Im looking for a mom who needs a friend

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On a recent Saturday morning, I took my month-old son to the park. Two other mothers, sans partners, were already in the middle of a conversation when I walked up to the swings. Walking yet? Such an interesting age, right? By the time my son and I returned home, I was drained. More than that, I felt lonelier than I had before I had left my apartment. I understand their function. A person cannot prepare for the exhaustion and stress and no one else really understands other than a fellow parent.

But for me, a lot of this mom-confabbing became more about feeding new-parent anxiety than quelling it. If I ever wanted to have some sense of normalcy or free time again, I had to stop searching blogs about whether my son was taking in enough breast milk or checking in with a mom friend whose kid was developmentally leaps and bounds ahead of mine.

Im looking for a mom who needs a friend

For all practical purposes, my life needed to move away from neurosis and fear and toward finding a space to incorporate my other identities that I had long adored and missed — as partner, writer, editor and friend. I have learned to juggle these roles somewhat so that every once in awhile I get a waft of fulfillment and no one gets totally pissed at me. Not to the bar like I did in my 20s my hangovers are too atrocious these days. I just need my old ones more than ever. If I could describe motherhood in one word, it would be overwhelming.

Or rather a consuming, intense love and ferocity to protect not just my child, but abstractly, all children, which is kinda cool. But back to the lonely part. When someone goes through a major life-altering event, their friends will often adhere to accepted social mores, however unintuitive they may be. Like sending condolence texts when someone loses a loved one, or bringing food after the arrival of a first baby. But as time passes, the gestures taper off. People forget.

Im looking for a mom who needs a friend

I may have been relieved that my kid was crying less and sleeping more at 5 months, but every month that followed turned into a pile of evidence that I was never going to live in the same breathable, choice-directed space that I had spent most of my 38 years. Even though I was not the first person ever to raise a baby, and even though I'm very fortunate to have a supportive partner, and even though I do have friends who happen to be moms whom I can talk to about mom stuff, adding defending a defenseless being to an already crowded plate of duties left me with a sensation of drowning.

But hey, maybe that pal from the Golly Gee Gator singalong will want to talk about the sinking abyss in her anxiety-riddled gut too? Hint: Go the nearest park. This is a surface relationship which is great because there is a purpose for those, too. But when blogs talk about making connections by chatting up another pregnant women in the OB waiting room, this is surface stuff. Society needs to acknowledge that new parents still desire emotional support from people who already love them, from people who have the energy to give it.

Im looking for a mom who needs a friend

I feel like that my closest friendships are crucial ties that keep me grounded as who I am as a person. Science backs up this physical and psychological need that women have for intimate friendships: In a UCLA studyresearchers found that reaching out to others is a biological response and a natural stress reliever for women, as they release the calm-inducing hormone oxytocin when they seek out and engage with fellow ladyfolk. And a study of nurses with breast cancer found that women with close friends were four times as likely to outlive those without a social circle.

Im looking for a mom who needs a friend

Friendships can even alleviate the chances of someone catching the common cold — because, again, less stress. But what no one will admit is that this is inherently impossible in those fraught new-parent years.

Im looking for a mom who needs a friend

My husband is a wonderful man, full of patience and compassion, but he and I are deep in this same war together, trying to get through the endless responsibilities of the day without driving each other crazy. We can be each other's best practical support, but not each other's best refuge. Not now, not yet. Friends provide a healthy escape that child-rearing partners cannot. When I meet a friend for dinner, we talk about the latest Netflix show, dumb celebrity bullshit, the summer stench of New York City and our futile attempts to stamp out the patriarchy.

It is with my closest friends that I feel like the self I most enjoy. It is essential for my health, for my survival, that I fall apart. The unfortunate paradox of wanting to turn to friends during times of stress is that stress is one of the biggest tests of friendships. And when I said I wanted to make it up to her, she told me that it was cool.

Im looking for a mom who needs a friend

The little nail when she ghosted a long-planned date, the little nail when I was five days late returning a voic message. Add to that, one party suddenly being devoured by a screaming baby, and the work needing to be put into a friendship, from both ends, might not seem worth it.

But this is notallchildlessfriends. Being a mom or not being a mom is not the best ifier when it comes to which friends are all-weather, which friends can hear each other and which friends will put in the effort to stick things out.

Oh boy, was that ironic. During our nights out, I barely touched upon my feelings of drowning, how desperate I was to break down.

Im looking for a mom who needs a friend

I wanted to be the adult who got herself into this mess and would handle it alone. But the one thing I needed, the one thing I was afraid to show — that I needed a space to fall apart because I could not do it all — had put a silent wedge in our friendship, and it was the thing she was willing to give. It seems that what I wanted and what my BFF wanted were basically the same thing: the unwavering, gushy, messy part of friendship that exposes all of our greens and grays — not just the catching-up over drinks or random texts. Women can forget that our friends can be a safe haven for our vulnerability.

We just have to be willing to go there. We try to coast where we think we can. But all relationships take work, even friendships. I told my friend that I had no idea that she felt that way. I had taken for granted that her feelings mattered, too. Fall apart. Love your life, because it's great, even it's stressful. And with that, my face was flooded. Friendship was another garden, among my many gardens, that I would have to keep tending to. Jessica Machado is the lifestyle editor at the Daily Dot. You can follow her on Twitter.

Sticky Header Night Mode. I don't want "mom friends": As a new parent, I need my old friends now more than ever They tell women to befriend other women with kids the same age — but strangers are no substitute for lasting bonds By Jessica Machado Published August 19, PM EDT. Related Articles.

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Im looking for a mom who needs a friend

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