I’ve been struggling lately on being a friend and making friends. With being a friend because I’ve allowed judgement to cloud my vision and heart. Making friends because it’s been easier to stay home when I’m dealing with a cranky preschooler, and chronic pain. Friendships have never been a tough reality for me before now. But add in my age, job transfers, having a child with special needs I found my struggle is real. Plus wanting to hang out in my Netflix pants than be social is a chore. I’ve moved around a lot when I was younger between my parents, Grandparents, and older sibling. I survived all that because I was relatively close by. Except when I moved five provinces away and was the new kid on the block and going to a new school.
Every town I’ve lived in I’ve been blessed to connect with the like minded people. I still have a very strong connection with the Moms that I meant when I just had one child. We met, supported, and fell in love with each other and our children, on this journey through Motherhood. I know they’re only a phone call, text, or email message away. And we text regularly so we can keep each other in the loop of our lives. I’m happily married Mom of two and my husband gets transferred a lot. In fact this our fourth move as couple and the third for our children.
Why is it so hard to make friends? I live in a city and not everyone is a stay at home Mom that I do encounter. And some work full time and I only see them at play groups on their days off. Recently I attended a gathering that I read about on Facebook. I didn’t know a soul there but I put on my brave pants and went anyways. I ended up having a great time and finding out that the hostess only lived thirty minutes away from me in my prior residence.
Now I’m happy to say I’ve made a friend and we have a social meet group where we can post events that are happening or request a get together. I have Mom friends that I’ve met at playgroups, now I’m befriending young married couples. I’ve connected with a Mom who’s son is best friends with my oldest. It’s been wonderful as her youngest is close in age to my own. The one thing that’s ironic is the majority of friendships I’ve made have originated online or in my reality have taken a long time to develop.
Why is it so hard for me to make friends? I’ve been lonely for a long time and I found myself searching out old high school friends and reuniting with them. It’s been great to reminisce about the good old days and meet their families. They’re very busy so we connect when it’s meant to be. I joined a theatre group these people became my family. We spent two days a week together learning each other’s names, faces, and lines in the play. Come performance time I was with them 4 days a week plus performances on weekends. Now I never hear from them, no numbers were exchanged, only one Facebook friendship requested. I asked myself why is it so hard to make friends now at my age?
I came to the conclusion that I needed to start a friendship revolution. While I was lonely and spending late nights crying, reading, and writing on social media that I would start to connect with people online. What I found was lonely people with insomnia like me. Through my blog I started to connect with my readers and form friendships. Wonderful, loving supportive people that became my tribe. I refer to them as my bunker family that Punk Rock Papa originated. as a safe place to express our thoughts, share our pages, blogs, and respect for another. I even met two of them as I found they lived close by, and one visit still pending. Even though I haven’t met most of them I have formed a kinship with a kindred soul bond.
We reach out with love, support, and kindbess, by reading each other’s blog and frequenting each other’s pages. We haven’t sat together in a coffee shop, or passed each other by on the street. But we’ve shared stories of family’s, our children’s successes, and our own private pain. I don’t believe that online friendships originated on social media aren’t real. I never discount the amazing Mama’s and Papa’s that I’m blessed to have in my life. They’ve got me through sleepless nights, early mornings, misbehaving kids, and temperamental doctors. I shared more with them then my own family at times! Why you may ask? Because I could, the door was open and a mutual respect torch was passed from one to another.
Now I’m very proactive about getting my needs met. I need social interaction in my life whether it’s online or in person. And I recently started to attend some support groups and a parenting family workshop each week. I’ve learned a lot about myself as I’ve shared my life, loves, and struggles. I’ve learned that no parent is an island and we all need love, understanding, and acceptance. It’s what we all crave in life with a great dose of respect on top of this social sundae.
Since I moved a majority of my friendships are online. Not that I haven’t tried getting to know people in person without a screen. The interactions were either short lived or forgotten about. Recently I attended a support group and all of us Mom’s had the subject matter in common. We talked for over an hour after the meeting ended, sharing stories and getting to know one another. Each commenting that we were lonely and looking for friendships. Then we all went our separate ways without numbers exchanged or a promise to friend each other on Facebook. It was the strangest thing to ever happen to me. I appreciated the conversation but not one person said lets get together again, except me that waved goodbye and said you can find me on Facebook and my blog.
Life in the city is so different for me this time around. When I had my kids I connected with other Mom’s and their babies through playgroups. Now I connect with them online and then meet up in person to create a friendship. Is this the way of the world now, is it the way life is in the city, or is it just people’s comfort zone levels now? I think it’s a combination of all the above and everything I’ve written about here. It doesn’t deter me from not trying to establish that connection the old fashioned way. Now it’s parks, playgroups, and play dates that have become my social life outside of my screen. I know two people on my block and really that has to change. This may not work for everyone and it’s my own personal, and honest viewpoint on this topic of modern day friendship. I feel like a pinoneer forging on my quest to start a friendship revolution. Who’s with me? 😃
I’ve linked up today with some other great bloggers to start a #friendshiprevolution. Follow the hashtag on Facebook and Twitter to read some other interesting blogs. Thank you ❤️