Moving to Kansas City from Chicago in 2008 was an exciting new chapter for me. I had a new house, a new job, a great future with the man who would become my husband, and … no friends. Everyone I came in contact with at that time was a native Kansas Citian with a core group of close friends, primarily those they had known since high school or college. As one new acquaintance put it, “they’ll be nice to you, but they won’t be your friend.”
Crushed, I soon realized I was a big city girl who dared to graduate from a university without an athletic department (gasp!) who then had the nerve to move to Kansas City, to swim alone in a sea (er, river) of KU and MU fans. Well, OK … a few K-Staters, too.
In the summer of 2012, I was blessed with another new and exciting chapter – motherhood. I spent that sweltering summer dodging heat stroke and crying along with my beautiful, screaming baby.
The four years I had already spent in Kansas City had led me to some fabulous women friends, but I knew it would be essential for me to connect with other moms for support. My mother met all of her closest friends after becoming a mom and has shared a special sisterhood with these women for more than 30 years. It can be done. But how?
It’s essential for moms to connect for two primary reasons: first, to make connections centered around family activities and have other moms share in those experiences, and second, to connect with other women (who happen to be moms) to share common experiences and maintain personal sanity, preferably over wine. These are the women with whom you discuss the most essential mom topics – such as the quest for the perfect post-baby bra and the alarming feats of diarrhea. Perhaps most importantly, these are the women to laugh with who “get it!”
By now you’re probably wondering how to get to all that laughter and wine, so let’s get to it!
Are there organized gatherings of moms at your child’s school, daycare, or place of worship? If not, be the one to start a group! There are likely many moms who would love to participate but might be shy about organizing something on their own. Moms are GREAT at organizing! Though I cannot always make the meetings, I dearly love the women in my MOPS at Nite group in Liberty, MO. If reaching out is not your thing, there are many mom support groups available in Kansas City already waiting for you! Check out KC Kids Fun’s listing of mom and dad groups, or KC Metro Moms’ support group directory to find great resources for support in your part of the metro area.
Moms know their children best, so what better way to connect with other moms than through fun, mom and tot activities you can do with your child? My son has been be-bopping and dancing to music ever since he lived in my belly. Our favorite hour of the week is spent enjoying Kindermusik classes together. Your child may love acting, sports, or cooking classes; whatever they enjoy, foster this curiosity by doing things with them, and mom friends are sure to follow. (For more on nurturing your child’s passions, don’t miss Kristin’s post from earlier this week!)
Become a Volunteer
Are you interested in helping young people? Are you passionate about animals? Are you an environmentalist? Find something you’re passionate about and get involved. Connections with others built from shared beliefs or causes are strong building blocks for great friendships.
If you’re looking for a place to start, visit Nonprofit Connect to search for nonprofits in your area. You can visit the websites of the organizations you’re interested in and contact them about volunteer opportunities.
Those first few months of motherhood were equally joyous and exciting as they were frustrating and lonely. When you’re a new mom, you question every decision; with mom friends, you may still question those decisions, but when you do it in the company of other moms who have your back, it makes the sweetness of motherhood that much sweeter.
Meredith Suarez is a non-profit fundraiser, retired flutist and mom to The Cutest Baby. (Yes, she went there.) Having written numerous song parodies, articles, and musings that have remained in her head, she is finally releasing her creative spirit and writing about the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat in parenting. Meredith lives in the Northland and remains pet-free, though if she had a pet it would be an English Bulldog named Leland. Or Geddy. Or Gomez.