Yesterday was the last official MOPS meeting of the school year and I'm pretty sad about it. I really look forward to going to MOPS each month, for a variety of reasons. Of course I enjoy the 2+ child-free hours of eating delicious food and listening to guest speakers. But more than anything I enjoy talking with the other Moms and building friendships.
I have always been a shy introvert. I don't like calling attention to myself. I have a hard time opening up and sharing with people I don't know really well. I need time to myself each day to feel recharged. But something changed when I became a mother. I realized how isolating motherhood can be, especially in the beginning when it's hard to get out of the house.
And suddenly I began to long for new friendships. I wanted to meet other Moms like me who were going through similar issues with their kids. Moms who would meet me for playdates at the park or just meet and talk over a cup of tea.
I went through the same social hibernation again after Lucas was born, where I was too busy keeping him alive each day to have much time for friends. But now that he is a little older and more mobile, I am finding myself reaching out to friends old and new, mostly through MOPS. I am deliberately pushing myself out of my comfort zone and inviting friends to my house, to the park, the local farm, the lake, etc. I am ignoring that internal whisper of "What if they don't like me?" and just embracing these new friendships.
I never would have thought I would feel this way. I never thought I would welcome an unexpected visit from a friend and invite her inside without caring what she thought of the mess. I never thought I would get so excited by seeing a full week on my calendar of scheduled plans with other Moms.
Motherhood changes you in many unexpected ways.