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Monday, January 03, 2011

I resolve to be a different person.

No, really. Not totally different, mind you, but different in two fundamental but related ways. I'm going to put myself out there and be bolder than is my habit.  I am going to be the friend that I want to have.

First, this last year, the last six months, has really taught me two things: that I need to ask for help when I need it, and that I need more friends. Don't get me wrong, the friends I have are awesome and I could never, ever had made it this far without them (Shawna, Brianna, Anna, I'm looking at you. Also, the ones inside my computer who were so encouraging and supportive) but it was a really tough year. I was pregnant and then had a baby and Mike was so so busy with work and not by choice. Then he moved and I really struggled to do it all alone, and then we moved, finally. I had to force myself to ask for help, which was so very hard for me, because I felt like there were so few places to ask and I didn't want to overwhelm my friends too, you know?   So the first half of my resolution is to put myself out there and make friends, so that I have more resources when I need them again. I want a list of more than one when I need a babysitter or a hour of adult conversation.

We're (the babies and I) going to go to library story time and I'm gonna force myself on the other moms. I'm already asking around for toddler groups (haven't found any, but have been asking.) I'm chatting up the other moms and grandmothers at McDonalds (or was when we went every day before we had internets at home.) If the weather would allow we'd be outside stalking the neighbors. I'm determined to make my social circle wider in my new home.  I'm not going to be the quiet one in the corner. For the sake of my sanity and my kid's, I'm going to do this.

The second part, which is related, is that I'm always going to offer to help. If you're sick or hurt or your husband is gone, I will offer to bring dinner or watch your kids or hold your baby or take out your garbage. I will call to see if you need something from the store. I am not waiting for you to ask me because you might be on the edge of a breakdown before that happens. In the past I would mindlessly wait for you to ask me for help, but now I won't. Of course this depends on the first part happening, but since it will, it follows that the second part will as well.

You can hold me to this, I promise you.

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  1. I was in your situation last year. I needed a friend...I wasn't new to a community, exactly, but new enough.

    Check out MOPS and MOMS Club for specific mom related groups. I invited a friend over from Community Bible Study (nationwide). We've been friends ever since. Real friends. Not just friendly.

  2. More power to you. You will find friends. You will eventually meet parents of your son's friends from school, too. Try volunteering at school, too. There are often things you can do even with a baby and toddler in tow.

  3. What a wonderful resolution. You will find that you will meet more people as your kids get older.

  4. This is a very well stated goal. We often circle around, being friendly and the tough part is actually diving in, making yourself vulnerable to become a true friend. I think the second part will help the first part.

  5. This is an excellent resolution! When my girls were young (the twins were born when my oldest was 3), the play group moms were my salvation. Absolutely couldn't have done it without them! When kids all got to school age, the moms enjoyed each others company so much that we re-invented ourselves as a book group.

    The twins are high school seniors now, several of the moms have moved away, but we're all still friends. A few of us even continued the book club. Good luck, Lisa!

  6. Aww, great post! Moms Club has been an unbelievable gift to me. 11 different moms brought us dinner when I gave birth recently!! I would like to deepen friendships this year too though. It's hard to get beyond knowing someone on just a certain level, like seeing them at storytime. I wonder if moms club is as awesome in other cities. The demographic here is unique -- most people in moms club here are people who, like us, have recently moved to the city and want more friends.

  7. I am friends with a lot of people but don't have a lot of the kinds of friends that I can ask for help. I need to work on that, too. But I'm like you; I hate to ask for help. And also like you in that I need to offer the help to others before it's asked for considering that other people are probably like us!

  8. I haven't talked about it much but I lost three, very close friends in 2010 because of a divorce and the reason for the divorce and the kids affected by the divorce, etc.

    At the time, it felt like losing very close friends, but now, I see that they were never close friends to me, just make it appear that way. It hit me how much work that must have been, to cover things up and to keep things from me, and it hurt, but then I realized that they kept it from me because I would have told them my true thoughts and that's not what she wanted to hear.

    So I joined a women's group. They've invited me like 40 events (no joke) and I haven't gone yet. You've just reminded me take the plunge and go.

    That part about being the friend you want? I always thought I was that, but some people don't prize honesty as much as me. That has been a problem with friendships I've had in the past too. I need to be a bit better with my filters, without giving up morals.

    Good luck with your goals. You are a great friend to me, even though I am one of those computer people you mentioned. LOL.

  9. Oh Lisa. I'll be the first to admit I'm a crappy friend but it was (and is) really difficult for me to be so far away and feel so helpless when I KNOW you need so much help. Even someone just to come over and make fun of the diaper shit that the dog dragged around.

    I truly hope you find what you're looking for. I'm also one of those who HATES asking for help--even from my best friend mom who lives less than a mile away--it's tough and you have to swallow your pride. But sometimes people also LIKE being asked to help--something about feeling wanted and needed by someone else.

    In terms of being the friend you want, this is another area I struggle with because I'm so selfish with my time--would rather spend every second with Scott than with others--but I should. I'm a firm believer that people will feed off of you and in return be the friend that you want them to be as well. Does that make sense? Be a good friend and have good friends in return. Same goes for attitude. Have a positive attitude and people will be positive to you in return.

    Lots of love. And when the dust settles from the move, I hope you really end up loving it in Pierre!

  10. So many women--myself included!--have difficulty asking for help. But so many of us--myself included--would gladly jump without a second thought to help a friend! We make things so unnecessarily difficult for ourselves sometimes, don't we? Needless to say, your resolution is well thought and meaningful to you and your friends. It's just great. I know you'll do it, too.

    I was lucky and established a small network of very good friends around the time my oldest was 18 months old when I joined the local La Leche League (looking for advice on weaning..HAHAHA! You can guess how that turned out. LOL!). Anyway, about four or five of us clicked like old friends straightaway. It was great... and still is. We're still close even though our babies are in high school!!! OMG.

    All the best for a great 2011 to you! xo


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