Something that has come up more than once in therapy sessions is the topic of mom friends. My anxiety has been in check lately, hence why I haven’t been posting much about it, but this topic was one that caused anxiety.
I am a social person, and I also need mom friends. I know this about myself. Play dates and commiserating with fellow moms is so therapeutic for me. It allows me to spend time with my kids and other adults at the same time, and I enjoy finding new and fun places for us to go and see. For DadingWITHOUTanxiety and I, it is important for us that our little monster’s lives be full of playmates and experiences that help stimulate their little brain cells. (And hopefully don’t empty our bank accounts even more).
However, I have learned that it is REALLY hard to find your mom tribe! I thought it was me, like what is it about me that I can’t get anyone to put in some effort to get the kids together and do things? I felt like I was the common denominator, so I must be off-putting somehow. Everyone always says they don’t have time, that they are too busy to even text me back about plans. And I think to myself- we’re busy too! We have two kids, a puppy, two full time jobs and swimming lessons. If I can do it, why can’t everyone else?
And this is where KAT comes in (Kick Ass Therapist for those of you just joining in). She explained to me that not everyone has the same goals and priorities that I do. That not everyone can do it. And I sacrifice other things to make this a priority- down time and even more of my sanity. But it’s important to me, so I do it. Other moms have different priorities, and they sacrifice for those also.
Something else I’ve learned through talking to other moms is that it is OK that different parenting styles can make friendships very difficult. I felt so guilty about this, and I thought it was just me- but I know now that it is a common sentiment. It is really, really hard to bond with another mom, even a friend from before kids, when you have totally opposite parenting styles. It’s something that I have struggled to accept, but in the end it’s not something I can change so I’ve stopped fighting so hard.
Mom friends are unicorns. Mystical, magical, and are they even real? But I know now that when you find those that share your parenting style enough that you can parent your kids as a village when you are together, those that make efforts to spend time with you and your kids also, that you have found something real and important. It’s ok to be selective and wait for the right ones to come around. And it’s ok to let the others move to the background when they don’t. We as parents need all the support we can get. So go out and find your unicorn tribe, because they actually do exist. 🙂