Mom Friends

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Being a stay at home mom can be a lonely business.

In order to maintain one’s sanity, (and to make yourself take a shower), it is necessary to make other mom friends, join groups, make playdates, talk to people you don’t know.

Kill me.

The best way I can explain how I feel about interacting with strangers is through this Onion article. (I am the one experiencing spikes in anxiety. My husband is the one assaulting other strangers with Game of Thrones trivia and anecdotes about our dog.) But I feel that the article missed a major demographic in its list of offenders; Moms.

For the reasons I mentioned above, moms are on a mission to meet other people (usually other moms, because who else is available for a mid-day, mid-week date that may be cut short after 20 minutes because there isn’t a potty at this playground, and what the hell kind of place is this anyway!?) One can never be at a kid related place too long before a mom asks how old your child is. Then the conversation inevitably leads to your child’s eating/pooping habits. Pretty soon you have a new mom best friend.

Even I, the semi-antisocial, lover of my comfort zone, have become friends with a few other moms who I really like. But when we first met I quickly realized that I don’t even know how to make friends as an adult. Aside from people I worked with, I haven’t made any new, real, lasting friendships since college, back when I didn’t even have a cell phone. Once we hit it off at the playground and it’s time to go, do I ask for her phone number?? Is that a weird thing to do? My first instinct tells me yes. Do I just hope we run into each other again sometime? If I let her go will I have to only hang out with my children every day for the rest of my life? Love my kids to death, but sometimes you need a day where you don’t do the Sofia the First puzzle on your living room floor ELEVEN TIMES.

In my experiences, the other moms ended up asking for my number so we could do a playdate, and I didn’t think it was weird at all. And actually, who cares if I thought it was weird anyway? (Sidenote:I really, really hate the word “playdate.”)

Here is a picture of me with all my new mom friends.

Just kidding, we aren’t close enough friends to take pictures with each other yet. I like to take it slow.

Instead here is a casual picture of my real best friends.

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My New Job

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The arrival of James brought many happy changes to our household; aside from the obvious ones, the biggest change has been me saying goodbye to the “workforce” and saying hello to a new boss.

Her name is Reese.

I am officially a stay at home mom. I can’t say I care much for that particularly phrase as a definition of what I do now, but I haven’t found a better one, so for now that’s what I’ll say.

The choice was not a difficult one for us. The cost of daycare was greater than what I was making at my job and even with the offer of a raise and the option to go part-time, it wouldn’t have been worth it.

Having said that, since I had Reese, all I wanted to do was be home with her. The fact that I have that opportunity now makes me feel very happy and very lucky.

I know how hard it is to leave your baby for ten hours a day. Sometimes I would come home and swear she looked older than she had when I left that morning. I also know how hard it can be to stay at home with your baby for ten hours a day. Some days you may wish you were at work. At least when you’re there you can eat and go to the bathroom whenever you want.

Each is hard for different reasons, and I don’t believe that one is easier than the other.

I feel inclined to say this because articles on social media, in magazines and pretty much everywhere, lead me to believe that there is some sort of weird secret competition among moms. Countless articles talk about why stay at home moms are the most underappreciated and have the hardest jobs, or why stay at home moms should shut up and stop complaining because working moms have it much harder. I even hesitate to write about this for fear that I will offend. I know this topic can make people get all in your face and crazy.

Calm down.

We are all doing the same thing. We are all feeding, and changing, and not sleeping, and chasing, and looking for shoes and wiping butts and dealing with meltdowns at the grocery store, and that shit is hard.

Going from working full-time to being home with kids full-time was a big transition, but a happy one for me.

It does feel weird to not have a place to be every day, or a real schedule, but we make an effort to get out of the house each day. There are days when I feel stuck in an unending cycle of feeding, cleaning, and changing and I find myself longing for the days of after work drinks and wearing real pants. But we have friends and family members with kids who live nearby, so we have people to hang out with when we need to get out of our rut, and that is helpful.

Also, I kinda like my new coworkers so that doesn’t hurt either.