Friends for Moms: Lonely Only
It's never been easy for me to make friends. But as the mother of an only child, I've had to step outside my comfort zone to make an effort to make friends. I do this because in today's world, the only way for my son to have an active social life is for me to go out there and get him one.
I didn't know it would be this way. I didn't know I would have to seek out other moms and families and create opportunities for him to elevate his social standing. With no siblings to needle and nudge, my 5-year-old is, in his own words, a "lonely only." He is completely dependent on me to arrange playdates, drive him to the playground and sign him up for soccer.
I do these things, if not enthusiastically, then at least willingly, but also without much style. I'm inconsistent at best too eager, too desperate. Even I can see that. I'm supposed to be helping my son develop social skills, forge friendships and become an active member of society. But I struggle with all those things myself!
I am not the mom who organizes the block party or invites all the neighbors to an end-of-summer barbecue. I'm never the class mom or the PTA committee chair or the carpool driver. I will always opt for email over a phone call and a small group over a large crowd. Without the pressure to join in, I will almost always choose to be alone. But none of that is good for a small boy. Kids need other kids, don't they? My son shouldn't be isolated, left to fill his time with imaginary friends and television.
So I make the effort. Partly because I have no choice, but also because I think it's the right thing to do. When I hear parents in the schoolyard talking about social skills, I think, Yeah, I could use some help with that. And I wonder how many other parents feel the same way? Am I the only mom who is willing to admit that she'd rather be a lonely only than a social butterfly?