Making friends when you’re a grown up

About 18 months ago we moved to a different town, a place my husband and I had wanted to move to for a long time. I love it here and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. I have a few very good friends here but they all work full time which would be fine if I also worked full time.  I work part time from home and then look after my two children and over time I really started to miss the support and friendships I had previously had during the day. It’s hard to admit that you’re feeling a bit lonely, after all I have my two children with me but you still need some adult interaction as well.

If you work outside of the home it is very natural to make friends at work, in fact a lot of my good friends have been made at work over the years.  However, my situation is different, I take the kids out to groups etc. and talk to people there but have not made any friends out of that. I made one through nursery, she is totally bonkers (in a good way), but having grown up around here, she has a large circle of friends and a very busy schedule so we don’t get to meet up that often.

I don’t believe that just because we are mums we should all get on, yes we all have children but that is often where the similarities end. There are very different mums out there and I think I’m probably more ‘slummy mummy’ than ‘yummy mummy’. My house is a mess, my children are generally covered in food or felt tip pen and I am always forgetting their bags when I drop them at nursery.  I would never win mum of the year, I think my mum skills would be assessed very similarly to my school years ‘ she tries hard’, yes I am still trying hard and not quite getting there! I have talked to other mums out and about but have either never felt a connection with anyone or I haven’t felt I could make the first move to actually become friends with someone.

I think I’m a good friend, I’d do anything for them, I’m dependable and loyal (sounding very much like a dog), but these aren’t important when you first meet someone. I don’t class myself as particularly funny or exciting and I’m not the life and soul of the party (although always happy to be the first on the dance floor, I’m never the last because my pjs are normally calling). I am not that sparkly person that everyone’s drawn to so I guess I’m always wondering why they would want to be friends with me….

Recently my son had a party and through the chaos of organising the party (at which I forgot to bring out the birthday cake to sing happy birthday and managed to somehow wrap about 10 extra layers to the pass the parcel), I met two mums that I went away thinking I would actually like to be friends with. Nothing to do with how their children got on with mine but more because I was drawn to them. One was an hour late to the party and the other had just been telling another mum how much her son liked the other mothers son only to realise it was the wrong mum…….now you can see why I was drawn to them!

So I did something I would never normally do, I made the first move. I was lucky, I had their mobiles as they had sent their RSVP by text. Definitely the cowards way I know but I was nervous so I sent them both a text saying thank you for coming and if they wanted to meet up for a play date or even a grown up drink then let me know. I waited anxiously and got my first reply very quickly saying ‘great lets meet up next Monday for a play date’, which we did and have done regularly ever since.  We are even having a grown up meal tonight. She is a warm,  funny and very interesting person and I can see us being firm friends in the future.

The other took a little longer to reply but replied with ‘play dates are hard as I work full time but a grown up drink would be awesome’. So a week or so later I nervously went to meet her in a local pub telling my husband I’d probably only be gone an hour as I didn’t really know her. I felt a bit like it was a blind date as I had only spent ten minutes talking to her at the party. Well I had absolutely nothing to worry about. We ended up having a fantastic night, we talked and drank for hours and I ended up getting home after midnight (way past my bedtime), with hardly any voice left. We are off out on a double date in a couple of weeks to a burlesque show after the success of the last night.

So you see sometimes stepping out of our comfort zones, while a little bit scary, can be really rewarding. Of course it could have turned out differently but you never know until you try.

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4 thoughts on “Making friends when you’re a grown up

  1. This is interesting as there’s a perception that married people with children don’t get lonely and have an automatic circle of fellow parents. It’s also believed that mums aren’t worth befriending if you’re a non mum, as all you’ll hear about is the kids and that they’ll be too busy for you mostly, so it’s tempting to withdraw. This is kind of reassuring.

    Re you previous post on phobias: I thought it brave to share that, thank you. Curious to know what sort of therapy the first one was?

    • Thanks for reading. I think the perception that married people with children, don’t get lonely must be made by people without kids who have no knowledge on the subject. Being stuck at home with small children on your own can be one of the loneliest experiences.

      It’s sad if people believe that mums aren’t worth befriending if you’re a non mum. I have two very close friends one had two kids when I met her, about 10 years before I had my kids and another friend of mine has been my friend while she was single and I’m married with kids. Surely being a friend is about the person, not their circumstance? It seems a little bit judgemental doesn’t it. I really hope people don’t think that way.

      With regards to my Phobia it was CBT that I paid for first which didn’t work as it was about finding coping mechanisms rather than solving the problem.

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