Being outside the “cool” Mommy Circle

As a kid, teenager, and even most of my adult life, I have never had any problems making friends. I had a larger circle of people that I was associated with, and those few important people that I considered my close friends. I always imagined that when I had children that I would be good friends with at least one of their friends moms, or at least I would know who these women were. I imagined that my kids would have play-dates on the weekends, and snow days ,and of course the summers.

My oldest being in Kindergarten, I am learning that creating these relationships with other mom’s is not easy. I find it hard to reach out sometimes, and not one mom has ever called me for a play-date. My son spoke about his friends in school but I never really was confident about inviting them over to my apartment. Now that I moved to a house, I am eager to have people come to my home but now we are in a new school and my anxiety over meeting new people begins again. 

Many of the families who live here either grew up in this town, or married someone who grew up in this town. Even though I grew up here, since I went to private school I do not know anyone. Now that I have moved, I have to pick up my son from his school every day. When he was on the bus, I was able to make conversation with the other moms that picked up their kids-especially since we all lived in the same apartment complex. Now, I stand alone and no one really talks to me. There are the same women gathering every day. They all group together in little Mommy circles. They are laughing, and smiling, and talking about, well I have no idea what they are talking about. I don’t think they are intentionally leaving me out,and they are not ignoring me, or being mean, they just don’t know me. I would like to have someone ask me how my weekend was, or even talk about the upcoming horrible weather we are having, but alas I do not have that at all.

 I stand at door #3, trying to be invisible, yet feeling like I have a huge red blinking sign above my head that says “NEW MOM ON THE BLOCK. I am also at fault. I do not reach out. I am not introducing myself to anyone. I think it’s because I am scared.  I do not know what to even talk about to another mom. Most of my conversations are centered around my past. My abuse. My advocacy. I try not to let that define me, however, it is such an important part of my life. I have this need to share my story so that I can try to make a  difference. So that it was not all for naught. I have gone back to school to get my Masters in Social Work so I can work with victims and survivors or domestic violence. My ultimate goal is to change laws to protect the survivor NOT the abuser and to open more centers like 180 Turning Lives Around, all over the country. 

So here is my dilemma and I am opening this forum up for advice. How do I let people know about me. who I am, and what I am about without making it too much?  I do not want to seem cold and rude but being general but I also do not know how to be less passionate. I am an “all or nothing” gal, and I have a hard time with the grey areas. But in the end, I just want someone to talk to at door #3.

3 thoughts on “Being outside the “cool” Mommy Circle

  1. Abby, love, let me tell you a secret about me. I grew up a shy child. Books and music and language and art became my world. I didnt have a lot of friends growng up, but the ones I had were very dear, close friends. I had plenty of kids reaching to me trying to be my friend, trying to get to know me, but I pushed away, because before the age of 3, my mother taught me that those closest to you who are supposed to care hurt others you care about and leave you, displaying more more emotion than they had gotten a sliver in their thumb. I spent all of elemetary school, junior high, and my freshman year of high school kind of floating out on the edges of oblivion. People I considered acquaintances called me friends. Those who called me family I called friends.

    The once in my sophomore year, someone who had been trying to pull me out of my well-stocked, very comfortable shell pretty much gave me no choice and dragged me along with them. And the oddest thing happened. My shell fell off somewhere and I didn’t even realize it was gone, because I was too busy running. In college, I was like a magnet for people, and I never really understood why. People would come to me asking for advice, help, support, or just someone to hang around with and then they kind of would never leave. The swimmers were always asking why I talked to the basketball players who always asked why I talked to the equestrian majors who wanted to know what was so fascinating with the sorority girls that I would talk to any of them.

    I was this way until Kevin. Almost over night, that part of me was gone. I wasn’t allowed to have friends, I was allowed supervised conversations on the phone with his sister, and i wasn’t supposed to care about what happened to my family and was not allowed to see them or call them unless Kevin wanted to use them to get something. People passed away in the family and I was dragged away from one memorial service and not allowed to attend others. People moved away and I haven’t seen them since I was with Kerwyn before…. that was 2007. If I tried to talk to people, what I said was supposed to scripted, I was supposed to tell them these certain things about myself, and that I liked things he wanted me to like, I was supposed to act a certain way, and if I didn’t I was punished physically and also by being further isolated. I forgot how to interact with people. How to act, what to say, how to start a conversation, how to make friends and keep them…

    I understand where you are. The only thing that is going to help is take little steps…. which means being vulnerable to being rejected at your first attempt. Maybe the second or third. I started small. Maybe if I had seen the same person several times in the past few days outside of normal circumstances, I’d laugh and ask if they were stalking me, or say maybe even I can’t even seem to get rid of you… or do you live here? But I guess for some that would be gutsier than you’d be comfortable with, because sometimes you catch someone in a mood or they jut don’t know how to take you.

    In the morning when you are standing waiting for the bus, make it a point to acknowledge one of them by smiling and saying hi or good morning. When your son starts interacting with the other kids, watch who he talks to most and find out who his / her mom is and reach out to her. If you ever run into one of them outside the bus stop situation maybe say something to her and start a small conversation with her. If you reach out, you don’t look closed off. If you reach out, you look confident (even on days where you feel like crawling under a bush and hiding). It might take a few times before you get an actual conversation going, but they will have time to get acclimated to you and will be more willing to talk…. as opposed to someone who just stomps up to them and starts talking like they’ve know the stranger for years.

    Also, a little bit of love and patience toward yourself wouldn’t hurt, boo. I’m just saying. It’s hard with the abuse and the DYFS garbage in your past still slapping you in the face, and you’ve moved on top of it. These are all stressful things that tend to sap confidence and self-appreciation, so just be patience and loving with yourself. You are still learning who you are, but you will find that confidence again. I know you will. Look how far you’ve come, sunshine. Just look back and see how far you’ve come.

    Love you

  2. WHAT?! omg, you are hysterical and pretty and have a great warm smile, amazing laugh…you were all these things before your abuse and you continue to be all these things (and more) after. Do not let it define you, it does not have to be the topic of convo at the bus stop in order for other moms to ‘get you’. Its not who you are, it’s what will be your basis for helping others, that passion to making things right is admirable. You are not shy. Just say hi. Give a compliment, and smile. Who could resist you? I wish you were at my bus stop. I’ll always be your friend. xoxo.

    • thanks, i think im pretty funny too! lol its just hard to break the ice-its not at the bus stop, its more at the door to pick up Joshua, Its like everyone already has their friends BUT one parent introduced herself-her daughter is in Joshuas class. Her name is Carol-go figure right?

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