Hi. I’m the New Mommy. No, I’m not A new mommy, I’m THE New Mommy. You know the one. You don’t know or remember my name, I don’t have the right school sticker on my car, my toddler is forward-facing in the car seat, I’m looking around for the bathrooms because my preschooler didn’t go before we left home and I’m actually playing WITH my kids because none of the other mommies will talk to me yet. Yep, that’s me at the playgroup, park and storytime.
I’m the New Mommy.
You see, I just moved here. I’ve got kids like you. I stay-at-home (or sometimes work at home) like you. My husband works hard like yours. And like you, I like to keep my children engaged in activities. It’s good for them and it’s good for me too. I like to talk with other adults and like you, I feel like mommy to mommy conversation is important.
I have friends – great friends – that think I’m funny and serious and organized and quirky and come to me for advice and help and girl time. The only difference between your friends and mine is that my friends happen to live far away. I have family too. My kid’s grandparents love to come to their games, school events, buy their fundraisers, and cheer them on. It’s just that they only get to do it once in a while because they live far away too.
And like you, I have mommy joys and successes. Sometimes I burn dinner. Sometimes I’m too tired to cook. Sometimes it’s a stellar week and I’ve planned ahead and every meal is wonderful and on the table when hubby gets home. I help with homework. I forget to sign the paper. I have extra snacks. The wipes ran out in the diaper bag. I take my kids to church, but sometimes they’re loud because I don’t know where the nursery is or what is “acceptable” for children’s behavior in YOUR church.
I’m the New Mommy.
When you see me, please don’t look at me that way. I know your curious. So am I. And most likely, I’m desperate for new mommy friends. You see, since moving here, I’ve been in the house all summer/month/week with children of various ages. We don’t go anywhere because, well, I don’t know where anything is. That and I’m probably still trying to get stuff organized, doctors found, records transferred, pantry stocked and life as we knew it re-ordered.
I’m the New Mommy.
When you see me, instead of watching and pointing me out to the other mommies you talk to regularly, please talk to me too. I don’t bite. I’m nervous and scared and thinking about stupid stuff like “I hope my kids and I aren’t too under/over dressed.” I don’t know what is normal for this activity that I found because I called and asked. No mommy referred me or invited me. I sort of invited myself.
Next time you see me, please introduce your children to mine. Please introduce me to your other mommy friends. We don’t have to be BFF’s (although we never know where a new friendship may end up), but at least talk to me and make me feel welcome. Give me a quick run-down of how the activity works; “Come on in! We are just gathering for some free play. After about 10 minutes, Betty is going to lead our activity time with a story and craft. Then Sally brought snacks to share. We do nut free snacks, so I hope your kids like cheese and grapes! And while the kids are having fun, we mommies sometimes stick in the back and enjoy tea and cookies.”
Ask me about how I’m getting settled into the town. Tell me about fun things in the community for families. DON’T tell me what doctors/schools/churches/parks/etc. to stay away from. Chances are, I may already have experiences there that have been positive because I didn’t know any different when choosing location and or service providers. Invite me back. Write down my name so that you can look me up on Facebook later and learn more about me.
When I’m at school with my kids, who are also new and uncertain and need friends, offer your PTA agenda to me because I didn’t know where to grab one and am totally lost. Talk to me afterward and explain how the fundraiser they just mentioned usually works – is the stuff good? Our children have met each other, so when you get home, please encourage your child to say hello to mine when at school. They don’t have to be BFF’s, but my kids could really use the boost of a friendly face in the hall or on the bus.
I’m the New Mommy.
I have a million questions, but don’t want to sound needy or desperate or… so please be patient with me. Tell me what you would want to know if you were the new mommy. But remember, sometimes, I just want to chat about life stuff. If my kids are attached to my side, know that they aren’t ALWAYS this way. They are new, scared, nervous and uncertain too. Be patient with them as well.
After a few times of meeting me, invite me – just me – out for coffee. Get to know me. Ask my hubby and I out to dinner or something, but please be understanding if we can’t go (and don’t ask why). We probably don’t have a babysitter we trust. We may have no extra money – moving can be expensive. We may just be tired.
And remember, I may talk a little different, but we really do have more in common that you may think. We both need adult friendships. We both are trying to do right by our kids. Most importantly, we love our families.
As you see me, my children, my family, think about how you look at me and interact with me. I never thought I’d be here and you may be in the same place someday. Someday, you may be saying…
I’m the New Mommy.
13 thoughts on “The New Mommy”
If I were there….I would give you a hug! Praying for NEW FRIENDS today to bless your life…..look for them in the unexpected places.
This made me remember so well being the new mommy when we moved when our oldest was two and I was pregnant with our second (that was a long time ago!) and no one talked to me or told me where to find the nursery or asked when I was due. It was so lonely.
If I lived where you moved to (don’t know where that is – just found your blog this morning!), I would invite you over for tea and introduce you to the other mommies I know. For now, keep putting yourself out there by going to the play things and parks even though it’s so hard to do. God has friendships in store for you there. You never know where you might meet these amazing women who will someday share their laughter and love with you. I met my first friend in that move that I shared up above in a line-up at the bank while my son was having a tantrum!!!
This should be in a handbook for every school, church, and club!
You have a tremendous gift of writing from your heart, Kris. This made me laugh and tear up because, like you, I have been the NEW mommy.
I feel moved more then ever to seek out new mommies in our co-op group and make sure they are feeling at home in this community and more importantly, that they are welcomed and shown friendship.
Read your “New Mommy” blog…hang in there; although you a new arrival in NC, you will soon be inundated with many mommy friends – you will draw people to you like a magnet. That’s the kind of person you are…praying for you to become an “old mommy”…
Hang in there, not sure where in NC you are living but the Charlotte area can be a tough place to “get into” a group but there are many great things to experience with and without the kiddos. Are you anywhere near Charlotte?
I moved to NC from NY when I was a teenager and HATED it! Took me a long time to find the dear friends I have now. You’re story is inspiring and makes me stop and think to always extend that extra invite or even hello.
I read this piece on a TMN website, and I can SOOOOOO relate!! Thanks for taking the words right out of my mouth!
No problem! I’m glad at least someone out in the world could relate. I just hope it made some think about what they do to welcome new mommies that come into the places we congregate.
Although I know exactly how you felt, I have found NC to be the most hospitable place in the country. We moved here from CA two years ago on a whim, not knowing a sole. We have made more friends here in two years than in 18 in CA. Our kids are twice as happy!
Find clubs that are about things you like to do. We joined a motorcycle group that has afforded us great friends that we now do trips with, as well as friends for our kids. A common interest is a great start.
I invented a toddler safety product called Kidswitch and through that here I am talking with you! It’ll take a year but you will never look back! So where are you in NC? We are in Statesville.
Thank you for this. It’s perfect. I moved from honolulumommies to a small town full of people who have never lived outside of it. They are nice people but I really believe they just don’t know how to reach out to new people. I grew up a military kid so I’ve always been the new kid. I’m going to post this as a note or something the group I created a year ago to try to get my own little TMN thing going here without bugging TMN about a tiny town with no neighboring town close by. Maybe it wil help someone. Thanks again
I read this on TMN and loved it. Even though I’ve lived in the area for a while, I was The New Mommy to a small extent after having my son. I still remember stressing over what to wear, what would give the best impression, printing out “contact cards”, filling my diaper bag with extra treats and then…every smile I sent was met with a blank look, whispers and fake little smiles.
It felt like the first day at a new school.
I left the playground, making sure I called to my son, “We have to get home soon! We’re having friends over for dinner!” Just so that the mommies surrounding me would realize that there are people who like me, who want to hang out with me.
Remembering that feeling makes me reach out to every New Mommy I see. Sometimes a bit too enthusiastically if their startled smiles and quick backing away is any indication.
Thanks for posting this. I remember a chance meeting with another mom when I was the new mommy in a new town. Out of desperation and boredom of being stuck in the house since the move, I had randomly decided to take my child to a gym for some “free play” time. The other mom struck up a conversation. When I mentioned that I was new to town, she told me that she had once been new as well and remembered how lonely she had been.
Then, instead of just waving good-bye, she took the step I’ll never forget. She gave me her name and number and suggested we meet up with the kids soon for an outing. Her outreach to me was such a gift. She became my first friend in this unfamiliar city.
She has now moved on to another city in another country. I hope that someone there has repaid her kindness. She has certainly inspired me to pass it on.
Your post has reminded me to pass this spirit on once again. We make friends by being friends. Wherever you are, I am sure you will be surrounded by friends again.
Thank you so much for writing this! I saw this on TMN. I moved to NC recently too and this has described my life for the last six months.
This actually made me cry! I’ve been in my home for 5 1/2 years, and so often I *still* feel like The New Mommy. Just this morning at me son’s preschool field trip; I didn’t know anyone, most of his friends weren’t there, and we just didn’t feel like we fit in. I hope a lot of people read this and take with them the ideas of how scary it is when you don’t know anyone! Thanks for the great post!