Making new friends (and a link to my first sponsored post)

I just wrote my very first sponsored post up at Moxieville (my column at Babble Voices) entitled "We also bought a shirt with Chewbacca on it". I love the concept of sponsored posts, because it's so transparent: Company pays me to write. I only accept payment from companies I actually spend money with. They only sponsor bloggers they like. This post was for Old Navy, which is where I've been doing a lot of my clothes shopping for me and the kids since I stopped shopping at Target 14 months ago. I was so happy when they ran the "It Gets Better" shirts this summer, so I said yes right away when I was asked if I wanted to write this post.

I was also really happy to be able to do this post because it tied together all the stuff I've been thinking about this week, in a kind of random way: running, worrying about money, the colder weather, feeling like I should be doing more for other parents now that I can pay my rent every month, buying clothes for the kids, and what it was like living with my mom last month. Funny how it all came together, and when I was doing the shopping for the post I had a great conversation with the cashier. This was just a lovely experience in ways I hadn't even thought it would be.

But back to talking about parenting: I have been thinking a lot about making new parent friends. I went to our new school's Curriculum Night this week, and had the sudden realization that I need to (find and unpack and) break out my Mom Cards again. When my kids were teeny I always carried some cards in my wallet that I'd had printed up for about $20. They had my name and number and email on them. Nothing else, just that. Whenever I met another parent I wanted to keep in touch with, I could just hand over my card instead of fumbling around for a pen and grocery store receipt to write my number down on.

I'm an extrovert, so even when I feel awkward in a group I can still force myself to talk to someone else. Thanks to writing Ask Moxie and having heard from all of you, I've figured out that there are people who will never ever make the first move, so I should just jump in and do it. But without being so enthusiastic that I scare them away. I'm hoping there are enough introverts at this school that I can use stealth to trick into being my friends that I'll have a few friends in each of my kids' classes.

Where are the rest of you with regards to making friends? It felt so easy when we were all just desperate for sleep. Now that school has come into the mix, and the obvious-but-ludicrous divisions of WOH vs. SAH vs. WAH and all that external stuff is less prominent, it should be easier. But it feels a bit harder to me.So it's got to be even tougher for those of you that don't feel comfortable just sticking out your hand and starting the conversation.