I am originally from a tiny town in Michigan that has a population that’s half the size of many graduating high school classes in the Indianapolis area. It’s a sleepy little town with one stoplight and where everyone knows your name. I love my hometown. I’m proud to be from there and I still miss being able to hop in the car for a 10 minute, no traffic, drive to catch a sunset on Lake Michigan. Indianapolis is not my hometown but it is finally my home. I wasn’t born here and I didn’t grow up here, but my four year anniversary of living in Indianapolis is fast approaching, and while I love this city now, that wasn’t always the case.
When we first moved to Indianapolis, I was ready for the adventure and the first year was nothing short of that. With an engagement, purchase of our home, pregnancy, and wedding, to say the first year and a half here was busy would be an understatement. I still was very connected to my hometown with all of these life events happening and planning our wedding there.
And then my son was born.
Homesickness set in to me like I had never felt before. I had made just a handful of friends from work here in the city before I was at home with my son. I had not had the time to nuture and grow those relationships like I had with my childhood friends back in the mitten state. One of the many things no one warned me about the first few months of motherhood was how isolating it can be. Your body is healing, you’re trying to keep a little human alive, you are mentally and physically exhausted, and you’re lonely — or at least I was. Homesickness was in my bones. I was miles and miles away from my closet family and friends. I missed them and I was ridden with guilt for how much they were missing of my son growing up.
Not one to sit around and do nothing, I decided it was time for a change. At first we started small. We visited local story times and parks. Next we graduated to music groups and museums. Pretty soon I was having my first mom/playdate after reaching out to another local mom in a Facebook group. Things were happening. Indianapolis was growing on me. To be clear I never disliked Indianapolis. From the beginning I was actually quite fond of it. But it wasn’t home. It wasn’t home because I wasn’t letting it be. So my son and I started exploring and experiencing the city together. I am not fully convinced that if he wasn’t born that we wouldn’t have moved back to Michigan. It took his arrival for me to want to see what this city had to offer, and I was not disappointed. We visit a park, museum, library, or event almost every day of the week. There is no shortage of free and fun things to do in this city.
If you are a new mom to the area (or just a lonely one) I encourage you to find a local mom group, go to story time at your library, start that awkward small chat with the mom standing nearby at the park, visit a museum, schedule that playdate, and if you and the mom don’t click, schedule another one after that! It took me awhile and a tiny person but I am finally making Indianapolis my home instead of just where I live.