I've heard. Oh! have I. That it is so important for homeschoolers to socialize their children. Ha! We can't be weird un-socialized homeschoolers. :) My children are social. Truth is, I sometimes think my children are more social than I am. I rarely hear anything about mom though. Nobody really addresses the loneliness a homeschool mother can feel. It's real! Very real. I have lived it.
Growing up, it was easy for me to make friends. I was very outgoing and could usually be found hanging out with my friends. However, I got married at a very young age and things changed. I found that my priorities were changing and I started growing apart from my friends. I was still able to see them from time to time, but things changed. I had changed. It was a slow change and I understood it…I was married now and most of them weren't. Then, we began having children and I once again had new responsibilities. I loved my role as stay-at-home wife and mother, and I wouldn't have had it any other way. We then followed our hearts and decided to homeschool our children. I took what some say is a road less traveled. This was a huge change for our family, but it was a wonderful one. The right one for our family. I had everything I had always wanted, but something was missing. I began feeling very lonely. I wondered to myself, how someone surrounded by people (my children) everyday could feel so lonely. I didn't really take time (or really have time) to connect with anyone besides my family. I filled my days with teaching, cleaning, cooking, etc. Different days, same agendas. Sad and lonely feelings began to just intensify. I have 200+ Facebook friends. Those people were my friends, right? I share with them, they share with me. Well they are there. I know them, but seriously how many do I actually connect with on a personal basis. Well, to be honest I can count them on one hand. Truth!
I found myself finding a social outlet through a computer screen. That's healthy, huh? Well, yes and no. I have mixed feelings on this. On one hand, I have made some fabulous friendships via the computer. Friendships that I am happy to have made and cherish very much. I'm always up for making new friends. On the other hand, I think it's important to interact with friends in person. Sometimes it's just nice to talk with a friend. I wasn't doing a whole lot of interacting. I began to realize that I was just waiting for friendships and wasn't putting in any effort. You know, just waiting for it to happen, because things just happen. Ha! It's funny because I'm always telling my children "You want something, you work for it, things don't just happen." I can honestly tell you, making friends now compared to when I was younger is so different. I'm not as outgoing as I once was. I'm quite shy actually. It's not like you just walk up to someone and say. Hi! I'm Jennifer, Do you want to be my friend? So a few years ago, I began praying for God to put true friends in my life and started trying to make an effort. Guess what!? You might be surprised, but I still don't have a ton of friends I speak to in person, but I do have a few. I do however how many acquaintances. The few true friends I have are wonderful and very much blessings to me. I can count on them and that matters.
I have learned that I don't have to be surrounded by lots of people, but having those few true friends is nice. It is important to me to have friends in my life to share and fellowship with. It was extremely important for me to realize that a few true friends was worth more than a bunch of not so true friends. Not all friendships are created equal. Also, I believe some friendships are for a season. I believe God brings different people into our lives at different times for different reasons.
I have no real advice on how to make friends. I can suggest church, co-ops, and other outings, but the truth is there is really no one way to connect and make friends. It's something that is just done and you can't force it. Like I said before though friendships take some effort, so you need to WANT to make that effort. Remember though, a true friend will also do their part. I believe you will find a person and you will be like - Hey! Now that's a friend or something like that. :)
Friends are something that everyone needs. I believe that God desires for us to have good friends. He put several examples in the Bible. The bible says “A friend loves at all times.” (Proverbs 17:17) Friends are there to listen, to talk, to have fun, fellowship, and for mutual support.
If you are a lonely homeschooling mom, I pray that you will give your desires over to God and ask for His help. Also, Hi! I'm Jennifer, Do you want to be my friend? :)