It's been three months, 13 days and oh, about eight hours since P, Oscar and I moved lock, stock and barrel back to my home town.
We decided, after a number of what I call "signs from the universe", that it was time to go back to my roots, to be closer to my parents.
I don't regret the decision (I hope P doesn't, either!). It's been fantastic to spend so much time with my mum and dad again, and for Oscar to have his grandparents close and part of his daily life, but the truth of the matter is that by moving so far from where we were settled, I've found life is harder than I expected.
I suppose I didn't give much thought to the fact that, although I have several old friends here, I would need to effectively start again and make some new ones. In the past, my work has provided me with more than just a salary and a purpose, it's also been a big source of my social life and general interaction with other people.
Now I'm a stay at home mum, sometimes the only grown ups I seem to talk to during the day are the checkout clerk at the supermarket and the dustman.
I used to have daily contact with some lovely girlfriends who also happened to have young children – some I had worked with, some old friends and also chums met at prenatal classes.
Now it seems that although many of my old friends here have babies, more often than not we live at least 40 minutes drive away from each other, and fitting in a catch up more than once every couple of weeks involves strategic planning of military precision, negotiating diaries, lunchtime naps and rush hour traffic.
I'm also concerned that Oscar doesn't have any regular playmates (let alone the ones his mummy needs to keep her sane) and I'm worried that he will suffer socially if he doesn't get more interaction with some of his peers, rather than being surrounded by the adoring adults he has in me and his grandparents.
We do go to a music class weekly, as well as an organized "Rhyme Time" event at the local library, but for the life of me I am finding it hard to connect with the other mummies.
Everyone else seems to know each other already (perhaps from playgroups established when all the babies were born) and by the time the class is over, in the nature of these things, everyone else is swiftly off, whisking their littlies home to bed.
As an aside, the music class is scheduled for 12:30pm, smack bang in the middle of lunchtime beddy byes – possibly the most inconvenient time for anyone with a 5 month to 3 year old child – why?!
Anyhow, I digress – I guess I just feel like I'm back at school again, in the first few days, when allegiances and friendships are made and set for at least the duration of one school term.
I am by no means what you would call a shy person, and I've never really had trouble making friends, but the issue I also have with all of this is that just because your children are of similar ages, it doesn't automatically mean that you are going to get along.
A close friend of mine with a four year old (alas, she lives more than an hour away) tells me it gets easier when your child begins to make his own friends – that way, the ice is broken, as you have to talk to one another when organizing the playdates. I am sure she is right, but that means I probably have another three years to wait for this eventuality, which is clearly not the solution for right now!
There is one woman at music class who I am quite drawn to – she seems pretty cool and funny. I suppose I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and maybe ask her out for a coffee sometime – honestly, it's just like asking someone out on a date! I certainly feel the same amount of awkwardness and worry about rejection!
Anyway, I have to do something about reaching out, I think I'm going nuts with the loneliness of not having a person in the same situation as me to talk to and hang out with.
How do you find socialising with other mums?
Was it hard to make new friends all over again after you had a baby?
More:Is It Just Me?
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