3/12/08

Lonely for the First Time

We moved to our little bungalow by the sea just over a year ago, leaving behind a close circle of friendships we'd built over the five years of our marriage and establishment in the area. I knew I was separating myself from an amazing support group of friends when we moved, and I had no intentions of seeking out replacement friends in my new neighborhood. In fact, I deliberately avoided any interactions that might lead to new found friendships. Our new community provided great parent participation classes but instead of attending the classes a few blocks from our house, I chose to drive to the neighboring community so I wouldn't meet any moms nearby my home that I'd have to befriend! No play dates, or new coffee dates, or invites for girl's jewelry parties. Bah-humbug! I kept my head down at the library's story hour, avoided all eye contact at the park. New friends? Who needs 'em! Well, this all worked fine as we remodeled our house and I stayed focused on the looming arrival of our second child. Ana arrived and I focused in on balancing two kids, my marriage, and finishing a few jobs around the house (my still unfinished kitchen, for starters!). Sure, I saw my friends from "back home" every so often. The occasional baby shower, or bunco night. My friends even came out to our new place on the odd Saturday. I had a few low times during the past year or so, but I chalked it up to quality family time. But yesterday, I hit the rock bottom of mommy loneliness. A typical Tuesday morning begins with the long walk to our neighborhood park. We arrived and immediately noticed the group of moms and kids seated in a circle by the swings chatting and snacking together. Shelby and I slowed the stroller to a crawl and took it all in like kids in a candy shop, jaws open, drool pooling on our lips. Adult and kid interaction that completely ignored us. OK, no big deal. We can still have fun by ourselves. I kept thinking about all my mom friends an hour away. Were they all together at the park right now? Without me and my kids? Ugh. And just when I started to convince myself that I was being a more attentive mother to my kids by being alone, I saw them. Way off in the distance, like an oasis of moving wheels and tennis shoes, I saw a parade of moms and strollers huffing along, smiling, flipping their ponytails as they turned from one friend to another chatting away their social parenthood. My heart sunk, the loneliness rose up in my throat and I knew I had officially hit my ultra low. The lone mommy at the park with no friends. I might as well pick my nose and eat the results I was "That Mom". Not only did the mommy brigade roll on past, they circled behind us like a swarm of giggling bees and parked their strollers, pulled out stretch bands and blankets and proceeded to flop down their kids and exercise together! I was frozen in place next to the twirly slide. The smiling conversations and singsong chants of children and babies all interacting, all friends, and together was more than I could take. C'mon girls, mommy needs to go home and dial-a-friend. Loneliness Calls.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean. When moving from a close group that have been with you since you were childless and having been there for your first birth experience and even your second, you feel like you are somehow cheating on them when you go out and find someone else to fill their shoes. It's hard but for the sake of your children I see that the friendships that are formed in your own community make your children feel like they belong somewhere. Remember its not just you that lost your support its them also. Believe me I know. Love reading your blogs don't stop.

Anonymous said...

Make friends with those girls...you never know when you will need them and they are probably fun, nice, creative like you, and like wine. Years from now you will have an empty nest and they will too and you will have so much fun with them and so much in common. If you don't do it now you will be sorry later...trust me. Luv Ya...Neighba