Ever since moving to PA I've had a bit of a "friend" problem. You can absolutely blame my husband. I met him the first week I moved here, and, well, I just never put myself out there all that much. Don't get me wrong. We have some wonderful friends, but they aren't particularly nearby. Getting together takes some serious planning, that, for the most part, just doesn't happen. Also, as we've all started having children, it's just added a level of complication.
Bring on...the Mom Groups. There are 3 varieties for me. The first is my online-only "Month" group. We all had babies in May 2011, and originally met through the "What to Expect" forums, though it migrated over to a Facebook group, literally, YEARS ago. I can't believe that I've known these women since we were pregnant back in 2010. They are from all walks of life, and from many countries, but are such an unbelievable support system. There is no better source to go to then being able to simultaneously ask a couple hundred moms of kids the exact same age, "Is this normal?" You can sign on at 2 am and say, "My 6 month old has a 102 fever, when should I worry?" and have 10 responses in 2 minutes. It's incredible. Over time, we definitely have come to talk about much more than just children, and developed closer relationships with certain people. I wish these ladies were all next door, but, in reality, I've met...3 in person, I believe? They still are amazing. I had to cheat on pictures for this one. It's actually from a meet-up with the second group of moms, but it's the only pictures I have of Griselle and her daughter. I'm very sad that she moved back to Puerto Rico, but you can read her blog here.
Me, Stephanie, Griselle
The second group is a similar WTE off-shoot, but it's moms in the Philly area with kids of all ages. They get together at least once a month, though, I don't always make it. Above was at mother's day. Below is last weekend. This group's a bit smaller (for awhile it was under 50 of us, but it's grown), and I'm supposedly an admin. Ok, I am, but I don't feel like I know anything. I HAVE met most of those ladies in person. We've done cookie parties, zoo trips, sold things to each other, and gotten together on our own. Bizarrely, my little suburb is a hot-spot with 6 of us being located there, even though we're kind of in boonie land.
Katie, Stephanie, Kathy, Me
Finally, my neighbor, Laura, invited me to join MOPS with her last year. It's been a good experience, and we meet once a month, though, I can't really claim to have much interaction with most of the ladies outside of the group. Maybe that will change now that it's year 2. They're certainly wonderful people, and it's nice to have those Wednesday nights to look forward to.
I really have failed at trying to get together with people without structure. I keep telling Laura (the red-head above) that I'm going to start having her and Karen (another mom neighbor) over for wine after the kiddos are asleep, I just have failed so far. And, there's a great mom in this round of swimming (no, famous mom blogger is not in this class) that I thought was going to be a wonderful friend (her daughter's the same age! they get along!), but then she acted really strange last week. Maybe it was my crazy poison ivy rash... Who knows.
Anyway, I'm trying. Any tips?
***Side note, the middle picture makes me really paranoid that I'm huge, and I want to take it down. But I swear that was 3 days after the picture below it, and is just really awful.