Being a Mum can often be lonely. It may be assumed that you have lots of Mummy friends, or that you are constantly busy, and have plenty to do. The reality is you may often be at home with your children by yourself. If you happen to be a SAHM then this may resonate with you more.
When I became a Mum for the first time, I was really anxious about making new Mummy friends. Other friends who were more seasoned mums or people I semi knew seemed to have it all sorted. They had a group of friends that they may regularly see, plenty of groups that they went too, and I often felt like I was on the outside of this looking in. Now, I am fairly confident, and I think quite social, but if I don’t know someone too well, it takes me a while to warm up (so to speak) and start to feel confident to open up. Being vulnerable with someone who is a newer friend takes me time. This is my nature. Approaching a group of people who are already talking (even if you know someone in the group) feels like you are interrupting a private conversation. Will they want my input, do they even like me that much, what do they think of me, are all questions which have popped into my head. If you do muster up the courage to join the conversation then inevitably there may be some social awkwardness. I mean what if I say something really stupid! I’m pretty certain I have done this, although any specific example fails me right now. Perhaps I have wiped it from my head, because I was so traumatised by it. Then the conversation just dries up, and you make your excuses politely and move on. I saw something that was posted on Facebook recently about how we use our children as the excuses, you know the kind of thing, ‘oh look at you, lets get you cleaned up,’ or, ‘come on lets get you a snack / its time to go the toilet,’ etc etc. I have certainly done that.
At some groups that I went to with BB, I focused on him. Some people would come up and say hi, but others seemed to be secure in their group of people. I would look around, and feel fairly self conscious that no one really wanted to talk to me. You can start to get a complex, I mean seriously, come on what’s wrong with me, do I look that unfriendly!
The way I felt about groups definitely stopped me from attending so many, and I really regret letting this bother me so much.
With LP it is different, I am more relaxed and more confident, but I still wasn’t looking forward to groups. I know a few more people this time around, so there have been more play dates, and I see family quite a lot. I have some wonderful friends, truly amazing people that speak into my life, but we all have things to do, and unfortunately can’t always meet up so regularly. Sometimes I crave that regular contact with someone at the same stage of life, someone who gets where you are at, has the same issues, someone you can chat freely to without fear of being judged for something you said, and will totally forgive you of any social faux pas. Relationships however take time to build, friendships blossom through experiences and over months and years. We certainly can’t be everyones friend, and I don’t want that anyway. I just want to meaningfully connect.
It seems to me that there are different types of friendships, and that depends on the age of your children. I am entering a new phase where BB is finishing pre school and will be starting ‘Big School’. I will be meeting more new people and my son may or may not become friends with their kids. Just because our children are friends, doesn’t always mean the parents will be.
Sometimes I feel that being a Christian, may also make me seem like I am a crazy woman, I’m not (well, maybe a little, but thats got nothing to do with my beliefs). Perhaps a better description would be that I may come across as unapproachable. It’s really tough sometimes to have a conversation with someone where you share what you did over the weekend or during a week night, which may go something like, I went to church on Sunday morning and my husband was preaching, or we had a homegroup tonight where we talked about our Sunday sermon. I’m not overtly pushy at all, and I don’t just say things for the sake of it, I’m not like, ‘Jesus this, Jesus that’, but if conversation comes round to it then I will say what I did, or what I think about something. However you can tell pretty much immediately if someone feels uncomfortable and they just want to get away from you. I do wonder what other people I meet might be thinking of me. Perhaps it’s better I don’t know. I was speaking to J about this the other day, where I said something like ‘I feel like I just don’t fit in all the time’, he asked me if I was going to change who I was, and I said ‘no.’ I can’t change my personality and who God made me for each person I meet. It is something that I have been and do wrestle with though, and it does bother me. I am working through this right now.
I am unique, as I write this I feel a little sad, with a tear in my eye, I am a Mummy going through the ups and downs of life, who sometimes feels lonely and wants to build meaningful friendships with other people. I also happen to be a Christian. I want to Let my Light Shine.
Phillipians 4:13 (ESV) ‘I can do all things through him who strengthens me.’
Matthew 5:16 (ESV)’In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your father who is in heaven.’