I’m a new mom and our toddler will soon be two. I’ve found that motherhood is lonelier than I’d expected. I was hoping to make fellow mom friends, but I haven’t yet made a meaningful, lasting friendship. I understand meeting and making friends is often based on luck and always needs time. I fear I’m going to only know names for years and not have a deeper friend. I’ve experienced a dry spell before in dating. It was probably a decade until I got lucky and met my husband at the right time and in the right place. But during those years I went on dates that didn’t blossom into something more with those men, and some of them were abusive toward me. I didn’t give up and then I met my husband. Now I see that I’m having another dry spell in the friend department. At least seeking a mom friend won’t open me up to the sort of abuse that seeking a husband did. Should I keep waiting for a decade or so until I find myself a mom friend?
—Long Lonely Winter in Canada
Dear Long Lonely Winter in Canada,
On the upside it is easier to find a mom friend than to find a husband, and as you already know a lot of it has to do with timing. It is not easy for anyone to make new friends when they have small children, and you can forget about it if you have a newborn. It is very hard to take the time and effort needed to actually make a new lasting friendship when you have to think about dinner, diapers, colic, head colds, chest colds, doctor’s visits, sleep problems, taking a shower, seeing your husband, playing with your children, paying bills, buying toys, fixing toys that get broken, cleaning up, etc. It is endless!
Until your toddler starts going to school you are in the war zone and may as well forget about friends. Picking up a mom friend in a playground is the equivalent of picking up a man in a supermarket—it’s not easy, and you really don’t know what you are getting yourself into. Sure you can look at their shopping cart’s contents like you can look at how the child and mother in the playground are dressed, but it is a crap shoot. As the man in the supermarket could be a lunatic, so could the mother in the park. Just because a woman has a child does not mean she is by any stretch of the imagination a normal, friend-worthy person.
Wait until school starts; then you can invite people over on play dates and hopefully have time to meet the other mothers and get to know them in a controlled environment. It is very much like making friends in school, so if you remember how to do that you should be fine and able to find at least one mom you like.
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