5.31.2005

Happy Playgroup & Where Are the Mommies?

Most of the comments and emails I receive from other moms, it seems, have to do with the politics of being a mother in the mom-eat-mom world of Life After Baby. The common theme seems to be: why can't we all jjust get along? While I too have endured my share of silly mommy politics, I am happy to report that I have found a wonderful group of moms who meet every so often for playdates. They are kind to each other, respect different parenting styles and beliefs, and seem to have a genuine understanding that all of our babies are their own unique individual selves who develop at their own pace and have their own quirks. They also seem to have a genuine respect for the fact that no matter all of our differences, we are all Moms. They're a fun group too, and one of them makes a mean curry chicken salad (yum).

I wish I could meet with this group more often. Sadly, work keeps me from meeting when many of them meet. The fact is, unless you work somewhere where there are more people your age who have kids your age, or your group of friends suddenly decides to get pregnant all around the same time and live close by, I think it is difficult to make new "mommy" friends. I am often cuurious: where do these mommy friends meet? The mall? Daycare? Gymboree classes? The local pool? I wonder if I can meet other mommy friends by hanging out at happy hour at a nearby brewpub... moms need a cold beer every once in a while...I could use a beer right now... but I digress.

When I drive to work or to a lunch meeting I often see them: the moms on playdates at the park or strolling to a coffee shop together or meeting at the local bookstore for a baby book club. All during the hours I work. Are they all stay-at-home moms? Is it easier for stay-at-home moms to meet other moms and join playgroups, I wonder? The ones I know are from our birthing classes and baby & me groups that I attended during my maternity leave, and I think I have been lucky that they continue to include me in their invitations even though I feel like I can only accept them on a rare occasion.

In a selfish and somewhat pathetic way, I am eager for two new little bundles to land on the planet within the next few months in my circle of pals. Yeah, yeah, great for them, I'm glad they are pregnant and embarking on the greatest journey ever, blah blah blah. Sometimes, what I am secretly screaming is, "Yahoo! Another new mom close by! Another baby for Boo to play with!" Selfish? Completely (well, except the part about being excited for Boo to have more baby friends).

Maybe this is part of the whole phenomenon that people talk about - the one where once you become a parent, you suddenly try to get all of your friends to have babies too. Maybe it's not so much that we suddenly think "My God, everyone should do this, it's so great!" but rather we realize that having babies actually does create an inevitable divide that honestly can't be crossed until our friends experience the same. It's the same feelings we've had all our lives just in a different stage of our lives: we want to feel understood, we want to feel as though we belong, we want to have friends who share the same ideas and pasttimes and can understand our daily challenges... and we're all a little uncertain of how to get to where we feel we should be because we're not quite sure of our own place just yet.

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