Did you know that prisoners placed in solitary confinement spend 23 hours alone each day? When they are allowed out of their cells, they are still segregated from the general population. If the incarcerated individual is allowed visits, they are often brief, non-contact visits.
Other than the need to shed a light on America’s prison reform and justice systems, can you draw the parallels between being a prisoner and being a SAHM? If you haven’t learned by now, I’m incredibly dramatic, often correct, but dramatic nonetheless! 😁
Okay, so, maybe being a SAHM isn’t exactly like being a prisoner, but it makes for fantastic imagery. I love being a SAHM, but about two months ago, I nearly had a complete mental and physical breakdown. I was dangling off of the metaphorical cliff that is my life. Nothing anyone did could put a smile on my face and everything pissed me off. My anxiety and paranoia were at an all-time high and I was just existing, not living. Once the proverbial smoke had risen, I realized that one single element could have prevented this from happening.
If you’re thinking along the lines of a bottle of wine, massage, vacation, or a full night’s rest, you wouldn’t be entirely wrong. Those all would have helped, but what I was truly missing was a friend. I’m sure there are a few women reading this and thinking, “I thought we were friends!” We are and I appreciate you to no end, but I specifically mean local, nearby, up close and personal, “meet me here in 15 minutes” friends. And to take it a step further, local, mom friends are especially important. That’s not to say that women without children don’t make good friends; however, as a mom, having other mom friends is absolutely necessary. It’s similar to being married and only having single friends. Sure you all can have the best times together, but sometimes you just need someone who can relate to your situation.
Great. So how does one go about making local (mom) friends? There are three things to keep in mind when making new friends:
1. This woman may or may not become your bestie, and that is fine. Right now, you need someone other than your significant other who can relate to changing diapers and waking up in the middle of the night. You NEED and DESERVE a stiff drink and to be out until the sun comes up again!
2. Be open to unlikely friendships and only you can define “unlikely”. My friends are typically Black, college-educated, women with husbands and children. And that’s great! That’s who I am, but it is also important to mix up your friends group. Yes, it’s easier said than done (I 100% recommend therapy to assist with overcoming any and all issues) but just think of all the wonderful people you are missing out on by limiting your friend criteria!
3. Proximity plays a large role in making friends. It is not likely that you will find your BF4L in line at the grocery store or while pumping gas; however, you might find a good friend at your child’s local playgroup or sports lessons. If you spend several hours, several times a month with the same person or people, it’s only natural that a connection will form. Proximity and common interests facilitate relationships. So spark up a conversation or join the other moms for drinks after the kids’ game!
William Butler Yeats said it best, “There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.” Every day is a new opportunity to make a connection with someone new. So this month, I encourage you to meet a new friend.