Moving & Making New Friends
By Kendra B. Drummond
“Honey, we’ve got orders.” In a military family that little sentence means: get the cardboard boxes, find the black markers, buy a million yards of tape (ok, maybe not, but it seems like it), have a yard sale, pack up the house and find a new home. Often it also means tears over leaving good friends, your church home and a neighborhood that you love behind.
One of the hardest jobs as a military wife/mom comes at PCS time. A Permanent Change of Station also means a Permanent Change of Social circles. For children of all ages, this can be tough. With infants and toddlers, it means a different set of care givers in nursery, playschool, church or even just the once-a-month Saturday night babysitter. As children get older, a PCS means a change in playgroups, school pals, teachers, Sunday school friends and neighborhood friends. Moving affects parents as well. As moms, we thrive when bolstered by loving and caring friends who share in the same struggles of life. The older we get the harder it is to make new friends. To a mom a PCS means a new round of, as one friend calls it, “Mom dating.” That phrase is the perfect way to describe the somewhat tedious and nerve wracking task of meeting new moms/kids, trying to find that perfect match where the kids love to play and the moms love to chat.
So, when that infamous sentence is first uttered, there is one “order” of business that must be first and foremost. PRAYER! I pray without ceasing while packing, searching for a new home and I continue while unloading the moving boxes.
After all the boxes are off of the truck, the search begins. The key is to be open and willing to accept whomever God sends into your path.
My family has been blessed with friends in many ways. One was a “big brother” family assigned to my husband when he started school. Another move brought a wonderful friend in the form of our realtor. Two moves ago, our 3-years-old daughter ran up to a little girl she saw playing outside while we were walking around the block. That family became, and still are, trusted and beloved friends. After our last move, we found a local home school online group and connected with several families in our new neighborhood before we even left our old one.
As a military mom, we are fulfilling a role unlike any other. Our challenges are not harder than other moms, just different. That means our blessings will come in different packages as well. Making friends each time we move is a challenge. However, the blessings that come as different people pass through our lives are beyond measure.