While I am with the kids in the great state of North Carolina this week, I have two guest posters for Tuesday and Thursday. On Tuesday, Jeff from Dad on Arrival fulfilled the second half of our Super Bowl bet with his post, “Why I Could Never Be A Mom.”
Today, we hear from Farrah of No Minivan Mama about the awkwardness of mom groups. I got an e-mail a month or so ago from Farrah asking if she could write a guest post for the blog. My first thought was no, because the only guest posts I have ever had are from family members or friends writing because of a bet. But then I remembered that I was going to be gone this week, so I said HECK YEAH! So here she is, writing about her experiences with mom groups.
Enjoy! I’m back on Tuesday to talk about 1980’s television. It’ll be super rad.
The Awkwardness of Mom Groups
(by Farrah of No Minivan Mama)
When I had a newborn, like most newly minted moms, I was a mess. Bags appeared under my eyes from weeks of sleep deprivation. I felt like an overworked dairy cow from constantly nursing and pumping. I was always anxious and worried that I didn’t know what the hell I was doing because I truly didn’t know what the hell I was doing.
I met with a single, non-breeding friend and when she asked how motherhood was, I simply said it was a lot harder than I expected. She seemed surprised by this and responded, “How so?”
I sat dumbfounded for a moment, unsure how to answer and clearly illustrate how completely manic and draining new motherhood is to someone who’s never changed a diaper. I compared it to a chaotic day before you have several big projects due– you stay up all night, drink copious amounts of coffee and remain in a constant state of stress because you’re not sure how you’re going to pull it off, but somehow you do. So far, motherhood is like that, except it’s every day and the days never end.
I realized I could benefit from having friends with kids, friends who understand why it appears you haven’t showered in three days (because you haven’t), why your kid is crying (probably no reason) and don’t ask if you have food in your hair (you probably do). But just like a single woman isn’t likely to find a date if she spends all her time at home watching shitty Hugh Grant movies and pinning dream home ideas, a stay-at-home-mom isn’t likely to meet mom friends if she spends all her time at home with the baby watching daytime TV and rotating from pajama pants to yoga pants and back again.
Making mom friends is a challenge a bit like dating and the first step is actually finding an outlet to meet someone. You may have a fleeting moment between chasing your kid around a playground when you make small talk with another mom. But ending the conversation with, “Hey, so, do we have a connection here or what? Wanna grab some coffee, be Facebook friends, or something?” will likely kick your creep factor up a notch.
To connect moms, there are a number of groups that host “Mom’s Night Out” events. Going to a mom’s night out event is a bit like speed dating, except you get all the awkwardness of meeting someone new without the perks like free food. Generally, you meet at a restaurant, wear a goofy name tag and awkwardly try to break into conversations with strangers while sipping cocktails. In the process, you’re likely to meet a number of women you don’t hit it off with, just like bad mini-dates.
I’ve met moms who were too judgy, (“Screen time? What, you want to fry their little baby brains?”), too pretentious, (“Sure Waldorf costs more than college, but I shudder to think of my little angel in public school”), too crunchy, (“So did you encapsulate your placenta yourself or use a service?”), too religious (“Yes! I’m having a great time! By the way, can I talk to you about our lord and savior Jesus Christ?”) and too uptight (“I can’t eat that. I’m on a no carb/no sugar/no fat/no dairy diet”) Oh, yes, you can find them all in various mom groups.
Many mom groups have specialties such as single moms, Christian moms, working moms, etc. But the most general groups have no restriction, which is great if you don’t fall into any particular category, but not so great when you realize being a parent is one of the few, if not only, thing you have in common. Fortunately, I’ve found if there’s a lull in conversation, bringing up the horrors of childbirth makes a great icebreaker. There’s just nothing like discussing the most trauma your vagina has ever seen with complete strangers. Cheers!