Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone

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Finding friends as a SAHM has proved harder than I imagined.

It’s like dating.  But not only do your personalities have to click, you have to coordinate nap times as well.

I have had a difficult time finding that right mix.  I’ve met people here and there, hung out once or twice.  But it never goes beyond that.  People get busy, or they already have their groups of mom friends and it’s hard to make room for the new girl.  My feelings get hurt.

But then I stop and realize that I don’t exactly make a great effort either.  I’m not willing to disrupt our sacred nap times, I have errands to run, dinner to cook.  And sometimes I just like being alone.

But a couple of weeks ago I read this post over at (in)courage called Be the One to BE the One.  It really resonated with me because I feel like I’m always the one waiting on the sidelines, waiting for someone to pick me.

Waiting for someone else to pick up the phone, send the text or the email.  And then I thought, “Well, why can’t I do those things for someone else???”  I know how much I appreciate it when someone reaches out to me, so why not reach out to someone else and (hopefully) bring a smile to their face?

So I did.  I made a couple of phone calls, sent a couple emails and texts, lining up some play dates and nights out.  I offered to watch a friend’s baby last week while she unpacked from a recent move.  Maybe these gestures will be reciprocated.  Maybe they won’t.

But I’m learning to be ok with that.  Being ok with knowing that I did what I felt was right.  It might not look like how I want it to look, but I’m learning to manage my expectations.

And I’m hopeful that one of these days it’ll click.  I know friendships take a lot of time to develop.  The friends I do have took a long time to cultivate–years and years.  Adding babies and husbands to the mix means less time to cultivate friends.  But not impossible.

So in the meantime, I’m making an effort to be the One.  It’s not my personality and truthfully it exhausts me.  But I hope it’ll pay off.

Are you usually the one who reaches out?  Or do you prefer to be approached?  What’s a good balance?

Linking up with Shell

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Comments

  1. I have a tendency to be super shy, so I force myself to be the one who calls and makes plans. But it can be really tiring! Sometimes I wish another mom/friend would be the one to send the email or make the call!
    Caitlin MidAtlantic recently posted..Space Shuttle Discovery

  2. Every time you write something like this, I can so completely relate. I am just like you – I almost find it overwhelming to add playdates to the mix of errands and schedules. I am NEVER one to plan them, though I enjoy them so much. I try to reach out by signing Cameron up for activities but find it nearly impossible to approach and befriend other moms.

    However, it really feels great when I DO make that effort to get together with other Moms for playdates. And I think, once this baby makes an appearance, I’ll try to do a little better at being the one to reach out and maybe I’ll turn a few acquaintances into friends in the process.
    Laura recently posted..Pregnancy Plateau

    • Making the effort is hard, but yes, sometimes the payoff does feel really great. I hope you’ll get better with time and practice too. I’ll be here cheering you on!

  3. I learned I had to reach out. And it did really pay off.

    Though since we’ve moved, I’ve stopped… and so the friendships have faded. I should try again, but sometimes, I just get so tired. I know: excuses, excuses!

    • It’s easy for me to make excuses. I’m tired too, I have too much to do around the house. Or sometimes, I just want to be alone!

  4. Im always the one that has to reach out. And Im actually ok with that.

    But lately, Ive been calling less because I just feel like I am SO busy with the boys all the time. Thanks for the reminder!
    Jessica recently posted..Toddler Turned Maniac

    • I’m glad you are the one who reaches out and that you enjoy it! I think it comes easier to some people than to others. Keep it up! It’s so appreciated.

  5. I’ve learned to reach out, because every single mom I know says it’s so awkward making friends as an adult and we all want to be picked, not wanting to make the call… so I make the call…
    Not a Perfect Mom recently posted..The Man Who Never Wants to Get Laid

  6. Life As Wife says:

    I need to be the one more often. I wonder why I’m not invited to things or why no one makes plans with me but I shouldn’t wait around for the call!

    What’s the worst that could happen? They say no?
    Life As Wife recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Jump Around

    • I do that too–”How come no one calls?” But then when they do, I don’t always make myself available. Duh. It’s a 2 way street, I’m learning! And yeah, so what if they say no? I’ll find someone else!

  7. I am the one who usually reaches out…and lots of times I am let down but the few times I am not are the times when it was so worth it. I am the same as you and have hung out with some other moms but I wouldn’t say we are “BFF” or anything. Maybe it’s also part of being older? I’m still very close to those people that I have more history with than I am with meeting newbies.
    Natalie recently posted..Sneak Peek of Nursery Bedding Fabric

    • I get what you’re saying–my BFF’s are the ones I’ve had years and years of history with and I need to slow down and remember that those friendships took a long time to build (like 15+ years) so I can’t expect to have that same level after 2 playdates, lol!

  8. I am so proud of you. You are brave and strong, sweetie, like I knew you were.
    story recently posted..Things I thought

  9. Yuck. I prefer to be approached. I guess I just like to know that someone would think of me and choose to want to hang out, rather than simply accepting an invitation. But, too many other people are just like that, so I’ve learned to reach out to other people…
    mollie @ momconformist recently posted..Momconformist: SVU

    • I’m the same way–I like knowing I was thought of and chosen. But at the same time, I know other people feel that way too. Hopefully once a relationship is established, I will be thought of more often.

  10. I am always the one in real life to reach out or try to maintain relationships. Usually I get ignited and finally stop. I swear if it want for the internet I wouldn’t have friends.
    Kim recently posted..Pompidoo: My New Love

  11. I find that I’m always the one making an effort. When I realized how exhausting (and one-sided) it was, I stopped.

    No surprises, I stopped getting phone calls/ texts to get together. In a way, it’s sad. But I’ve come to realize who my true friends are. The ones who try to be the One to be just as much as I am to them.

    Good for you for stepping out of your comfort zone and making the effort – it will pay off!
    Alison@Mama Wants This recently posted..I’m An Angry Shopper

    • It is exhausting when it’s one-sided and I stop too when it gets to that point. And I’m glad you’ve found some friends who do try and be the One for you–that’s so important. But I figure someone has to make the first move when it’s still so new and I really hope good things will come from that.

  12. I’m really bad at this. I actually have a few friends who are really good, but sadly their outreach falls on deaf (translation: too busy) ears. Please accept my invitation to come over for coffee and Donut. Yes, it involves a plane ticket, but do it now while you still have a lap baby. I’ll teach her to swim :)
    Ali recently posted..The Day After Easter

    • I would love to come over and hang out. I know it’s so easy to get busy with a husband, 3 kids, a job, crazy real-life drama…

  13. I am usually waiting on the sidelines with you. I know I have to reach out more, but for some reason that terrifies me.
    Kimberly recently posted..They Teach So Much

    • It terrifies me too, it really does. I’m not sure where this sudden courage came from, but I hope it’ll lead to good things.

  14. I love this post. I can totally relate. One of my best mommy friends, I feel I actually willed her to come into my life. Sounds weird, I know, but I kept saying that I was looking for a woman my age (i.e.: older) who had a “boy” of my son’s age. I kept on thinking about it and saying it and so I feel I brought her into my life. I know what you mean though…it’s totally like dating. Kind of funny actually. I learned a long time ago though that I had to be The One. Being shy I was missing out on too many things. I hope I can teach this to my boys as well.

    Visiting for the first time from Shell’s linkup. Good luck with your search!

  15. You go! I’m so excited for you. You are right… maybe this will slap you in the face, but maybe… what if… it’s the thing that gets you one of those once in a lifetime friends?!?!? :-) I hope your actions are received with open and gracious arms!
    Jen Has A Pen recently posted..Survival, Sweat Beads, and Summertime

    • Thanks Jen. I hope so too. It’s amazing how looking at the other side of the coin has given me courage and optimism. I’m hopeful.

  16. I’ve never been the one to reach out because I’m not that interested in having other SAHM friends. Although I’m sure my kids would like to have some friends to play with.
    Jessica recently posted..Standing At The Crossroads. Again.

    • I’m glad you can admit that. I do think there are a lot of people who are ok being alone. I get that way once in a while and I am definitely not someone who needs a ton of people or activities. But every now and then, I do need someone. I wish I were as comfortable as you!

  17. It’s not that easy making friends as a work outside the home mom either. My church has great programs for moms…while I am at work. Not a single one of them is after hours. Nothing. And right now my best friend isn’t returning my calls either. I’m probably too much of a downer. Thank you Rach for not running from me.
    Charity recently posted..Working out the Struggle

    • You’re going through a tough time right now and I know that’s hard for other people to understand. I’m sorry you’ve had a hard time with other friends. I think it’s rough no matter if you work or stay home.

  18. Absolutely gorgeous.
    So proud of you.
    We have to be proactive in our life rather than waiting for things to happen.
    I have no doubt that you’re going to make great friends because you are just awesome.
    So proud of you.
    Xoxo
    Kimberly recently posted..There’s Nothing That I Wouldn’t Do…Except Oprah…Unless The Lights Were Off

  19. That is so sweet of you to go out of your way to encourage those other moms! I love that about you! :)
    Rach recently posted..College Buddies!

  20. I struggled with making friends during my first maternity leave. It looked so easy for everyone else. But with the second my priorities changed. I didn’t care that I didn’t have a group of friends to hang out with. I love incourage.
    Kim recently posted..Birthday gifts

    • I wish I had more of that attitude of it’s ok if I don’t have a lot of friends. I don’t know why it matters SO much to me. I mean, I do have some pretty awesome friends already, you know? Sometimes I think I want it more so my daughter can have playdates. Or b/c I feel like I should.

  21. I’ve been struggling to find a balance that works for me! Some days I feel confident and others I don’t. I am beginning to realize we are all in the same boat.
    Jen recently posted..Mommy-friends {Be yourself}

  22. You know I share this struggle, so this was a great message for me too!! Thanks so much for sharing! :)
    Branson recently posted..Leap Into Spring Photo Challenge {Blossom/Trees}

  23. one of my goals for the year was to be more intentional about my friendships. i go through spurts where i really make a lot of effort, and then i get busy again. i hope it sticks for me sometime soon too.
    Kara @ June & Bear recently posted..watermelon bench.

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