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He will make friends in Kindergarten, but will I?

By Jennifer Doyle |

Not just the kids will have to make new friends.

My son Carson starts Kindergarten next week and while I’m filled with the usual angst of sending off an oldest child to elementary school, and believe me there is ANGST, I’m starting to worry about me and my own adjustment to this new life.  I’m certain that he will come home having made friends within that first week.  But I wonder, will it be that easy for me to make friends?

Since he was born, nearly every friend I’ve made has been somehow connected to being his mother.  I’ve met my friends at the usual breeding grounds for picking up other mothers, playgroups, through Mom’s groups at church, and at playgrounds.  Unfortunately our neighborhood is oddly devoid of families with small children, so I’ve come to depend on these friends who live in the next town over. As our children start school, different schools in different school districts, I’m realizing that my friends and I are on the verge of drifting apart.  School schedules, mixed with our jobs and other family responsibilities is going to make our weekly get togethers few and far between. All this change makes me sad and panicky.

In the past ten years, we’ve moved five times.  With Carson starting kindergarten, it’s feels a lot like it does when you move away and have to make new friends.  Luckily I’m well versed on how to make friends thanks to all those moves. There’s the small talk and smiling, the commiseration over our children and their wily antics, and I know that getting involved at the school is a surefire way to meet people.

And therein lies the heart of the problem.  I really don’t want to be that involved at Carson’s school. I have no desire to be a big wig (or a little wig for that matter) in the PTA or a room mom in charge of planning and delegating who brings the chips for the classroom parties.  I want to volunteer in the classroom as appropriate, I want Carson to know that I care about him and what he’s doing in school, but I do not want my life to be overrun with meetings, fundraisers, and copy-making in the teacher’s lounge.

So how will I make friends if my only times at school are in my car at pick up and drop off and the few days a month I volunteer?

“Why don’t you just invite the other moms over for coffee?  Like a meet and greet,” suggested a current friend, who’s obviously smarter and more social than me.

This idea has been bouncing around my head ever since she suggested it.  The more I think about it, the more I kind of love it.  Aside from the fact that I’d have to clean my house, this could actually be fun.  In a laid back atmosphere away from school, we could get to know each other without the pressure of school related activity hanging over our heads.  Just as Carson isn’t the first child to go off to Kindergarten, I’m not the first mom hoping to make friends.  Now I just need to work up the nerve to actually, you know, invite these moms over.

It occurs to me that I’m over analyzing and that maybe my current friendships aren’t going to deflate or that maybe, maybe,  I would enjoy being up at the school more than I think I would.   That’s just what I do, over analyze.  I hope my new friends will like me anyway.

How have you made friends at your child’s school, if not through PTA and room mom positions?

Photo credit: kjarrett

 

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Jennifer Doyle

Jennifer Doyle isn't sure what she wants to be when she grows up. Read bio and latest posts → Read Jennifer's latest posts →

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6 thoughts on “He will make friends in Kindergarten, but will I?

  1. Cathy says:

    Quinn’s best friend goes to a different neighborhood school. I’m also pretty good friends with the mom. (we are all going camping together soon.) anyway, we managed to all stay in touch and hang out thru that kindergarten year – so you won’t lose your old friends! Your level of involvement sounds like mine. The only PTA thing I do is the book fair. Other than that I only volunteered in his classroom for his teacher. Not the PTA I’ve managed to make friends, though we don’t have as much in common, but I’ve got a few people I feel comfortable chatting with while we wait for the kiddies to get out. That’s where it happens – the drop off and pick up!

  2. Cathy says:

    Quinn’s best friend goes to a different neighborhood school. I’m also pretty good friends with the mom. (we are all going camping together soon.) anyway, we managed to all stay in touch and hang out thru that kindergarten year – so you won’t lose your old friends! Your level of involvement sounds like mine. The only PTA thing I do is the book fair. Other than that I only volunteered in his classroom for his teacher. Not the PTA I’ve managed to make friends, though we don’t have as much in common, but I’ve got a few people I feel comfortable chatting with while we wait for the kiddies to get out. That’s where it happens – the drop off and pick up!

  3. knoxvillepixie says:

    I think you’re concerns are completely normal and I myself have been there before. It does take some extra effort to put yourself out there, and it is nerve-wracking. I feel like I made friendly withother Moms in my daughter’s Kindergarten class in just the short amount of time I put in volunteering at the school. I feel like it’s actually more difficult this year since my daughter is riding the bus to and from school, so I won’t have car duty opportunities to meet some of the new Moms in class. . As far as the coffee goes, I think that’s a great idea. Wish I’d have done one of those myself!

  4. Arianne says:

    I never felt like I had anything in common w/the moms at the school – so for me friends are hard to come by. Where are all the carni’s anyway? Those are my people.

  5. sara says:

    We moved to a new city where we knew NO ONE about a year ago. My son was just old enough for preschool. I met a few other moms (and dads) during drop off and pick up. I was able to quickly identify a few that it seemed i might click with. I also listened to the kids my son talked about as his “best best friends.” So, when his birthday party came around, I invited those “best best friends” as well as the kids whose mom I wanted to hang out with more :-) Since then, I’ve gotten to know a few of those parents better, had a few play dates, and have started developing more of a friendship with them.

    Your kid will make friends. Be proactive in inviting his new friends over for play dates. And you’ll make those friends too :-) (This coming form the shy girl who’s not good with all the small talk, making new friends stuff.

  6. Katie says:

    most of the friends I’ve made at my kids school are the moms of the friends that my kids make. Once my kids started making friends, they wanted to have playdates. Playdates meant I inevitably had to interact with those kids’ moms. And through that 10 minute interaction here and there as I drop off my kid at their house or vice versa, I have developed some friendships. And, since it’s a good idea to get to know your kids friends and their families anyway, it’s worked out all around.

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