I was the new mom in town a couple of years ago – literally two years ago. I let my melancholy consume me, and I hated everything, even when the sun was shining.
I still remember the day I cried while leaving story time at our local library branch. I’m grateful that my then 13-month-old didn’t know that I was crying (thank you sunglasses) because her little world was just rocked, and she was oblivious to it (thank you toddlerhood). I felt so alone as I left the library that day. It felt as if every other parent there had one other friend. I felt more alone at that moment than ever before – and I’ve had some pretty lonely days in my life (thank you mental illness and being comfortable as an introvert). I’m not sure when it was, but something shifted in my mind. I went from my sulking and scrolling through old friends’ feeds and how their lives were untouched to finding my village and turning our house into a home.
While I dearly miss the South and my family, St. Louis is home, and I dread thinking about the day that may come when we move back home. I’m two years into this, and I like to think that I know a little something about how to take on being the new mom in a new town. I hope you find that what helped me somehow helps you, too.
Keep the Faith
The first item on my list to find when we moved was a church. I made a list, and I was determined to get plugged in right away. We were blessed to find the perfect church for us in just one try. If you’re connected to your faith, let this be on the top of your list. Find a church, synagogue, or other place of worship that feels like home. Don’t draw comparisons, but find similarities in them. It’s possible – I promise.
If finding a place of worship isn’t a priority for you, what keeps you grounded? Is it a particular type of gym or studio? What about a hobby or passion? The amazing part of living in a larger metro like St. Louis is that there are dozens of groups and establishments that may be the perfect fit.
Join a Village
My village is a big one that stems from three different areas (church, MOPs, and this blog right here). I forced myself to reach out and meet people. Fun story, I almost threw up when I got out of my car and headed into my first MOPs get together, but I was ready to take a step toward some amazing friendships that have seen me through some challenging times.
Throw Out Expectations
The truth is that St. Louis is like no other city in the world. It’s vibrant and busy, but there’s still a calm and familiarity to it at the end of the day. Don’t compare it to what you’ve seen in movies or on the news (seriously, it’s something you can only imagine if you’ve experienced it) because you’ll find yourself confused and thrown off. Don’t expect it to be anything like where you’ve come from, and that’s the beauty of this city, and all that surrounds it. Embrace the new and find a groove that fits you.
My life is not perfect here in St. Louis, and I still miss my friends down South, but with some framing and embracing what’s in front of me, I am okay with calling the Lou home.