I’ve reached that stage in my life where it becomes exceedingly harder to meet friends. Gone are the days of dorms and classes, keg parties and sororities. No longer living in a bubble where you have a thousand things in common with those around you means you actually have to seek out people to befriend. They don’t just fall in your lap.

I’m lucky, because I have some really wonderful friends who have stood the test of time. But after I lost my job, I suddenly found myself home alone all day with no one to talk to, because everyone else was working.

Because of that, I was both excited and anxious about joining the stay-at-home-mom club. Excited, because this would open up a whole new group of potential friends, but anxious, because whoa…can some moms be bitches, or what? Believe you me, they are out there and are SO not the type of person I’d want to spend my time with. (I think this all goes back to the whole mean girls situation in middle school. There’s always one Queen Bee and her followers, is there not? Only in this stage of life, she rules over a whole different playground.) I’m outgoing, but I still have a few shy bones in my body and I was worried I’d have to “pass the test” so to speak before being welcomed into any new circles.

After Owen was born, I made a point to join mommy and baby yoga. I had met some nice women in my prenatal class, and continuing on with them was easy. I even met a few more moms there. Slowly, we began to meet up for walking dates, then lunches. It was nice to have someone I could count on every Wednesday to help break up the day.

So, there’s that. Some new mommy buddies. No life-altering friendships, but pleasant all the same.

Recently, though, I’ve started hanging out with a mom who I’ve actually known for many years. Our husbands are very good friends; hers was actually a groomsman in our wedding, and now Owen’s godfather. She and I — while always friendly —  just traveled in different circles, until Owen was born. Then suddenly, she was calling to check in. How was he doing? How is breastfeeding going? How are you doing? (So, SO important for a new mom to be asked!) I was initially surprised at her interest, but then so incredibly grateful for it. I’ve never really expressed that to her, but it’s true. I had some dark moments in those very early days and every little connection to those who had gone through it before me was a blessing.

She has three children, one just a little older than Owen, and lately we’ve started a pretty regular weekly coffee date. We gossip, laugh, catch up. Sure, we’re distracted by the constant demands of little boys (“Nana! NANA!!!!” Jeesh, OK. Here is some banana!), but it’s really very nice. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll get our act together and actually get a sitter on the same night. Date night? Oh boy, could we use one.

My long rambling point is that I’m glad I’m putting myself out there. Reaching out and meeting the moms. Every new chapter is a new opportunity. And this chapter — my motherhood chapter– is a great one for me to open up our lives to include some great new people. Just not the meanies on the playground.

Disclaimer: I haven’t actually encountered any mean moms on the playground…yet.