I moved across the country in December 2011 and have had a very difficult time making friends. To those who know me this seems laughable. How could I possibly have trouble making friends? I can get a brick wall to open up and chat. Well, I moved to New England where the locals are not known for their warm welcoming ways. I had one friend waiting for me. We’d met through an online mom’s group. The lovely Jeanne is also one of the Inkslingers here at Catholic Sistas. We lived an hour apart and saw each other every 4-6 weeks.
In that time period I was very lonely. I was beginning my life as a stay-at-home-wife/soon to be mother. I prayed for friends. Since then I’ve made some big leaps in the friend department, moved considerably closer to Jeanne and have come to realize that the year of ‘fasting’ has made me appreciate my need for a social life much more keenly.
When we left Indiana, we left behind a vibrant community of young catholic families. Moms and kids got together on a weekly basis to pray the rosary and play, moms (and nursing babies) got together every other week for a book club or just a night of socializing. We also had regular family events: an Epiphany party, All Saints Day Celebration. We arrived in Massachusetts to find very few catholic families in the pews and – within a month of arriving – a positive pregnancy test.
I took a good look at what was available and sought out opportunities to spend time with other adults. I started with a sewing class. I met my second friend in that class and it was a moment of Divine Providence for she too is catholic!
Having secured two solid friendships, I became emboldened in my search for community. Whenever I would meet another mom I would offer or request contact information. I have yet to have anyone refuse and say they’d rather not spend time with me. I’ve met women at parish picnics, on-line, at La Leche League meetings (especially helpful for a nursing mama) and at coffee hours/potlucks to name a few.
Most recently, I met another mom who has two little girls, the second of whom is 4 days older than my little boy. I asked her if she wanted to exchange contact info and she lit up like a Christmas tree. We’ve bonded over lack of sleep, a desire to homeschool, love of traditional food preparation (ever made homemade sauerkraut?) and shared faith.
I recently decided I would try and bring these varied friendships together. I’m planning on hosting an evening once a month for moms and nurslings where we can visit, socialize and enjoy some grown-up times. My husband suggested we also plan on having a Saturday each month with the families where we have a potluck meal and play games. I can’t wait to see what comes next!
It is much easier to be joyful on my journey when I can share it with kindred spirits.
Do you have a good community of friendship and support? If not, don’t hesitate to extend an offer a friendship. You never know when you might be the answer to someone’s prayer for friends!
4 Replies to “Will You Be My Friend?”
This is such a timely post for me to read. I used to live in Indiana (for ALL of my 40 years!) and recently moved to Ohio – I know, doesn’t seem far but at almost 4 hrs one way and with kid activities and weather, it might as well be across the country! I moved to a small town where everyone has either lived here their whole lives or married someone that has lived here forever. Suffice it to say, people are nice but no one has the “need” for one more friend. I’ve given out my phone number, gone to different groups (PTO, “Catholic” groups, volunteer at both schools, etc.) and it has resulted in not a single friendship 🙁 I’m so lonely and frustrated and sad – I, too, could get a brick wall to be my friend. It’s funny how I’ve struggled with wondering if it might be ME – could I just not be lovable? UGH! What a pain that devil can be – thankfully, I turn to God to quiet those voices!
Anyway, I’m going to start referring to this as my ‘fasting’ as that’s exactly how I feel. I will try to offer this up and trust that God is either protecting me from hurtful people or refining me in to being someone better!
Thank you for this post!
Welcome to my home state! I’ve moved over the border to NH and feel the same way! All my friends, old and new, are not Catholic so I’m in a similar boat of trying to make friends in my current parish (for a big parish, not so easy!!) and naviagate the new world of motherhood! Anyway, just wanted to drop a line of welcome and encouragement.
I started reading and knew it was you!!! Aww just makes me miss you more ! Loved it !
Lovely post, Hannah! So glad you are finding ways to meet people and start a social circle. It can be so hard when moving to a new place. Every time I have moved to a new city of state I have been single and could easily get involved in things. I’ve never had to move as a mom or as a stay-at-home mom. I can’t imagine how much more difficult that would be to start out with no support network. Sounds like you are doing great and I hope this post can be helpful to others in a similar situation.
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