Mommy groups. Groups of mommies. Playgroups. MILFs. Whatever you want to call them, for many of us they’re our saving grace.
I only belong to one group, but really, that’s all you need. It started a month or so after Logan was born and I was climbing the walls with an infant who seemed to prefer crying over eating, sleeping or cuddling. Hubby found a program affiliated with our local hospital where every Tuesday moms of kids six months old and under could go and hang out for two hours.
The first Tuesday I tried to venture out and everything went wrong. The night before I got just a handful of sleep, there was a diaper blow out, unsuccessful nursing session and incessant crying. I too was reduced to tears. Hubby talked me into still trying to attend the program and that all was not lost because Ms. Punctuality was 60 minutes late.
I’m glad I listened. I walked into this room where there were about 30 women, their babies were all laid out on various blankets on the floor and they were just chatting. I pulled up a spare piece of carpet next to a skinny, cute brunette.
Looking around the room it was clear I was in good company. The bags under some of the girls’ eyes matched mine, there were crumpled shirts with traces of spit up and only one or two were really well coiffed, makeup and all. (Show offs!)
We just sat there and talked. About everything, anything, nothing. It felt soooo good. The next week, I returned, sat near the cute brunette and soon eight of us were drawn to each other. We met for coffee, which turned into meeting at each other’s houses for brunch once a week and then some girls’ nights out.
Those girls kept me sane. We had mirroring hopes, fears and frustrations about our babes, our hubbies and ourselves. We called ourselves the MILFs and there was even talk of T-shirts. We had an uber-fun weekend away that for many of us is now a drunken memory of too much wine and dancing at a dive bar.
I was lucky, not only did I have a community group to cull from, but my mommygroup rocked and we fell in love with each other. We were careful not to let ours get too big because sometimes groups can get so popular that they end up growing and before you know it, you’ve got 30 people crammed in your living room that only seats 5.
I’ve heard some horror stories where the groups turn into competitions of one-ups-womanship. That defeats the purpose. We all need that mommy support.
I encourage everyone to try to find a mommy group or start one on your own. It doesn’t have to be large, meeting with one or two other ladies even just once a month is fine.
For working moms it can be a different challenge because when you’re at your job, many moms who work inside the home are at their’s. When you are available to hang out, they aren’t. Keep at it, you can try MeetUp.com, or step outside your comfort zone and swap numbers with a mom or two at your Saturday morning swim class. It can be scary putting yourself out there, but it’s worth it.