Guest Post – A young mom takes stock of her friendships

April 4, 2011 | By | 3 Replies Continue Reading

By Lisa Shoreland

 

Why does it seem like the further into adulthood one gets, the harder it is to establish and maintain friendships? As a kid, friendships begin as a simple exchange of a sentence or two on the playground. In junior and senior high school, the circle of friends evolves into groups of friends who shared a similar fashion sense, musical taste and/or extracurricular activities. In college, the dorm and lecture hall settings are natural breeding grounds for making connections and creating strong friendships.


Now, as I have just entered my thirties, I am realizing that the number of friendships I have is much smaller than it was just ten years ago. There seem to be fewer opportunities to create new connections because I am so caught up in the day-to-day responsibilities of maintaining a home, nurturing a marriage and raising my children. I often find myself at the end of a typical day exhausted and realize that I did not have a single conversation with a friend.


That leads me to wonder if this is the norm for stay-at-home moms. Is it due to the fact that I do stay at home or was it like this when I was still part of the workforce? Am I a bad person for not doing a better job of staying in touch with my friends? Is it odd that there is really only one friend that I talk to on an almost-daily basis? Is life like this for other stay-at-home moms?


Regardless of whether my friend situation is considered normal or not, I have decided that I am not satisfied with its current state. There will always be acquaintances. I have many of them. You know, the people you are friendly with and even hang out with on occasion, but you would never confide in them or trust them with your darkest secrets. It would be nice, though, to have a few more real, solid friendships—friends with whom I can reveal my deepest concerns.


From this point forward, I am going to make a concerted effort to connect with others and see if the door of opportunity opens for a new friendship. Not just that, but I will also reconnect with my current friends. It becomes so easy to get swallowed up by daily routine and life’s responsibilities, thus forgetting to do the simple, little things to remain connected to friends and the outside world. Sometimes, all it takes is a chat over coffee or a spontaneous shopping trip to rekindle a long-time friendship. It’s time to take inventory and plan a few coffee chats.


Lisa Shoreland is currently a resident blogger at Go College, where recently she researches grants for engineering students as well as grants for minorities. In her spare time, she enjoys creative writing, practicing martial arts, and taking weekend trips.

 

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Comments (3)

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  1. Laura says:

    Dear Lisa ( & others!),
    I am a college student, and I certainly see all the opportunity to make friends around me. But of course, in my future, I will be where you are– busy with life’s responsibilities, and perhaps not even in the same city as the friends I now depend on. Do you think that your diminishing number of friends is a result of changing priorities, of too many things conflicting and demanding your attention, or of just changing as a person and and finding new interests? Do you think there is a good preemptive way to keep your friends close to you and keep this “stay-at-home-mom-with-fewer-friends-phenomenon” at bay?

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is the very thing I’ve been struggling with for years myself. The older you get, the harder it is to make and keep friends. I’m nearly 36 and it’s just getting worse..

    I keep getting so disappointed by people…not just people I’ve recently met and thought I had something in common with, but by friends I’ve known a long while. People you could rely on just suddenly disappear from your life – and for no good reason. Doesn’t matter what you’re going through, either. (More often than not a person who expects his/her friends to gather around with support in a crisis will be completely let down. People just aren’t that nice.)

    The truth is people just drift…and they don’t really care about anyone but themselves. It’s only the people who suddenly find themselves friendless and lonely who care about having friends. Everyone else can justify their rudeness – justify treating others like expendable objects….

  3. Anonymous says:

    Just loved this post! I could have written it myself. You exactly address my current friend situation. As a stay at home mom, I feel hard pressed to find new friends that grow past the aquataince stage. But I do see other women who seem to have an easier time with it, Even being quite busy socially.
    So thanks for the great post! I definitely am feeling ya:-)

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