In my head, I’m a mom who loves to plan events and make new friends. In reality, I forget names very quickly and talk myself down, or freeze up, when someone asks me a personal question.
While I always have a fun time when I’m out with my already established friends, those moments are few and far between. Most of them live a state away, and I’m the only mom, meaning that conversations have changed up a little. I try hard not to constantly bring up stories about my daughter, but the truth of the matter is, she’s the most interesting part of my life right now. The lack of communication has made me a little introverted.
Moms everywhere often have trouble making friends.
There’s an app out there called Peanut, which is more or less Tinder for moms looking to expand their friendship circle. So far, I’ve made one friend on it. But even that was difficult — I had no problem texting, but when it came to actually hanging out? Every worst-case scenario played out in my head, from our kids not getting along to an accident happening on my property. In general, texting just feels a lot safer.
While it’s OK to be a little sheltered at times, it’s not really fair to my daughter. There’s so much ahead for her that I’ll need to shift my anxiety to the side. Here are some of the biggest struggles that antisocial, or introverted, moms have.
Both having them and going to them is a pain in the butt. Fun for the kids, but tough for the mom who’s socially awkward. Do you just stand there? Do you try to make small talk with other moms? Leading the festivities can also be challenging. When you invite other kids to your home, you’re literally in for a rough time. Even the sweetest kids can be overwhelming when they outnumber you.
Approaching Other Moms
It’s tough to feel like all the other moms on the block know each other. It makes me wonder if I’m giving off a “do not approach” vibe since I usually get nothing more than a polite wave. I’d love to be the person to go up to them and chat or invite them over for a playdate, but it’s just too difficult. Verywell Mind suggests that a first impression means everything when dealing with neighbors, but for me it seems like that window already closed.
Getting Beyond Small Talk
I fail miserably here. Does anyone really care that it’s colder outside today than it was yesterday? These topics are great for jumping-off points, but they never tend to go anywhere. Other parents probably just assume I’m overly enthusiastic about the weather. I wish there was a word or phrase you could say that just states, “I’d like to get to know you better for the sake of our kids, but I don’t participate in many social activities.”
Participating in School Functions
This hasn’t come up yet, but I’m still terrified. Other moms seem to have a natural flow when it comes to school activities. I’m unclear about how to participate — and I know I would stress about it for weeks leading up to the event. I know I need to be an active part of my daughter’s educational life, but I don’t see myself openly volunteering for much.
Depending Too Much on My Spouse for Social Interaction
My husband has always been my best friend, but that’s not always a good thing for someone who’s become antisocial since giving birth. It means that he’s the only adult I feel comfortable talking to, face to face, every day. That dynamic can sometimes be overwhelming for him. It’s important to know how to put yourself out there and expand your network of connections, especially if it includes people who have been through similar experiences.
Asking the Important Questions
Is there a polite way to ask another parent if there are guns in the house? This question is incredibly important for future playdates but also sounds rude and judgmental. It’s also hard to navigate into a conversation about weapons, as they’re not something the average person chit-chats about during day care pickup. Instead of facing that issue, it just seems a lot easier to hang out at home, where I know it’s safe.
Anxiety Over Saying the Wrong Thing
I’m extremely close with my kid, but in general, I don’t know how to act with a group of kids — so I may come off as being avoidant. The problem is, I remember exactly how it felt to be ignored or silenced by an adult when I was younger. Many kids are raised to believe that adults don’t have faults, so I always figured that the strange response back was based on something I did. It still sticks with me, and I’d hate to make another child feel like they’re not important.
Normalizing This Behavior for My Daughter
Right now, she’s 2½ — and a real firecracker. I’m impressed with her social skills, and I actually envy her a little. She’s not afraid of meeting new people. If I don’t become more of a people person, I’m scared she’ll eventually pattern her behavior off mine. As parents, we’re responsible for setting good examples. I need to remind her that people aren’t scary, and by saying no to invites out of fear, you’ll miss out on life.