it difficult to put myself out there. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just not a people person…you know, a “bah humbug!” type of person. Other times, I worry that I am just too weird. But really, what is it? We all know the song, but seriously, why can’t we be friends?
Is it because I’ve made some friends that turned out to be two-faced? Is it because I consider myself an introvert? Am I overthinking the whole thing? Are my expectations too high?
Being burned by someone you thought was your friend can make anyone weary of new people. It’s hard to put time and effort into a relationship for nothing. It definitely can get you down and make you wonder if it’s even worth it to make new friends. During Nick’s time in active duty, I got burned by a lot of different people and then I just sort of became a hermit. I coped during deployments much better by myself taking care of the kids than being out and about hanging out with other people because of those bad friendships.
When put into a potential social situation, I often fidget with whatever is nearby (i.e. my purse, the stroller, the baby, etc.) to keep from having to talk to people. I hate being in a crowd of new faces or acquaintances. This is my inner introvert and insecurities at work because I have to concentrate really hard to not be awkward when forced to interact with people. My mouth always works faster than my brain and it causes some very uncomfortable moments.
For example, I was once talking to a clerk in a store where I was picking up Nick’s uniform and when asked how old Mason (my youngest) was, I gave him Nick’s age. Please join with me in a little bit of cringing. To be fair, we were literally just talking about Nick, he didn’t look up at all at the baby, and most people assume Mason is a girl. But the second my husband’s age left my mouth, I knew that the clerk had meant the baby. It was so embarrassing.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s not that I don’t know how to be social…just last week, I was talking to the employees in my dentist’s office about the current events around the toddler who was snatched by an alligator in Orlando. It was not only myself, but three other women and the conversation was totally normal. It was just fine, but I’m left thinking…would I be friends with any of those women outside this office? It’s not like grade school where I would see these women every single day. Does that make it easier for me to interact with them? Knowing that I won’t have to see them again soon? Who knows!
It’s all too easy to tell someone to just get out there and meet new people, but that doesn’t always work for everyone.
The way I feel most comfortable talking to people is online. I can edit my thoughts and words when I’m sitting at a keyboard to make myself sound coherent. I mean, I feel like I’m pretty darn coherent right now. I don’t sound like a crazy person or a weirdo. I met two of my closest friends on a mom website and have been friends with them for over seven years. I talk to these two every single day…whether it’s a quick hello or an in-depth discussion on Teen Mom or ranting about an awful trip to the store, etc. But they don’t live nearby and that can be so hard at times. As a stay-at-home mom with no close friends that live locally, it can be a bit lonely. I get a bit envious when I see acquaintances enjoying time with their besties whether it’s hitting the town (with or without their kids) or keeping it low-key hanging out at someone’s house. But I struggle to get to the point where I can be comfortable with someone like that…I feel like it takes years upon years to reach that point. See what I mean about overthinking it? Oye vey! Am I psyching myself out or what?
So why am I writing up this post? Not to complain, not to rant, but to show other moms (like me) that you’re not alone! To hopefully be able to connect with other moms that do better communicating online instead of in person. To get you other introverted, awkward moms to spill your secrets on friendship because it can’t hurt to learn from others!