Parenting

I Joined A Moms Group, But Everyone Hated Me

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JOINER

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.

NO THANKS

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?

NO SHOW

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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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mm

Comedian, Author, and Host of Reality Life with Kate Casey podcast.

6 Comments

  1. Jill

    November 10, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    YES!!! I am also not fit for mom groups. In fact, two kids in and I’m still winning mother of the year awards. My favorite A+ showing was last Christmas when I let my two year old pick a veggie from the tray while I was talking to another mom and trying to relate with her in all her perfect Pinterest glory, which I feel compelled to say is not my reality.
    Unfortunately, I was so enamored with understanding how she not only created her own burlap throw pillows, but also fashioned some of that leftover fabric into professional looking hair embellishments that her children actually left in their hair, that I didn’t notice that rather than choosing a carrot or bell pepper, my un-accessorized two year old chose, and ate, a jalepeno pepper that had been put out on the table as a garnish for the adults. The explosion of sinuses and horrific screams that ensued left me standing alone in my corner of shame for the remainder of what felt like the longest evening ever. Meanwhile Pinterest mom couldn’t even pretend to hide the looks of horror and disgust that were plastered on her face whenever she glanced my way.

    • mm

      Kate

      November 10, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      This is why I know you are my people.

  2. Janelle

    July 1, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Moms groups suck! I am sorry that I work and can’t attend every event you have at a playground. I am sorry that I don’t have the update on whatever society thinks is the best reality show around. I have to work and have kids. These moms show up in the morning at the park and look down at working moms. They think they are high and mighty and honestly just talked crap behind all the moms in the group ( had a stay at home mom in the inside). If I wanted someone to judge me, my parenting or my child, I would visit my inlaws. Parenting is hard enough w out having other moms think they are doing it best. I am sorry that my cookies are not soy, vegan, organic w no sugar. My kid is alive, healthy, happy and somewhat clean for the moment. That is all I can ask. Don’t let these Mom groups dictate how you parent or make you feel bad. Take your kid out somewhere on your time and have them make friends. A lot of the time, other working moms do the same and they are much better and understanding people

  3. Jo

    July 2, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Perhaps I am the exception but our neighborhood has a mom/play group and I love it. I admit that I can’t attend every week and that initiating friendships is hard but I’ve never felt hated.
    In all honesty this post sounds paranoid. “Why is she wearing running shorts? Didn’t someone tell her that is a horrible stroller?” Those are your thoughts, not their words. My mom would say “Don’t worry about what people think of you because chances are they don’t”.

    In our playgroup we open the invitation to anyone. Not everyone shows up at once. New people get talked to. We share parenting advice and laugh at our own failures. We ask fellow mother’s before sharing treats because that is the polite thing to do and we don’t know if that child has an allergy. We respect each other’s parenting methods. We sympathize with the women who are unable to conceive again, or whose husband lost their job, or whose child broke an arm falling from a window. There’s no judgement. None that I see. Only concern and compassion because it could have been any of us.

    I’m sorry that you felt your mom’s group was different. Perhaps you can start your own and reach out to other new mothers with compassion. Leave the judgement at home.

    • mm

      Kate

      July 2, 2016 at 5:36 pm

      Jo,

      This is meant to be in jest. It is comedy.

  4. Rachelle

    October 12, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    The only “mom friends” I have room for in my life are the ones who will sit around and drink wine with me while we trash talk the “Perfect Parent” who lives across the street and what assholes our own kids are.

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