September 17, 2012

Transitions and Friends...

I've been very focused on the transitions the boys are going through, adjusting to their new schools.  Now that they seem to be happily settled in, I'm recognizing that I'm going through a transition as well.  Of course I knew this, but I'm able to give it more thought and attention.  I went from working full-time to staying at home full-time.  August simply felt like a nice long vacation, so it's only now that the school year has gotten underway that I really feel the change.

When I go to the school for pick-up, I stand in a large cluster of (mostly) moms, as we wait for the go-ahead to enter.  I've noticed that they all already seem to know each other.  I'm sure their kids went to the same preschools, or they met at a playgroup, or they attended the same music/gymnastics/soccer/fill-in-the-blank class with their kids.  Perhaps they are neighbors.  I do know a few parents of kids in the school, but they are ones who are still at the office during afternoon pick-up.  I've entered an entirely different demographic now, and I feel like I am starting over in so many ways.  Don't get me wrong - This is not a bad thing - It's just a change.

I attended a welcome picnic the week before school started, and thankfully one of my friends was able to attend as well.  During that event, as during the daily pick-up, I am reminded that I suck at meeting new people in group situations.  I loathe the idea of stepping into someone else's conversation, or introducing myself to someone who may be just fine standing alone.  There are a couple other "welcome" events this week, and I'm disappointed I am going to miss them; but at the same time, I'm relieved.  They are so not my thing.

Last week, I crossed paths with another mom walking her son to school.  Her son is in the same grade, and she happens to live about two blocks away from me.  We had never met.  In this situation, I was easily able to introduce myself, and we chatted during the walk to school and the walk back home.  I'll be making that walk every day, so I'm certain our paths will cross again, and I will extend an offer to get coffee after drop-off one day.  One on one.  For me, this is how friendships are made.


  1. I'm definitely with you on the making friendships thing. I've had a hard time making friends with other moms, because I find that I don't really fit the mold around here. (Most of the stay at home moms in our area are a little older, trophy wives, super religious, tons of kids, etc, etc.) It sucks, but it is what it is. I have made acquaintances with two, who seem more my speed, because I happened to see them at the gym after drop off. Progress! It's only taken me 9 months. :]

  2. When I read this, I immediately thought of Lou.....and how she was in a similar situation when she was suddenly in the playground more often.

    I've always been at the school gate since my children started school, I'm there every day - I realise that there can be a bit of a "them and us" vibe sometimes though, a friend told me last year that for the first three years she was nervous every time she had to enter the playground!! I had no idea!

    I am sure you will do fine - it's more the change in situation and the newness of it isn't it?

    Wish I was there, you know I'd have coffee with you any day!!

    Thinking of you XX

  3. Oh my goodness - I am so with you. We are literally going through this in parallel at opposite sides of the Atlantic! I have a coffee morning tomorrow with the new class - nerve-wracking. I recall when I did this at my daughter's school, it does come gradually and I did meet some real kindred spirits. I noticed that as I worked I was not party to a lot that went on and I realised that it to some degree disadvantaged me and my kids. It's really hard to say that as I am fully in support of working mums and I am still one! However it is definitely the case that the Mums who saw each other every day had a closer bond and did more out-of-school stuff than I did. They have told me now that they regarded me with interest as I was always the one breezing in, in high heels, always in a rush to get to work. It kinda stung to hear that I as I had not thought I had been so conspicuous!

    Now though I have grown into my skin a bit and I am OK with however I am regarded. It's all about self-confidence :-)

    Lou x

  4. Oh I'm so on the same page as you with mass school gatherings - the guilt and secret relief when you can't make the new parents school events! We have one this Sunday - so at least I'll have R to give me courage. So good to hear your boys are enjoying their new schools!
    Just been catching up on all your posts - wow your kitchen has been totally transformed - love it! And thanks for the book recommendations - the first two are going straight on my reading list.
    Have a wonderful weekend! Annie x


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