I often hear moms, especially moms of multiples, talking about how much they lack in the social department. I get it... I really do. Having a social life seems nearly impossible some days. But why? Is it because you don't have time for it or because you don't make time for it? I found myself being the mom who thought I didn't have time for it. I had newborn twins, I was pumping every 2 hours around the clock, severely lacking sleep and honestly, I could hardly function. How was I going to get myself together on a week night, when my husband works late, get everything ready for my little ones and get myself to a moms group meeting? I figured it out but not until the twins were around 8 months old. The answer: take advantage of your support system and your loving village. If it's a moms only meeting, it's okay to take a break, to call a family member or friend you trust to watch your little ones for a couple of hours and go meet other moms. If kids are welcome, get up, get everyone around and head to the event. Wake up in the morning confident, with a plan and you're sure to be successful. If you're nursing, all groups I know of are super breast feeding friendly, don't let that hinder your decision. If you're pumping, hook those bottles up, attach those flanges, plug in the car adapter and pump on the way. Come on now, ain't no shame in your mom game!
I cannot express how much I wish I would have joined when I found out about the group, which was when my little ones were still in the NICU. Better yet, I wish I would have researched and joined a group while I was still pregnant. The support is unimaginable. From meals for new moms, monthly support group meetings, moms night out, couples nights, family events, play groups, group consignment sales, unique friendships, secret Facebook pages where support is available 24 hours a day... it's amazing and irreplaceable. You need it, I promise. Google and Facebook can be your best friend for finding a local group near you. There are a variety of groups, support groups, play groups, etc. Join a few! They all have their unique aspects that you'll cherish.
If you're a mother of multiples, Multiples of America has a handy find a local club tool that makes the process easy! If you're not a mother of multiples the wonderful MOMS Club also has a find a chapter process. Both are great organizations that I highly promote to all moms. They are everywhere! There are many other types of groups to look for as well, including local play groups, MOPS, etc. find the group(s) that are right for you. You'll know what group(s) fit your family best. If you look, you'll find a group of moms, moms who have many of the same struggles, frustrations, experiences and adventures as you. It's fantastic.
Since joining two local moms groups, I have been more social and gotten out of my comfort zone more than ever before and I love it. I am somewhat of an introvert, although it depends on the day. I had to gather the courage to show up to a meeting, in which a room full of women who mostly knew each other very well were sitting, staring and smiling as I, the new mom, walked into the room. It was awkward, sure, but a sense of relief overwhelmed me as I sat down and was greeted with a warm welcome. These are women who I relate to, share experiences with and make long-term friendships No matter my relationship with them, I appreciate each and every one of them. We all have our similarities and our differences but in the end, we're all in this together.
Is there drama? Yes, plain and simple. We're women... HELLO! But, put on your big girl panties and stay out of it. Seriously, don't get involved no matter the source behind it. Be supportive and encouraging and have a good time.
Did I mention that I'm not only a member of two groups but I put myself out there and also became an officer for the local Multiples of America group and I haven't looked back. I'm having fun y'all and you can too.
All that said, being social is not only about joining groups, going out frequently or even being social within the same group you were pre-motherhood, although the latter is ideal to some degree. Who wants to lose touch with their long term group of friends? Nobody. I also maintain the same group of friends as I did pre-pregnancy and even pre-marriage. My friends group isn't large, I just have a handful of close friends. In fact, one of my very best friends for the past 14ish years is childless and I continue to cherish her friendship just as much, if not more now. She has been incredible. There's no reason you can't maintain friendships with those who are childless if you both continue to put in the effort. She helped me so much when they were newborn and continues to help us endlessly. From driving me to the NICU to see my sweet babies, cleaning up spilled breastmilk , feeding and changing A & S, cooking dinner, doing my hair, running errands, giving me a break to shower and helping with doctor appointments when family wasn't available, the things she does are abundant. Plus, she's a rockin' bonus aunt for A & S which is a sweet deal! Don't just focus on having mom friends, focus on making family friends. There's not much I cherish more than meeting up with our best friends and having monthly family dinner nights, we have a blast! I can't even begin to express how important having great friends is, both inside mom groups and outside.
Do yourself a favor, whether your're a stay at home mom or a working mom, get out and find a group that fits and join! Whether you make it to one event a month or several, you won't regret putting yourself out there and meeting other superstar moms!