Can I Get A Friend, Please?

Did you miss me? Have you noticed my absence at all? No?  Ah, well, okay.  I’ve missed you, or at least the idea of you, imaginary reader. Writing for Ms. Behaved was (is) my grown-up, just for me thing, and I have not had a lot (any) of that, lately. This summer has been about my family.  My kids.  My newborn. And I’ve loved every exhausting second of it, (okay, not EVERY second), and I wouldn’t change it for the world.  It’s exactly what I wanted, but also: Me. Now, mmkay?

She’s perfected cute but not conversation.

Of course, let’s be honest, “Me” isn’t going to have much of anything to talk about besides BABIES for the immediate future, because “Me” cannot move more than twelve inches away from my daughter without setting off her scream and flail about switch. For real. She’s asleep on a pillow ON MY LAP as I type this, because if I put her next to me, she will wake up and demand to suck on my boob for the 2 minutes it will take her to fall back into a blissful sleep. So, yeah, there’s that.

What’s really on my mind right now, though, is school. As in my 4 year old son starting reception in a few weeks.  Reception is the equivalent of Kindergarten, i.e. big kid school! Which means uniforms and packed lunches and P.E. kits and do any 4 year olds actually wipe their own bums or tie their own shoes and (deep breath) the dreaded school gate. You know, where moms all stand around in cliques judging each other’s messy hair and pajama pants and children?  It sounds awful, right?

I mean, I barely have any friends in this country, let alone mom friends whose children go to the same school as my son. Is it sad and pathetic to say all my friends live on the internet? Yes, it probably is, but it’s also true.  My friends are scattered across the globe at this point, even the ones I’ve known all or most of my life, and making new ones seems way harder than it did in grade school!

For example, my health visitor encouraged me to take my newborn to the weekly weigh-ins.  Your baby gets weighed, a bunch of health visitors are there to answer any questions, and there are tons of toys, babies, and new moms all sat around lonely and looking for other people to commiserate with. Sounds perfect for a new mom/foreigner like me, right?  Except it isn’t like that at all! The moms are all sat around in small groups of women who already know each other, with their kids playing in front of them on the floor. Some women bring their husbands with them.  CHEATERS, I say! CHEATING CHEATER-PANTS!  I’d totally bring mine if he wasn’t at work,  but he is, so I sit there by myself  looking like a lost puppy and exchanging awkward smiles with the other friendless moms, who invariably do not speak English.

So yeah, hopes for making school gate mom friendships are not high. I swear, I used to be the kind of kid who would strike up a conversation with anybody.  Now I find myself acting all weird and self-conscious when people talk to me.  What the hell happened?  And anyway, is this it?  Am I damned to be friendless and awkward for all eternity now?  Have I used up my allowance of friends for my lifetime or something?



  1. I FEEL YOU. My son is 12 weeks old and he is my first. I am a single mom and i am back to working full time. My only” friends” are coworkers that i don’t hang out with outside of work and one of my good friends has moved halfway across the world. Sadly she was the only person that visited me somewhat regularly. Now I am hopelessly alone. I used to be amazing at just going out and meeting people, but I scarcely have time to go anywhere. I love my baby, but I miss having friends…friends that WANT to hang out. All of my friends are single and loving it…and their idea of fun is definitely NOT having dinner with a crying baby on a sunday night. I hope I can find time to make mom friends I can relate to…if any exist that aren’t annoying and pushy with their nuclear family republican bs that most moms have in my part of town.

    • shannonhumphreys says:

      There seem to be SO many of us, that you’d think it’d be easier.
      Good luck to both of us!

      • . HOWEVER, Woman B claimed she had never said anhiytng to A about my wife spreading the rumors and that she was simply concerned about her. She was sorry, apologized, but understood if my wife didn’t trust her as a friend. My wife was hurt, but choose to forgive woman B and move on and attempt to repair things with woman A.The next morning, woman B went to A and told her what my wife had done to her. Woman A was concerned about the accuracy of the information she was getting from B. Woman A asked her again if she was sure that what she had said at the party was true, including the party about my wife telling many different people and maliciously attempting to start the rumors. B said this was all true again, and that my wife was really upset with A and wanted to bring her down with what she said.A week later, my wife tried to talk to woman A to apologize for what was said. Woman A would not even look at my wife. She said she was done with her as a friend. She explained that woman B had come back to her to tell her she had been talking about her AGAIN, and she reiterated about the fact she had been spreading the rumors maliciously and my wife wanted to hurt woman A. None of this was true. Woman A called my wife a slew of fowl language in front of me, in front of dozens of her close friends and in front of many of my wife’s friends. She stated that she was lying because woman B had said these things to her twice, and that she wouldn’t lie.My wife is woman A’s boss. Woman A is letting this effect her work. Woman A has cut off all communication with my wife outside of work. Woman B is now completely avoiding my wife entirely as well as woman B’s husband, who is a close friend of mine.My wife forgave them both for what happened. Several weeks has passed. I have a hard time forgiving these people and wanted them to ever be back at our home. They were both very good friends of my wife’s and now she feels alone and isolated because her two best friends destroyed their friendship. I even lost a close friend. The collateral damage goes very deep, since these were mutual friends of almost everyone we know.My wife wants me to move on, but I have such a hard time with that. My wife was trying to do the biblically accurate thing to hold a fellow sister in christ accountable and her other sister in christ; who was not a new christian, but a strong one, threw it in her face. She broke her trust not once, but twice.I just think she doesn’t need to be friends with these people if this is how they treat their relationships. I don’t feel comfortable having them around my home if this is what they choose to do.What do you think?

  2. Hang in there, internet buddy! It is hard to meet new people as an adult. Especially cool ones. Odds are, there will be at least one other mom at the school yard that you can develop a friendship with. Fingers crossed! Good to see you writing again, btw. 🙂

  3. Thinking of you and hoping it is getting better! My son is now a toddler who is making friends with other toddlers leaving me to awkwardly befriend their parents/nannies- whether we have anything in common or not… Hopefully your 4 year old will bring some lovely new parent friends into your life soon!

  4. I’ve been thinking of you since your last post and glad to see you’re getting back in the saddle. I’m fairly new (gah! 2 years, does that count as new?) to my current city and find that making friends is just harder when you’re older. And when you work from home. Where the living creature you see most frequently is your cat. Like you, I find that I’ve lost my normal-extroverted-socializing mojo, but it’s coming back with practice. No magic words of wisdom because I find myself in a similar position, but with time I am slowly making some connections.

  5. laura Po says:

    So, did you make friends at the school gate? I have two mums that speak to me.. it has only taken me 6 months of going twice a day to get up to that hefty number.

    • shannonhumphreys says:

      Po, this is because the rest are all intimidated by your wit, charm, and beauty, surely. They will come around!

  6. shannonhumphreys says:

    I’ve only just seen all these comments!
    The good news is, Yes, I managed to make some school gate friends! Jack’s friends have parents that I get along with, so I’ve lucked out there. I had no idea that kids stay in the same class here, they get a new teacher each year, but stay together as a group. Everyone is friendly, and we’re all now in our second year of hanging around the school gate together.

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