Finding My Village

I have a guest post today from my friend Staci!  Staci and I are contributors for the East Valley Moms Blog.  We were fast friends when we realized we were both graduates of UNLV {Go Rebels!}  Staci wanted to give her own spin on friendship after becoming a mom {In case you missed it, you can also read my post here.}  Enjoy! xoxo

Finding my Village

When it comes to friendship I always felt like slow and steady won the race. I had friends growing up, prided myself, in fact, on having multiple groups of friends so I never felt stuck in a clique. In college I did the same, and had a wonderful time with people from different walks of life and parts of the country. I figured some of these friendships would fade over time, hopefully to come back around. I figured I’d evolve and eventually, when the time was right, would find that perfect friend or group of friends that I was meant to have forever. Easier said than done. Adult friendships are hard to come by and when you find them, they aren’t always as perfect as you’d always hoped they would be.

After having my daughter 7 years ago, I thought I would find solace with new Mommy friends. We would all immediately bond over dirty diaper tales and spousal work schedule woes. We’d spend our days at the park, playgroups and then all hang out socially on weekends. It was a perfect world I painted for Sawyer and myself. A perfect world that doesn’t exist. I did find some Mommy friends – neighbors, parents at Gymboree, dance and preschool…all that seemed like suitable companions for us. However, what I quickly realized is that they had their group, somehow or another, and I wasn’t welcomed. I was fine to hang out with at said activities, but for weekends and playdates they had their group. Period.

I got discouraged for a while, thinking I was the only one without a circle to call my own. Then shortly after having my son, I met a wonderful lady in a pee wee sport’s class. Our kids were both the same ages, had similar interests and we had so much to talk about. The relationship was easy and she too did not have many friends. Hurray – I was starting on the right path. We quickly made plans for get togethers, bbqs, you name it. I was at peace with my situation and felt things were going well. When this friend had surgery I cooked her family meals, took her daughter with me to activities, and called all the time to check in….that’s when my husband staged a not so subtle intervention. It was a year into what I thought was a “best friend” –ship. He pointed out his concerns: 1. This friend never had me to her house, only came to mine. 2. This friend never called to see how I was doing. 3. When I was ill this friend never offered any help or support. 4. This friend was never appreciative when I did nice things for her. It was a hard blow but one I needed. My hubby suggested I take a step back and see what happens…give my friend a chance to be in control. Well, three years later I am still awaiting my phone call. Lesson learned.

Shortly after this, I reconnected with some friends from the past on facebook. They were friends I had fond memories of including lots of laughter and good times so it felt immediate and safe. They were both moms and had similar lifestyles to my own. We joked over social media about many daily things, they got it…they got me. It was nice. We soon found ourselves writing lengthy email correspondences and even sending each other’s children cards, notes and gifts. We were discussing visiting each other across the country. I once again felt I’d found some best friends. One of these friends had a horrible health situation come up and the other a divorce. I did my best to be there for them over the computer, but somehow they found a different shoulder to lean on – each other’s.  My “book like” emails didn’t register anymore and they both shut me out. It hurt, but I had learned it was best to move on without letting it drag on too long.

I started to ponder, did I need a “best friend?” I mean, I did all the things required of a best friend, yet I didn’t have one. Maybe adult friendship wasn’t for me? I started to realize the best thing I could do is be myself, put myself out there, be open and enjoy time with my family. Maybe friendship would come to me.

When we moved into our new neighborhood about a year ago, I realized both my children were starting new schools and I needed to have an open mind. I was friendly to all the parents I met at both schools, and something magical happened. I made friends! It wasn’t so hard, for some reason these new friends were open to getting to know me. They had me and my kids over, and vice versa. They helped me when I needed it, they asked how I was, and they cared. They still care. Many of them have pre-established friendships. Many of them already have a “best friend” secured. But I am un-phased by this. What I’ve learned is I have people who like me for me. They love my kids. They want the best for us. Whether or not I feel they have given me a title doesn’t matter. As adults, finally finding my “village” is reward enough.

Staci Headshot

Staci is a Chicago transplant who has lived in Arizona for 10 years. She and her husband Eric, two kids Sawyer and Garrett and dog Angus recently moved to Gilbert and are loving every second! Staci began her writing and advertising career in Las Vegas after graduating from UNLV. She held a position as Copywriter for Mandalay Bay’s advertising agency DRGM, and has since been a writer for an accounting firm, credit union and health food company before becoming a full time mom. Staci loves to bake, entertain, craft, blog, decorate her home and play Room Mom to her daughter’s class.

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