It’s the beginning of the school year. She just moved into the neighborhood over the summer. You’ve seen her on walks with her kids and the dog. You passed her in the grocery store. Maybe even saw her at a local park or festival, but you’ve never actually met her. Now it is the first parent assembly at school and while you’re talking to all of your friends you see this new mom standing over in the corner, looking around, seeking out her kids, but you don’t invite her to join you, or even introduce yourself; neither does she.
I’ve been that mom. The mom who is a new face, who’s a little shy. The mom who is usually found hanging out with her kids at any social event, or playing on her phone when even they are too cool for her. The mom who has tried to join a group but usually ends up making some awkward comment followed by a nervous giggle and ends up retreating to the shadows of her comfort corner or desperately seeking out her kids so she doesn’t look so strange standing all alone. The mom who enviously looks at all of the other groups of parents conversing with each other, laughing and trying to reassure myself that their laughter and conversation isn’t actually gossip at my expense. It’s not, probably, because you likely didn’t even notice me, but that’s how it feels. High school all over again! Being the new mom is stressful!
This year as our kids go back to school, there will likely be a mom like me. If you see her, seek her out. Introduce yourself. Tell her about activities that are happening. Invite her out for coffee or over for a glass of wine after work. Help her feel welcome in this strange new world. I bet if you did, she might be more open to volunteering for that field trip or showing up to a PTO meeting. She might actually be a pretty cool chick once you get to know her, but hasn’t quite figured out the whole social new social integration thing. And you might even get a pretty awesome new addition to your mom tribe.
How have you welcomed a new mom in school?