In the first two parts, I talked about my crazy attempt to stalk every Mom I could find who looked like a match, but let’s now go with the more obvious approaches (because why START with the obvious ways to meet people? That’s just silly.) – Moms groups.
I mentioned I was a little scared of Moms’ groups because the only person I knew who was really into hers was… um, I think I’m going with “not my type” here. But I sucked it up and…
It turns out that Moms’ groups are cliquey. Or they FEEL cliquey, damn it! The first one I tried was at our church. Most of the other moms had been going a long time and the kids (and hence the activities) were directed at older kids. Those who had babies, also had a few older kids, so the baby was just being dragged along. I stood in the back and felt weird. It was “last kid picked” in gym class all over again. A few moms tried to reach out – they suggested maybe I’d prefer the women’s bible study in the evening. But here’s the thing – I wasn’t really joining because I was interested in religious fulfillment. I wanted a playgroup for my daughter and some moms I could get along with during that time! What I didn’t want was some event without her on one of the few nights my husband was home so that he was watching her and I was out feeling socially awkward trying to make friends (and trying to remember to watch my language around a church group!). Bible study in our VERY conservative diocese is just not me. (I’m pretty sure I said this before, but I’ll give my husband’s take again. This was on homeschooling, but the principle applies. His view was we can’t homeschool our daughter because she’d be a very opinionated young lady. She’d be the only kid in the conservative Catholic homeschool group going – I think women should be priests!)
After we moved I tried another moms group – this one for a play date. That was probably a bad place to start as all the other moms were really just looking to socialize with their friends. They tried to be friendly and welcoming, but truthfully, I felt like such an outsider. So I tried a meeting with another group. I arrived and who was the first person I saw…?
… That mom who had scared me away from moms’ groups in the first place! Oh God! She’d moved from her old place too and now lived out this way. Luckily, she’s self absorbed enough that she didn’t see me at first, but when they introduced the new people…
The sad thing was that even though they tried, this group started to feel “cliquey” enough that I went over to talk to her more. (How many pathetic points do I get for this?) The reality is that “cliquey” is probably not the right word. It’s just that I’m trying so hard to find things to connect on (other than JUST talking about kids) and so many of these women are already connected to each other in the group.
The other rough thing for me about this group was that I needed to leave the monkey with caregivers upstairs. I’m sure that they were all really nice and all that, but I didn’t know them. And we’d never done that. I had to gulp back my fears on that one and trust. Which is NOT my strong suit.
So, so far the moms’ groups have been a bit of a slow start… but it occurs to me that I’ll never actually FEEL like part of them until I bite the bullet and actually try BECOMING part of them (you know – joining!). I have one more group to try next week, but I think unless it’s awful I will join. And I’ll probably join the group with the crazy mommy too (they will be ending for the year in a couple of weeks, so it didn’t make sense to join this year).
Thank you so much for all your thoughts and advice! At Aging Mommy’s suggestion, I checked out what the library had to offer and it turns out that there are quite a few classes available. I’m also planning to sign the monkey up for swim classes (we’ll see if she’s a sea monkey!). I’ve told the hubby that he needs to come too – a thought that he is WAY less than thrilled with. But I’ve argued that he at least needs to be at the first one to hold the camera. We’ll see…
I guess my prompts on favorite ways to meet Moms are getting old, so… now that you’ve found groups, what are your favorite activities? How would you describe your groups in terms of the Breakfast Club (the princess, the jock, the loner, the criminal – tell me I’m not the only one, people!)? Or find a better 80’s movie reference to put in here (Baby Boom, anyone?)?