I remember starting university six years ago and praying desperately for a friend. Just one familiar, friendly face on the whole campus, someone I could talk to about classes and study with once in a while. And yet as I stared around my classes, I wondered how on earth I’d ever find someone in all these strangers who shared similar interests and ideas with me. It seemed a task impossible. Yet it happened.
Over the next months, I ran into students in the same places that I studied, saw them at chapel, met them on the way to the cafeteria for lunch. Conversations began. Friendships were formed. And now, six years later, I’m married to a guy I noticed on my first day of classes, and still consider seven girls that I met at university among my closest friends.
As we moved to our new home in a new town, I realized that this friend-making business was about to start all over again. I told myself that I’d have to get involved, make an effort to get out and get to know others around here, because as a stay-at-home-mom, it could be too easy to just stay at home and get lonely. My husband would have co-workers to talk to and would make friends at work, but for me… I wasn’t sure where I’d find kindred spirits.
The school staff has proved very friendly and welcoming. Many of the “staff events” include spouses, and so I’ve gotten to know a few of the other teachers at the school. Yet conversations rarely seem to go beyond “Ah, she’s so cute—how old is she?” and “so what do you teach at the school?” At the last event, a BBQ at one teacher’s home, someone pointed out to me another woman and said, “She’d be a good person to get to know, as she’s also a stay-at-home-mom.” I watched for a chance to talk to this fellow SAHM, but she was too busy chasing her three kids to have time to chat. And I wondered what I would say—“Hi, I hear you’re a stay-at-home-mom. So am I. Wanna be friends?”
We also found ourselves warmly greeted at church, which, like the town, is small. Every Sunday, there’s coffee time after the service, and we enjoy the chance to chat a bit with the others there. I ran into a few of the families at daily Mass during the week and talked briefly with them then. We found out that we had things in common with a couple families—they were homeschoolers and I had homeschooled, we all enjoyed playing cards, they had large families and we want a large family. And then after Mass one day, one of the moms invited me to join her and her sister for coffee.
We talked non-stop for two hours. Babies, homeschooling, faith, town, staying at home as moms—we had so much in common. While we talked, their kids played and piled toys in front of Sunshine and generally made noise around us. I walked home feeling uplifted and encouraged. Once again, the daunting task of making friends had somehow proved less daunting than it actually seemed. And once again, I realized how much it means to have a few friends.