November 14, 2012

Courtship 101

Before I was a stay-at-home-mom, I was a teacher (if you're a regular here, I realize you already know this!).  As much as I loved teaching, the best part of my job were my coworkers.  I became (and remain today) very close with many of my fellow teachers.  When I was deciding whether or not I wanted to stay at home, my friendships were at the top of my teaching "pros" list.
 And when I did decide to take the plunge and become an official SAHM (when you use the abbreviation, it makes you even more official...I think!), one of my goals was to find some new coworker friends (other stay-at-home moms).  You see, I wasn't one of those fortunate people who had a group of mommy friends to frolic with during the day.  In fact, not one of my friends is a SAHM (and even worse, most of my closest friends are either not parents or live out of town...or both!).  But at the time, I didn't realize that the process wouldn't necessarily be as easy as show up at the park and make some new friends.
In fact, over the past couple of years, I have felt like I was dating again...and that's not a good thing! At first, I joined meet-up groups hoping to meet moms, but never really seemed to connect with anyone.  And then I just kind-of went with the conversation at the park, pool, etc. approach, and as nice as some of those were, I never felt comfortable taking the plunge and asking for a number or something so we could hang out seemed slightly overaggressive.  So for awhile, it was just me and the boys (and an occasional friend off) hanging out.
But there were a bunch of ladies at Colton's preschool/my gym (since they happen to be in the same building) that I frequently chatted with.  Like I said about 2 sentences ago, I had never felt comfortable asking to hang out with outside of the building.  I did notice, though, that a lot of them were going to a certain exercise class at the gym after dropping off the kids.  As someone who hates organized classes, I would watch them go in, but kept running away on my treadmill.  Some of the ladies even asked me to join in a few times, and finally after I felt like I looked really antisocial, I relented and decided to try one out.
Well, don't ya know...not only has the exercise class completely kicked my arse and helped tone up my body (it's a Muscle Blast class in case you're curious), but I also began talking with some of the women on a regular basis.  Now we've hung out with a group of them a few times (including a lovely moms morning at Starbucks while the older ones were in SAHM is that?!?), the boys have been invited to birthday parties and such, and I feel like all three of us are really forging some real friendships.
While I recognize that not everyone is going to have a situation as convenient as the gym/preschool arrangement, I do think the take home lesson here is that just like with regular dating, sometimes you have to put yourself out there and in a place that you may not be entirely comfortable in order to foster new relationships.  In fact, tonight I am headed to a 'mom's night out' event for Colton's school that I really don't want to go to.  I am going because several of the other moms are, though, and I feel like I should keep my momentum going!
In general, I would say that most moms are just as eager to make new friends as the others, so as awkward as it may seem, get yourself out there.  I will say that it certainly makes a day much nicer when you have some grown-up friends to chat with while the kids play!

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