My husband and I moved to Philadelphia almost six years ago, sort of on a whim. At that point we were just boyfriend and girlfriend, in our late 20s, and thought we were ready for a change. We were craving space, home ownership, a life where we didn’t live paycheck-to-paycheck. The hubs had a job opportunity in Philly, so we were convinced. What we didn’t think about was how we’d have a social life in our new city. We were leaving groups of friends in NYC that were mostly people we’d known since college. Making new ones hadn’t been a necessity for us since those first days on campus. We soon learned that it was much easier back then.
Our NYC friends are an amazingly diverse group of talented and intelligent people – writers, teachers, lawyers, bankers, artists, chefs, record label execs. We spent a long while in Philadelphia feeling very isolated and lonely, wondering if we’d taken our friends for granted and made a huge mistake.
Luckily, after some stops and starts, we slowly acquired a small group of very awesome Philly friends. Most of them live right in our neighborhood and have proven to be a support system as both friends and neighbors. But most of them don’t have kids, and a few of them have made the conscious decision not to have them. I completely respect anyone’s decision to have, or not to have, children. But sometimes having one means I have to be much less flexible and spontaneous than I was before becoming a mom. Plus, my daily highs and lows usually revolve around Charlie and the truth is, sometimes it’s hard to get as excited about that stuff if you don’t have a frame of reference with your own kid.
I’ve felt lucky to have Partum Me?! and some local listservs as they’ve given me a virtual support system of other moms. Still something has been missing. Interestingly, I found what I needed as the drama unfolded with Charlie’s daycare. As we all found common ground in our battle with an ineffective administrator, we also found a good group of moms, dads, and educators who have a pretty good time when we get together. Now, instead of wondering what our other friends are doing on a Friday or Saturday, we have invitations to brunches and family potlucks. And with that comes the feeling, after six long years, that we might have actually done something crazy in Philadelphia – we might have actually made a life here.
If you moved somewhere as an adult, how did you make new friends? Have you found that your friend group has changed since having kids?