I think the single most important thing I was told after having a baby, was that I should attend the local new mother support group. The group met every Wednesday morning from 8:30-10:00 am. Not an easy task to get there with your baby, gear, while looking wide-eyed and bushy-tailed (must maintain magazine mom status), but I am so thankful I did. I am not an earlier riser, although motherhood changes that. I think there were only a handful of us that had makeup on and I was one, of three, that used a hooter hider… everyone else was going all naturel, letting it ALL hang out. Wow, I had no idea the gamut of nipple sizes out there until that day. Clearly I was at some hippie, baby love fest cult meeting. I maybe would have bolted for the door if there were not 30 other women with their fresh out of the womb babies blocking my way. The classes are held in the back room of a baby boutique (the one I mentioned I registered at) that couldn’t be much bigger than a large prison cell, so you can only imagine how crowded it was. For good reason too. This group is AMAZING! No wonder all the frazzled mothers in this town are drinking the cool-aid, and like addicts, make their way, however they can (no make-up, and bra-less), to attend week-after-week. Well, until your baby is 5 months-old anyway. After that, and not a day more, you are kicked out of the group. Even though it is for space reasons, you can’t help but feel a sense of rejection, the day your time comes.
Like any support group, you start out each session with going around to each person in the room, Hi, my name is ______ and this is my baby girl/boy______. You tell everyone how old your baby is, and what your concerns are? Trust me, you always have concerns, especially if it is your first (seldom were mother’s of more then one in attendance), so to have a sounding board to bounce them off of, is fantastic. It is also comforting to hear other mothers have problems too, and maybe worse ones then you. Let’s face it, we all want to know other people suffer miserably too. Besides, it is nice to size up your babies good looks and accomplishments against the baby pool. I began when my daughter was 7 weeks-old and never missed a Wednesday after that, except the following week because we were in Kauai. I looked forward to it. It is no surprise, that I like to be social, even more so, to talk to a group of people who listen. Seldom am I ignored. If I sense I am being ignored, I say “um… I am talking”, playfully of course. No joke…right friends? I am sure if you don’t know my personality I can come off pretentious, conceded, annoying, vulgar and rude. Okay, maybe a few of those are accurate descriptions, but nonetheless, I enjoy the stage. Week, after week, I cried with these women, told them my issues, offered advice to others, but most importantly I scouted out my new friends. You know how in your college days, you would purposely try to sit by the people you deemed, pretty, cool or maybe the smartest. Well, this class is no different. I will never forget the first time I laid eyes on my, now, dear friends. I honestly could care less if our kids would be friends, I just knew I wanted to be theirs. The kids can grow to like each other. Every week, thereafter, I sat next to Nicole, and her son, who just happened to be only 1 day older than my daughter. Destiny…I was convinced. Now, 3 1/2 years later and two kids deep (her second is 6 weeks older than mine) we are still dear friends. She is not the only one I made a lasting friendship with either. I met my friend Molly there, which her daughter and mine are now BFF’s, and not a week day goes by, that I do not see them. Nicole, Molly and I are actually all doing this blog challenge together. I think we are very good at challenging each other to be better. To be better mother’s, wives, thrifters, crafters and bloggers. I feel blessed. Besties, don’t be jealous, you are my rock and ALWAYS will be.
The amazing friendships didn’t stop there either. Even after we were all sent packing when are kids “aged-out” we (us moms below) formed weekly playdates and took turns hosting them. Our kids were all within 6 weeks of each other and now, we have all had our second children within 10 weeks of one another.
We even get together for a mom’s night out once a month (Nicole, me, Molly,Suzanne, Sarah, Tracy, Ana and Olivia) where we meet at a restaurant or one of our homes for drinks, laughs and hors d’oeuvres. Here we are st Suzanne’s…
I will say, not all of our kids embrace the friendship that us moms do, but it is still such an amazing group of unique and dynamic mom/kids. If it weren’t for them, I would not have survived many moments. Some days, you are simply not “mother-of-the-year” (like when you scold your child unnecessarily, forget to buckle them in their car seat, give them snacks you found on the floor of your car, etc.) and you need a fellow mother who makes mistakes, to remind you of that.
Though my sister-in-law told me about the new mother support group, no one told me it is there, where you and your child, will make lasting friendships. This is a must for new mommies. Seek out a group and GO… even if you can’t get it together enough to put make-up on. Someone will want to sit by you anyway 🙂