By: Meghan Kemp
Ten years ago, I moved to this little spit of land sticking out into the ocean. I fell in love with a Cape Codderand this became my home. The one problem – I had no friends! This can be an isolating place to live and I was certainly missing the comfort and support friendships can bring. I didn’t realize quite how hard it would be to make friends here! It’s a lot like dating, except you’re trying to pick up friends instead of a hot date.
I’d meet someone at work or elsewhere and try to build up a rapport. Nervously I would think, should I give her my number? Is that too forward? Am I moving too fast? I made a few friends this way, but I was still looking for those core, bosom friends (you Anne of Green Gables fans know what I’m talking about).
A few years went by and I had my first baby. And mamas, I have to tell you this, one of my first thoughts after finding out I was pregnant was that I was totally going to use that baby to gain entrée to new friendships
among Cape Cod mommies.
So I pop out this adorable baby and am ready to start making friends, but first I needed to get over my fear of leaving my house in the height of winter with a new baby. Dude, I was completely freaked out. Would I put her in the car seat right, would I slide off the road, what if a snowflake touched her precious baby skin?! Looking back it’s clear that there were some post-partum depression issues going on here, but I didn’t have any mama friends yet who would say gently but firmly, “Lady, you’ve got the crazies, time to deal with that.” When Fiona was four months old, all three of us came down with a horrible, disgusting stomach bug. I really needed a mama friend to help, even just to bring us some ginger ale. I felt very, very alone. And also very vomit-y.
At this point I decided come hell or high-water, I was going to make friends. I needed a support system and if it wasn’t going to magically show up on my doorstep, I was going to create it. I started attending every playgroup on the lower-Cape and through one of these I met my first bosom friends. And here’s the awesome part, they are the gift that keeps on giving. They have connected me to more friends, and they have connected me to even more. I love these ladies and together we comfort and support one another as we navigate parenting, jobs, relationships, and living on this crazy, awesome peninsula.
When I had my second child, one of these mamas said “Lady, you’ve got the crazies, time to deal with that.” And she and my other mamas helped me deal with post-partum depression, get the care I needed, and supported me as I got better and better (and sometimes worse).
Sometimes, as mamas, we are tired. We have given of ourselves all day to so many others. Sometimes it is hard to find a little additional energy to put towards building and maintaining a friendship. But please, do it. Do it for yourself, because you deserve a friend. You deserve someone that will bring you ginger ale when everyone is puking in your house. Who will take the kids for a few hours so you can go have your pap smear in peace. And return the favor, because it feels good to help out these ladies that you love. And you know what, I feel like the luckiest lady in the world to have these smart, wonderful, challenging, brave mamas supporting me, pushing me, and loving me.
Do you have a mama support group? Tell me how you’ve met your best mama friends! Do you need help connecting with other mamas? Let me know and I’ll point you in the right direction. I can be a mama friend match-maker, woohoo!
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