A little help here?

All right, it’s time to fess up…a year and some change into this call, I’m really having a tough time making friends. I have got to start working on this. Soon. I can blame it on all sorts of things: busy, baby, family nearby makes it easy not to do it, busy, baby, I have some friends in Chicago (but really, they’re a little far for me to get to), bad habits around forming and maintaining friendships because I’ve been moved to frequently in my life, can’t participate in anything too expensive, too many evening meetings, busy, baby, etc. etc.

But I need some ideas, folks. How does a 20s/30s married pastor woman (who is very busy, works full time and has a baby…)  find new friends (and, especially here, we’re looking for friends not from my church—I like my church folks, but I need to see other people, too) in a new town?

Help me brainstorm!

12 Responses to “A little help here?”

  1. shelly Says:

    I don’t have brainstorming ideas yet (well…how about baby groups? Good for baby, good playtime for busy, intellectual mom), and I’m not a pastor, but thank you, thank you for fessing up. Finding local friends among the busyness of everyone’s lives, as well as all the insecurities that swirl around us as youngish women, is tough, allowing lonliness to settle in. Actually, I was just reading someone’s blog about this among pastors I think, but can’t remember where now (7+ months pregnancy is muddling my mind these days)…..

  2. Pink Shoes Says:

    If you figure it out, let me know… I’ve always thought that it would help if I had a hobby like knitting so I could meet someone that way. But when my hobbies are things like writing and reading, it’s tough to strike up a conversation that leads to friendship while doing such a thing….

  3. Sarah K Says:

    You could join a stitch and bitch group. You could walk around with T-shirts that say, “Ask us about being our friends.” You could crash another church’s 20/30 something group. When Z goes to pre-school, you can seduce her friends’ parents into life long friendship. You can throw a party for your neighborhood–invite everyone over for cake and coffee. Oooh, and put your fun time into your calendar, so it looks official. You’re more likely to protect it if it is scheduled. When someone asks you about it say, “I have an obligation during that time, I’m sorry.”

  4. Heidi Says:

    A reading group??

    Or – hey – move back to W. Michigan where Z and S and Chloe can become BFF while they fight over Owen and Luke… And Meika and Becca and you and I can watch.

    Miss you,


  5. susan Says:

    book club sponsored by your local bookstore. I also like the stich and bitch idea. I’m not in the same situation, but ended up making some new friends via college alums in the area. Having a shared experience made for a good original connection and we went from there.

    Otherwise, you could go the gym route. I joined a gym back in NJ and met some interesting women there.

    All the best.

  6. Pastor Peters Says:

    Funny. I always thought it was easier for pastors with kids. Don’t you just meet people at the playground? Do you go to the playground? Book groups are hard to join (I’ve tried). I like the Stitch and Bitch idea. I wonder about Mommy and Me opportunities. Or Music Together? Do you have that in your area? They are often hosted in churches (gasp). But from your single friend, I would offer: volunteer. It’s the only way I have figured out thus far. Find a good cause and offer your talents. I’ve offered pastoral talents (which actually works sometimes) and other stuff.

    But suffice it to say, this is hard and Erica, I love ya.

  7. teri Says:

    if you figure this out, let me know.

    I have a hard time meeting people out here primarily because I’m the wrong demographic for this county: single, not wealthy, young adult. McHenry County is almost all young families with kids (often parents who commute into the city), older people with lots of money who moved out here because the closer suburbs were “too built up” and retired folks. I don’t know if that’s true down by you, but it definitely is reality up here!

    It’s brutal.

    I tend to work on maintaining my city friendships because I can’t seem to meet non-church people out here. I know that wasn’t helpful….sorry! But if you work out how to make friends, let me know so I can try it too.

  8. Katherine Says:

    Check out meetup.com… They help people organize local interest groups. You type in your zip code, and all the groups in your area pop up. I’ve been a member of the knitting group for awhile, though I can’t ever go to meetings on account of choir. The few times I did go I actually made a friend, who I then met up with on other occasions to knit. There’s book groups, mama groups, French language groups… you name it.

    And no, this is not a spam message, even though it sounds like an advertisement!

  9. Mary Beth Says:

    I don’t think I have anything new, but I’ll second meetup.com, local book clubs, and Kindermusik/Little Gym/any other kids group.

    My keeping-my-sanity-and-regularly-saving-my-life-friends are from the SAHM group I met on Meetup.com. We hit Kindermusik once a week…some are offered in the evenings for working families (I realize you have meetings at night, but it might work, right?)

    I was there, too, so I know how hard it is. And I was never successful. I hope you find something!

  10. Stacey Says:

    I have a couple, although our lives are somewhat different (me not having the whole baby factor, for example).

    I participate in a Bible study/small group at another church every week that was started primarily for work-at-home or part-time-working mothers. They hire a babysitter so they can send the kids upstairs to play while we do our thing. I’m not a mom, but the schedule works for me – Tuesday mornings, which doesn’t interfere with meetings at my own church. I was introduced to it by a sister clergywoman…You might consider asking around about similar things at other area churches that don’t scare you :)

    I’ve met a lot of people by working in coffee shops/cafes/bars and just striking up conversations. It’s efficient, because if no promising friend-candidates appear, you’re still getting something done. It yields more one-time interesting conversations than long-term friends, but we don’t need to be long-term friends with everyone. If pressed, you can call it outreach.

    Finally, you might try taking a class (art, language, music, whatever…something just for fun) through a community college or community ed program.

  11. laura Says:

    When I was a single, working mother 20 years ago, two things made a huge difference for me – The Geneva Park District and Geneva Mothers Club. To this day I still see familiar “Mother’s” at community gatherings and the grocery store and some of my best friends came from those groups. At that time I was the only single mother in the club’s 50 year history and when I got re-married – boy, was there a party! The club actually met at FVPC for many years. It’s a little frivilous, but there are also strong philanthropic activities and the holiday parties for kids are a great way to meet people.

  12. ms rev or not Says:

    hey. i certainly don’t have this figured yet out at all, so i don’t want to sound like i’m, you know, swooping in here with all the answers, b/c i certainly don’t have them. i let some of the parishioners to whom i’m closer/some of the staff know that i’m looking to meet people outside of the parish is working a little bit. i guess it could be weird if you don’t like their friends, but everyone has really been a grownup about it thus far (fingers crossed), and i’ve met a couple of people in the process socially. i have a 3 or so couples about 1.5 hours away. i try to see at least one of the couples with the mr. about once a month. i bet it feels far to chicago, and i’m not sure how that might work with your adorable baby, but, the way i feel about it, lots of people don’t even have that option. i like the mommy and me suggestions.

    all that being said, you’re right; it’s not easy.