Jason and I were reflecting -- enviously -- on my brother's social life the other day. Granted, he has no children, but he's only 2 years younger than we are and he seems to be "out with friends" any time we try to get ahold of him. "How does he know that many people, let alone know them well enough to call them friends?" my husband was saying grumpily. And then it hit us: my brother lives and works in the city where he graduated from college -- so most of his friends are his old college buddies! (No fair.)
When I taught in Colorado for five years, I was lucky enough to work at a school full of kindred spirits, so I made strong connections with my coworkers. Most of us were in similar "life situations" (late 20s or early 30s, transplanted from all sorts of places across the country, married or in long-term relationships, pursuing a career in education out of passion for it rather than necessity, invested in working for progressive social change), so it was easy to bond over our commonalities.
(some of my favorite people from Colorado)
And then I moved to Illinois and started working at a very traditional public school where the teachers all grew up around here, went to two or three schools within easy driving distance of here, married someone from here... it's not that they weren't friendly, but the message was fairly clear from most of them: "I already have an established life and circle of friends, and I don't really have room for someone new who doesn't fit the mold." And the few people I did connect with? Well, it's not easy to stay in touch now that I'm at home during the hours we used to spend together.
There are three main moms groups in town, and one of them isn't accepting new members. I have tried to go to events hosted by one of the groups, but I always end up feeling out of my element. And the final group -- where there are definitely kindred spirits, which is so, so lovely -- tends to be moms of older toddlers, so they often meet at times when I have to be home with a sleeping baby. I enjoy my time with them when I get to see them, but I don't feel like I've made any super close friendships (yet). It'd be nice to be able to hang out with other moms and kiddos close in age to Lorelei during the daytime rather than having to sacrifice my few sacred hours of time to myself at night, too...
I think that's part of the reason blogging has become such a big part of my life. When I check in on blogs from people like Emily, Margaux, Jennifer, Amber, Nicolle, Manda, D., Leah, and Megan, it feels like a virtual playdate: they all have babies who are a very similar age to mine so we can commiserate, swap tips, lend a sympathetic ear, and feel in general like we're not alone in these parenting struggles. Wish we could do it in real life, too! I'm so jealous of Libby and her group of friends who are all soon-to-be mamas -- how wonderful would it be to go through something like that together?
(some of my girlfriends from back home in MN at my baby shower -- wish we lived closer!)
Do you have any tips for finding adult friends, especially if you live far away from where you grew up or went to school? Have you tried using cards like the ones PJ is offering up in her giveaway? I'd love to hear your insights!