I Joined A Moms Group, But Everyone Hated Me
After the birth of my first child I joined a moms group because it seemed like a good way to network with other women who had recently given birth to a human being. Parenting can be lonely when it’s your first trip to the rodeo. I grew up on another coast, so I couldn’t just reconnect with the girls I knew from middle and high school. I needed to find friends.
It didn’t go so well for me.
The first problem out of the gate was I could rarely attend their weekly meetings at the playground. If I were to be completely honest, I hate playgrounds. How can you enjoy yourself when you are terrified someone’s child might pitch themselves over the gaping hole between the slide and the fireman’s pole? Also, how can I engage in thoughtful conversation with another parent while riding a seesaw? I know I look like an elephant mounting a balance beam, but tell me about you. Are you from here originally? Do you also spend a lot of your time purchasing items on Amazon in the middle of the night? Do you cry in the shower when you reflect on what life was like before you were responsible for a small child? No? Just me?
I could never attend events either. My work was unpredictable and on several occasions had to bail at the last minute. Look, new friends, I know I said that I could bring a fruit tray to the Halloween party but now I have a conference call and a press release to distribute. Hope no one was craving grapes or honeydew melon.
ARE YOU OPEN TO A NEW RELATIONSHIP?
When I did show up it felt like I was the only single person in a bar full of people in already committed friendship relationships. Sorry, I’m with her. We don’t need anyone else in our group. You seem like a terrific person, I am sure you will find a special friend one day. We just won’t be one of those people.
It’s hard not to look pathetic when you are asking someone for their contact information over an arts and crafts table. We (as in me and my offspring) would love to get together sometime. You guys can come to our house and make s’mores! This poor woman, they would think, she is so desperate for friends. Why is she wearing running shorts? Is she a runner or has it been a bad laundry week? Can’t she get that hair out of her daughter’s face? Didn’t someone tell her that is a horrible stroller?
The last straw was my failed attempt to mingle at the mom’s club’s annual holiday party. I made a promise to myself to meet people. I was not going home without numbers, but things didn’t work out so well.
- Pay Attention When Your Child is Choking
I thought of myself as the kind of mother who would let her child be independent. Go out into the world, my child, and figure things out on your own. You don’t need me to hold your hand. Here is a large unpeeled apple slice for you to snack on while I talk to this stranger. “I think she is choking,” said my new friend. “No, she’s fine,” I replied. But she wasn’t fine. She started coughing and the vomited all over her dress, my shirt, and the carpet below her. So I did what any other exemplary Mother of The Year would do, I cleaned it up, gave her a cookie to mask her breath, and then pretended as if nothing happened.
- Don’t Give Things to Other Children
While Santa was giving all of the kids an opportunity to tell them their gift wish list I started up a conversation with a little boy. “What is your name? How old are you?” Instead of answering me he kept saying juice and pointed to the table with all the refreshments. I thought I was being helpful when I gave him an opened yogurt drink resting on the edge of the table. His mother informed me not only was the drink not his, but she also didn’t allow him to eat sugar. He was probably in some sort of Juice Anonymous program and I made him relapse.
- Read Your Emails
I missed the email that requested all club members bring one gift for a family in need. I came empty handed to a holiday event with a charitable mission, which is like sitting down and having Thanksgiving dinner at a homeless shelter when you are in fact not homeless.
So I left without any new friends and a little girl who smelled like trash.
I never went back.
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