Do you remember that feeling in the pit of your stomach as you looked around the cafeteria on the first day of middle school? Glancing around, you tried to make eye contact with someone.
The thought of making friends now that I am a mom sends me right back to that middle school mentality again. As soon as I set foot into a school event, I feel like I've gone back in time.
Has anyone seen my scrunchie?
Finding lasting friendships, now that I am older, is proving to be more difficult than trying to score a seat at the popular table. Every school has one of those moms that give off the vibe that screams, "I have it all together, and my life is perfect." That, in itself, can be very intimidating, especially as I finger comb my hair while running into school with the permission slip I forgot to sign last night.
Befriending moms on the playground can be tricky. I spot a promising candidate. Our little ones have hit it off in the sandbox, so of course, we are destined to become the best of friends. We size each other up from across the jungle gym. I hope she isn't judging my choice of yoga pants over skinny jeans. It is so easy to get caught up in sabotaging the friendship before it even begins. Our parenting styles may not mesh, but that doesn't mean we can't be friends.
Mommies need play dates too.
I am probably too critical of others, and I know I am even harder on myself. It is so much easier to be quiet and unassuming. If I don't put myself out there, there is little chance of getting hurt.
When we were back in middle school, it was a lot easier to make friends. We were stuck in the same classroom together day in and day out, sharing pencils, hair ties, and stories about boys. Before you knew it, we were joined at the hip, best friends forever. These days, we are standing in the back of the gym, our eyes focused on our iPhone while we wait to pick up our kids from an activity.
Let us all make a vow to step out of our comfort zone. Strike up a conversation on the playground or on the school pickup line. You never know, it might be the start of a beautiful friendship.
That mom who looks like she has it all together? She might be lonely. We need to get rid of all these preconceived notions we have about each other. Looks can be very deceiving.
Parenthood is a challenging journey and we need all the support we can get.