New to Duluth: How I Dove In and Made Community Connections

I love it here in Duluth. At least now I do. My family and I visited Duluth as kids while vacationing, but I never thought I would rule my roost here. I’m just a small town girl living in a lonely world, wait no lol, I am just a small town girl who pictured living in a city with a beautiful skyline filled with skyscrapers and lights. When I turned 18 that’s just where I went. Minneapolis. I loved it: the smells, the sounds, the people, the shopping, the lakes, and everything else that beautiful city has to offer. But mainly I loved the friends I made. Girls I could share my secrets with, girls who I could count on to help me through the tough times of being a young woman. Girls who became women and are still my best friends of 20 years.   

New to Duluth: How I Dove In and Made Community Connections | Duluth Moms Blog

I eventually made a career out of something I love, travel, and opened my own travel agency just south of the cities; but then I met this handsome fella who swept me off my feet and a year later I found myself packing up my apartment to be with him where he lived, in Duluth. We got married and bought a modest hundred year old house in Lakeside which at the time, that neighborhood title didn’t mean anything to me. I didn’t know anyone. I mean anyone except my amazing in-laws. So if I am being honest, I started to feel lonely and resentful of the move. But then, the loneliness and resentment reared its ugly head to a whole another level when I had my first daughter. I loved motherhood and all it entailed with a newborn. But then my husband switched jobs from Cirrus to the 148th fighter wing and suddenly he was away all the time. It was just my daughter and I, which was amazing, but I found myself wanting to talk to another adult or have some sort of interaction with a human over 6 months. It didn’t happen. My poor mama, sister, and friends from down south. They probably got sick of seeing my name on their caller ID.  

Then my second daughter came and again, she brought so much joy to our family but my husband would get deployed and there I found myself alone, no friends, no mom friends, and nowhere to turn without having to drive a few hours.  The diaper changes, the feedings, the baths, the no sleep were all things I loved doing, ok love is a strong word, but I wanted help from my husband and I started to resent him for being away all the time. Besides deployments, he was staying in hotels for work trips and going out with his coworkers for dinner or a drink in another city and that made my blood boil! I wanted a dinner with friends. I wanted a glass of wine with my peeps. I wanted a night to sleep in a bed by myself with room service but I mean how dare I get mad at the man that is working so dang hard to provide for his family? I was mad at myself for being resentful of my husband. It wasn’t fair to him. Bottom line is I just needed people. I needed friends. I needed mom friends and I couldn’t seem to find them. Of course there would be the friendly convos at the park, but sadly nothing ever came from those. You guys, for 5 years or 2,628,000 minutes whichever way you want to look at it I never went out to a lunch, a movie, or even coffee with a “friend” from Duluth. I am not trying to make this a woe is me thing, I love love love being a mom, but as it has been brought me more joy than I could ever imagine, let’s be real, its pretty dang tough! And I share this story because I know there are mom’s out there right now having the same feelings and going through the same things. 

Eventually my daughters started dance and school and slowly but surely I would meet these wonderful women and we would connect and start building friendships. Last year was the first year both my daughters were in school and now I wanna whoop it up all the time!  “Who wants to meet for coffee? Who wants to go out to lunch? A walk?” And my little Lakeside community is so rich with wonderful human beings and I finally figured out why this place called Lakeside is so special. This whole city is so special! And to mimic Minneapolis, the scenery, the lakes, the trails, the shopping, (ok Duluth has some amazing boutiques and shops but the mall shopping could be better, can we all agree on that?) And the people, the friends I have made!

New to Duluth: How I Dove In and Made Community Connections | Duluth Moms Blog

This all brings me to reason of this post! Enter Stephanie and the Duluth Moms Blog. A pure Godsend. This city needed her. We lacked resources for moms and we are so lucky she has provided us with this wonderful resource with the Duluth Moms Blog! I met Stephanie because I happened to comment on how cute her outfit was on one of her live videos and turns out her daughter was in my daughter’s class in kindergarten and best of friends! They were literally sending home pictures and cute little notes to each other but we hadn’t met as moms yet. When we did, she started talking about the blog and she casually mentioned there was an opening for a Neighborhood Community Coordinator and I so wanted that position. I loved the thought of connecting moms online and in the community and after an interview and I’m guessing a background check, lol, I got the job! 

Collectively Stephanie and I decided to merge the initial neighborhood groups into this new amazing page, Community & Conversations. I am so passionate about this new page because I don’t want another mom to feel as alone as I did. I get it. I’m here for the mamas in the trenches, I am here for the lonely mamas, I am here for the single mamas, I am here for the mamas new to the area. I am here for you all! And you know who else is here for you? This wonderful tribe of mamas in Duluth who are a part of this page. This page is the place to go to ask questions, a place that will lend a listening ear, a place to set up play dates, coffee dates or a night out. This is a place for the introverts who need a safe place and the extroverts who want to meet in person and connect that way. We can not encourage this enough! We care, we don’t judge, and we would love to have you join us!

One Response to New to Duluth: How I Dove In and Made Community Connections

  1. Shellie S September 6, 2017 at 5:43 pm #

    This is such a welcoming post. I love the ‘come as you are’, take and give what you can, and that you strive for being non-judgmental as a group. Thank you for wring this and explaining what duluth.citymomsblog is all about. You’re a wonderful role model!