Sometimes, being a mom can be lonely. Being a young mom, that can be isolating. When you are in a different stage in life than your “peers,” it can be difficult to make true and real connections.
I have been a few stages ahead of most of my peers for a while. I got married at 21 to my high school sweetheart, Steven. At 22, I moved from Minnesota to Virginia with my husband who was stationed in D.C. I left all my friends and family in Minnesota, and it was just my husband, myself, and our cat, Gatsby. As I started my first teaching job, I made friends with people my age, but I was the only married one, which gave me “real-life responsibilities” that they didn’t have. When I got pregnant, I became even more of an outcast. Steven worked nights, and I had responsibilities, so the Happy Hours I could occasionally attend before I had SJ became even rarer. Eventually, I stopped getting invited. I felt like an outsider, and so my personal life consisted of cuddling with a baby at home with my husband. I was 24 and felt so isolated from my peers.
Meeting people in the real world is scary. My only friends came from work or Steven’s work. Nobody lived close, so any other moms at work always felt like quite a drive away from me. One of my teacher friends I met at a PWCS function also became pregnant around the same time as me. It was because of her that I found the INOVA New Moms Group. I LOVED going to those meetings, mostly because they normally ended with a mom’s lunch out. I thrived for Tuesdays when I could take my infant to a place that was filled with other moms and babies, and we could talk like real humans. I wasn’t a “young mom” there, I was just another mom.
Through that group, I saw an advertisement on Facebook for FIT4MOM- LSBWK. I gave that page a “like” because I heard other moms talking about Stroller Strides classes and I wanted to stalk the page a while before I saw anything. Since I was a working, mom, I couldn’t attend very many classes and I didn’t think it was for me. Then I saw an event for a Run Club Preview class on a Sunday. I hated running (yes, hated. I like it now) but thought it might be at least worth checking out. I went, and I signed up. When the school year was over, I decided to sign up with a membership for Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre. I attended every class I could with SJ this past summer.
It was through FIT4MOM that I met my mom friends. In these classes, we bond and make friendships, and so do our kids. These mamas ‘get’ me. We are all trying to prevent meltdowns so we can get in a good workout. Some days we go to class just to be around other mamas. I’ll still occasionally get “You’re only 25?” but my age doesn’t matter with these other mamas. Here, we are each other’s peers. We are all in this same stage of life at FIT4MOM, motherhood.
If I hadn’t found FIT4MOM, I don’t think I would be as happy as I am today. I have mom friends to drink wine with, to go to silly kid events with. I have mom friends I can text poop horror stories or milestone successes to. I have mom friends. Being a mother can be isolating, it doesn’t have to be. All you have to do is find your village.
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