A few weeks ago I took Vivi to an apple orchard for the afternoon. We got apple slushees, apple donuts and a big bag of freshly picked honeycrisps to make a pie. As we sat outside in the sun I was hit with this overwhelming sense of loneliness. There was a group of moms sitting under a tree right in front of me, their kids all playing together as the moms talked about tantrums, marriage and the best kind of cookie from Target. Another group of moms walked behind me with their kids, it was clear they spend a lot of time together because you couldn’t even tell which kid belong to whom, they all just sort of went together like some sort of modern day sister-wife arrangement.

While I’m grateful for all the friends who live in my computer (hi, you) there are times I am terribly lonely in real life. Where does one even meet mom friends in real life? I’m also a sort of strange hybrid of mom friend myself, I travel a lot and I work from home, but I also have a toddler and school age child. Many of the people close to me with a toddler and third grader have a few other kids in-between. I don’t really know anyone else in real life with the 6-7 year age gap. I have really great friends in Indy (and all over the world), but the biggest struggle is all of them are more than a 30 minute drive from me, which makes it hard to get together on the spur of the moment.

Bests. #ClickRetreat

Mom dating is hard, because not only do you have to get along with your new mom friend and share some sort of interests — your kids have to get along too. It’s the worst when you like a mom but your kids don’t really get along, or vice versa. I know there are moms that live by me, ones I am friends with — but they’re really busy. I’m really busy. Addie has to get off the bus, Vivi has to nap, I have to work….

A friend called me tonight and said she’s felt a tapping on her heart that she needs to find some ladies out there who need friends, friends who aren’t afraid to get together in sweatpants and no makeup. Friends who need a friend that can admit that life is sometimes really hard but friends can and do make it better. She was nervous about asking for my help, but every word she spoke went right to my heart. This isn’t an online thing, this is a real life thing. This is a ‘put down your phones and let’s all talk about how we used to cry for hours because we were so tired with a new baby’ thing.  This is a let your flaws become your greatest and most charming asset thing.

Neither of us know how to do it, how to bring these women who we know are out there and who need other friends together. Her exact words were “I don’t know what it will look like, but I know what it will feel like.”

Grave Digger pit stop, somewhere in NC.

So do I.

And it’s kind of scary, what if they don’t like us? But it’s also kind of thrilling — finding other hearts out there you were meant to be friends with in this life.

We both said we’d pray about it, leave it up to God to put us where we need to be to find these ladies — or maybe — we were just meant to find each other for now. Regardless, if this is something that speaks to your heart (and really, we don’t give a lick if you talk to God or not as long as you’re a nice person) maybe you could join us? We’re not sure how or when, but we are sure it needs to happen.

Comments

  1. Was telling an online friends about my loneliness, too. I’ve better relationships with my online friends, as my couple of local friends simply are not friends. It’s not easy when your not comes from your kids, as I am not married anymore and people picked sides… Even though I did nothing wrong. I understand the lonely. I truly hate it most days. I should come see you.

  2. chrisgharmon says:

    Yes, yes, yes. A thousand times yes.

    I wonder how many of those other moms I see who look like they are surrounded by so many friends are actually really lonely too.

    Don’t know what the solution is, but would love to figure it out.

  3. I’m in.

  4. I feel ya, sister. It’s taken me 13 years living here to cultivate, like, 4 friendships, and one up and move earlier this year. When I’m in Indiana, I’m among my people. It’s exhausting to keep trying. But I will. Otherwise,…
    Thanks for sharing. (I’ve been lurking more than commenting lately, but you are still my favorite…the only one I keep up on religiously). xoxo

  5. Yes!

  6. Amanda Gee says:

    I would love to find mom friends that were close to my house.

  7. I do have friends with kids around my daughter’s age, and they get along and we get along, and its still pretty lonely most of the time. Everyone works full time so its really hard to find the time to actually get together. And any “moms groups” we have around here do not cater to working moms. at. all. Sorry, but 11am on a Tuesday isn’t going to work for this lady!

  8. This speaks to me, too. Mom dating is so hard, and the schedule juggling is near impossible. But I have recently been adopted into a playgroup that is so wonderful and here’s some things that help make it work.
    -it’s a fairly large group, which is great, because when someone has to miss a week (or four), the group doesn’t lose momentum
    -people aren’t offended (well, at least, I’m not offended) when someone can’t come- it’s just life, and we keep inviting them
    -having a standing date (for us it’s Friday mornings) and rotating through who hosts or plans the activity
    -the kids’ ages vary but they are mostly in the same phase of life- we see less of the mom whose oldest is almost 10 because he gets bored with the baby stuff

    That being said, I still yearn for connections with the ladies in my neighborhood/ward/street and it’s hard to make it happen!

    I hope this starts happening for you, lady, you’re too good not to share.

  9. Yep, I struggle mightily with this. I wish there was a match.com for friend-seeking!

  10. I’m not a mom but still suffer from that same sense of loneliness. I got divorced earlier this year and moved from Noblesville to Zionsville. Divorce is horribly isolating, as was the fertility struggle that preceded it. I’ve never been a good friend-maker. I’m painfully shy and new social situations make me anxious.

    So if y’all ever have that sweatpants get-together, I’m in.

  11. Oh how I get this. So much.

    When we were very active in a synagogue, I had, like, instant friends who we’d have friday night dinners and saturday afternoons with. It was so nice. But now that we aren’t…I am desperately seeking real-life friends…and I don’t know how to do it. Sigh.

  12. I am so totally in. I am one lonely momma who’s only friends live 2 hrs away in my hometown. I used to have a boat load of friends, then I had babies and I have no one close who “gets it” so yes. I’m am so in

    Shannon Reply:

    @Shannon, forgot my twitter @IndyCarChick

  13. Yes. This. This speaks to my soul. We just moved (again), and it’s exhausting to think about starting over and making new friends. It’s like magic when you meet one of those “kindred spirits,” to quote Anne Shirley.

  14. Love this post so much. I go through this daily. I have friends near and far, but none that I can always just call up on the spur of the moment.

    I don’t have kids, most of my friends do, so that makes it even harder.

  15. I’m in the same boat, but I’m not a mom yet. Just someone who is often lonely and wants some real friends. It’s not easy for me, either, because most women my age do have kids. The people I meet without kids spend all their time in bars still and I’m past that part of my life. I want to know what the secret to meeting people and making friends is. I’m fun, I like kids, I like people. Where are my friends?

  16. I’m right there with you. My husband keeps telling me to make friends with the other moms in the neighborhood, but how do you do that? Randomly knock on their door and ask them to be your friend??

  17. I asked. I knew I needed mom friends and it turns out I need the kind who are open and available enough to make it work. We may not always have the same ideas on life, but friendship is forged in commitment. I will keep making efforts with the moms I think I can get along with easily even when it’s not easy because relationships are worth the extra work for me and I want people to know they are valued.

  18. Being a military spouse sucks in the fact that I have to go back into the mom dating world every few years. I don’t like talking to strangers but at the same time I try to be the one that gives the rides or hosts a playdate because I know how much it sucks to sit inside with bored kids because you just don’t know what to do. I’ve met most of my friends through local Facebook mom groups. There have been some amazing women and a few crazies in there too lol

    Also, it’s hard having a big gap in kids! Mine are 5 years apart. I feel like it’s too easy finding toddler mom friends through playdates but my 8 year old always gets left out :(

  19. Even though I’m miles, and miles away you’ll always have someone to stay with in Jersey! I love you Casey, and I thank you for this wonderful post!

    xo

  20. I have maybe 2 mom friends…one I rarely see(every 3 months or so). Most mom groups in my area aren’t geared towards working moms. I only work part time and I find it difficult to participate in anything. We can hang out any time though….I live on the westside. Vivi and my son are only a couple weeks apart in age!!!

  21. Yes! 100x yes! I have this lonely feeling quite frequently. I would love to be able to get together with other mommies.

    Is Addie doing the spectacular? Maybe if my anxiety doesn’t get the best of me, maybe I can say hi to you then.

  22. THIS. So much this. It’s even harder when you’re not a mom yet and all your friends are, because then they do the mom-kid-date thing and you get left out.

  23. Joe Shoemaker says:

    Time to move into the city…

  24. I am stuggling with this too. My old friends are in different stages of their lives so we keep in touch but it is not the same. Working full time with a commute and life in general doesnt leave alot of free time to try to make friends.

  25. I hear you. I wrote about this same longing on my blog in a post titled “Oh Friend”. I understand and an supporting you in prayer and also trying to network locally.

  26. Being a 27 year old mom with four kids who are all school age, I feel you on this!

    Moms with kids my kids ages assume I was a teen mom (wasn’t) and to be honest, look down on me. (We live in a wealthier neighborhood) Moms who are my age have younger kids than mine or were teen moms and while I’m good with those things, they seem to expect me to be a snob (see : living in a wealthier neighborhood)

    I just want some friends!

  27. Have you tried meetup.com?

    It’s just as hard to find friends when you don’t have kids.

  28. I feel ya. I live in Farmland, IN (about 1-1/2 hours from Indy) and really don’t fit in with many people here. I also have 3 step kids (19, 14, & 9) plus a baby due in December AND our 19 year old gave us a grand baby 2 years ago. Needless to say, NO ONE is in the same boat as we are :-)

    Not to sound too stalker-ish, I follow you on Instagram and think you are super cool. If you get a community together (either online or in person), I’d love to be a part of it!

  29. i’m so there. completely. i moved to indy a few years ago, and being a full time work-from-home mom with 2 kids in daycare full time i haven’t really been able to find many people with a similar situation, either. it’s usually either moms who work outside of the house, or stay at home moms who keep their kids with them. and then adding the whole ‘do our kids get along’ thing…oy. i’m so over feeling like i have to put on real pants, so if you need more yoga pants + sports bra + showered-yesterday-but-slicked-on-deodorant-for-your-benefit-today folks, i’m in :)

  30. I just want to “like” a whole bunch of these comments! I’m really shy too, with massive self esteem issues, so I have a REALLY hard time putting myself out there. I live south of Indy, and we’re always “weird”. I work full time from home,and I have 5 children. I don’t ever expect to find someone JUST LIKE ME!!! but it would be so nice to have even one “real life” friend to hang with.

  31. I went through this same thing last year. I was longing to have close girlfriends – someone I could call and would be there for me for whatever reason I needed. I read books on it. I tried to make new mom friends at my kids school – setting up coffee dates and movie nights. And even though in the end I didn’t accomplish what I set out to do (find a bff) I did learn a lot about myself along the way. The day that I decided to stop trying was on my birthday. As I watched Facebook messages come in wishing me a happy birthday I noticed who was doing the wishing – it was family, old high school classmates I hadn’t seen in years and a small group of friends that I see every month or so – they live out at Heritage Lake in Coatsville – a good 45 minutes from me in Indy. As I was a little heartbroken that not one of the 25 people I work with (I’ve been there for 13 years) wished me a happy birthday but these ladies I only see occasionally but know me so well – I realized that I was searching for something I already had. Plus my husband is my best friend – he’s the one I want to talk to when I need to complain or cry or laugh. I never intended to write this much … I wish you and your friend luck on your adventure and I hope you learn as much about yourselves along the way just like I did.

  32. I think that most women feel this way but don’t talk about it. I know that when I’ve opened up to people I usually hear them echoing back to me exactly this same thing. I always feel like I have a lot of friends/acquaintences, but no one that would call me their best friend, or heck, even top 10 friends. I used to think that it was just me, that I was different and somehow broken and less than everyone else. When I’m already down I start think that I probably deserve to be lonely.

    But you know what? This post has inspired me to start a mom’s fight club. A group of ladies just trying to make it through life with our ugly parts all put on the table and hearts ready to be healed through laughter and probably lots of food and wine.

    I just recently heard something that struck a chord with me. “If you’re going to love, it’s going to hurt.” It’s time to stop shutting people out to protect myself. There’s probably a few good friends that got missed out on.

  33. Melissa Lynn Benham says:

    I have been going through the exact same thing, Casey. Two years ago, we moved to my husband’s hometown – what was supposed to be a temporary stop before going off to live our dreams and use those college degrees we paid so much money for. Well, we’re still here. Anyone my age seems to be either in one of two categories – one, two or three kids (I have none) – or single, drinking and partying it up (no thank you). I love my husband to pieces, but would desperately love to have friends too…

  34. I’m totally in. I’m about to go from working full time to being a SAHM for the first time in my life (my oldest is 6.5 years old). I’m excited, I’m scared, and I’m a little lonely since my mom friends all work. This is a new adventure for me — and I’d love some new friends along for the ride!

  35. You know what is really weird, this afternoon on my drive home I had thought of you, and I wished that you lived closer because I just know we’d be fantastic friends in yoga pants. I’m terribly lonely sometimes too. I am never really alone because I have my daughter with me, but I have no Mom friends, or anyone really. I’m not a social leper, I just cannot figure out how to make friends. I work with younger women and men who are GREAT people but are just in different stages of their lives than I am. I’m not from the area where I now live so I don’t even really have an acquaintance support network.

  36. Amy in StL says:

    This really hit home for me. I don’t have kids – I don’t have a husband either. But my problem is as an introvert who works in an extroverted field, making time for my friends in the evenings is hard. I want down time, just me time. But I also have a boyfriend that needs time, an elderly mother that needs time and other family that needs time. I don’t know how to make time for friends, but I feel really lonely at times.

  37. I was lonely and bluesy and generally all frowny face. While listing general gripes to my dear husband, he looked at me and put it simply. He said, “You need a wolf pack.” Good Lord, he knows how to get to the point. He was right. We’d moved, changed jobs, moved again, stared into the pit of secondary infertility (damn you, Uterus) and come out the other side. When I stopped and looked up, I realized I was lonely.

    During Sunday school I decided I’d use that hour to quietly reflect, drink a cup of coffee and make a grocery list. Seriously, I was excited about an hour alone inside my head. When a woman walked up and asked to join me I was a bit miffed. And then I realized we had kids the same age, lived 3 miles apart and shared a passion to find a cure for pediatric cancers. Thank you, God, for sending that crazy lady to pick me up like a barfly at the church coffee hour. I joined their local Cookies for Kids Cancer chapter and met the ladies. Now they’re on my speed dial for sanity checks. We laugh, cry, cheer and curse together.

    It’s a crazy world we live in. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

  38. I wanted to add one more thing and a bit of advice on the mom dating, because it can be rough.
    1. Good luck. It’s worth the effort.
    2. It takes real effort. Be willing to give more than you get at first.
    3. Know when you’re giving too much and that girl just isn’t going to pan out. Be willing to cut bait.
    4. Host drinks or desserts at your house. Kick out the fam, and make it a girls night in. People are amazed if you cook for them. Seriously. And if they’re not you might need new people.
    5. Be the kind of friend that you want to have.
    6. Best wishes, Casey. If we lived close I’d offer my time in a heartbeat. You’re a good, fun person and future wolf pack members will be lucky to have you.

  39. YES! This. My daughter is 9 and in 4th grade and it still boggles my mind that all these people had babies at the same time! If you think about it – all her classmates are in the same age range. I mean – HUNDREDS of us that all live in the same area and we have kids in common. But I feel very much on the outside of this group of parents who are all friends.

    The one parent I got really close too moved 1100 miles away. We are still in touch often. I’m very much an introvert so I make it so much harder on myself.

    If we do some kind of Indy meetup I will definitely try to come…

  40. Yes. I’m in. Parenting is so hard and it does get lonely. It would be so nice to get together with other moms who get it.

  41. I’m one of the lucky ones who have an amazing group of women around me- but I was exactly in your place 6 years ago. Two kids, no friends, busy lives and it was so, so hard.

    But I put myself out there. I found moms in my kid’s classes/lessons that I thought I could click with and introduced myself, invited them over for a playdate and saw where it met. I clicked with some, but not with other and slowly a core group of 7 women emerged. All of our oldest kids are boys around the same age, so we try to enroll them in activities they like together so we can hang out.

    We also do monthly girls-only dinners. It can take a whole month to find a date that works- but we do it. If you can’t make it, that’s fine- no hard feelings, but we try to accommodate everyone’s schedule. We also try to invite at least one new woman a month to join us because everyone needs a tribe. Everyone.

    Good luck- I really hope you find your local people soon!

  42. SO hard finding mom friends. I often end up with a lot of moms wanting to be my friend because they feel like we know each other because they read my blog, but I just don’t always connect with them. Blogging makes it weird sometimes. People feel like they know you even when you barely know them. It’s nice in a lot of ways, but makes it hard to find friendships that you truly connect with. Too bad I don’t live in Indy or you don’t live in Portland… pretty sure we could be mom friends :). Love you lady – thanks for always sharing your heart!

  43. Online wolf pack we are… real life friends are pretty awesome as well.

    It is worth the effort, because the ladies in my life keep me sane.

  44. Oh Casey, I’d love to talk to you but I’m afraid you’d hate me! You live close to me. Very. Without putting too much on the internet, I’m just as busy as you are with work, a kid, marriage that started young like yours and everything else in life. I was SO excited when I figured out you lived HERE too!

  45. Casey, I totally feel you on this. I’m an Indy Hoosier (now) too and have a small group of incredible friends – but they all live in my hometown, a couple of hours away. I do have a few girlfriends here but between kids (I have a 2.5 year old daughter and a newborn) and work (full time when I’m not on maternity leave), those friendships haven’t crossed over the line yet from good to amazing. I’m hopeful that with time and more attention on my part, they will get there, but it’s scary to think that maybe they won’t and that when my life is not so full of kids and family committments (that will surely happen sometime, right?) I will find myself very alone.

    I have no idea whether you and I could or would be friends in real life, but I like coffee, my daughter likes the zoo and children’s museum, and my schedule is wide open between now and January.

  46. How timely…I’ve been crying because I’m lonely for the last 15 minutes. I don’t know if I would be any good in this group, but if I can work out timing I would like to try. I need to try something. Although I’m likely not cool enough for this group. :)

  47. I have a 1, 6, 10 and 11 year old (B,G,B,G)…it use to make finding mom friends a challenge, because I thought I needed to find someone whom had the same child set up situation going on. Then one day I figured out that it was okay to have different mom friends, at different stages, because at the end we are all MOMs :)

  48. YES YES YES OH GOODNESS YES! I have a big age gap (teens and 3rd graders) and i travel for work and Same Same Same!

    I’m in – I’m in Texas and would totally be in.

  49. I’m in Indy too. Well, we are homeless right now as we sold our home and haven’t quite figured out where to go, yet. I have a HUGE gap between my two as I suffered secondary infertility for 8 years. They are nearly 9 years apart. 12 (boy) and 3 (girl).

    Funny story is that we left Indiana for a few years and went to Salt Lake City for my husband’s job and I wasn’t there 3 months before I was pregnant. No pills, no shots, nothing. Must be the altitude. Go figure! I had a difficult pregnancy and especially afterwards and was very sick for a while so we went “home” to Indy. I’ve not made a single friend since. I just don’t know how to break in anymore.

    Mom’s with toddlers don’t really want a 12 year old tagging along and he doesn’t want to tag along. But we homeschool and so I just can’t go running around all day.

    Awkward. But, someday we’ll get settled and hopefully it will all work out.

  50. Thank you Casey. My first year as a mother has held incredible highs and crushing lows, and the thing that has made it all so lovely (even when things are ugly) are the friendships I have built with other moms. I never knew that playing with blocks and drinking tea in another woman’s living room could be SO satisfying. It’s even more satisfying when you make it work in spite of crazy schedules/naps, etc. We all need each other so much!

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