Sunday, July 09, 2006

It's official, I'm a frosh pledge

Desperate times call for desperate measures…and I’m officially desperate. Since moving here things have not been going well on the social front. Sam and I have been the only living humans on the playground pretty much daily. I have made phone call after phone call to parent child centers and community centers where no one returns my calls, several nursing groups to find out that they disbanded over a year ago (why they still have a listing in the paper I have no idea), and multiple music/gym classes to find out they are either too far away or right smack in the middle of naptime. Since moving here I have had exactly 3 conversations with other moms, 3 different moms, each lasting roughly 3 minutes, with the exception of one. One lone mom actually took the time to talk to me, answer my questions, and give me her email address, ultimately convincing me to join my first. ever. club.

Among the failed phone calls, empty parks, the super fun stroller-cise classes , people who want to charge me money just to come and sit at their house for 45 minutes while they “facilitated” discussion, and the deserted book clubs, I had also sent out a few emails to a club for moms that had a listing in the free paper I picked up. After a few days went by I was sure nothing would come of that just like everything else, but on day 5 I received an email back from a very helpful woman who had been out of town. She told me about the upcoming events this club had and said I could come by and see what I thought before joining. So after some difficulty in finding a time that worked (yet again everything takes place at 10:00 when Sam naps) I settled on a park day meeting one afternoon the following week. When the day came I received an email from my contact saying that she would not be able to be at the park that day because she had an ultrasound, but that she had sent out an email to the group telling anyone who was going to be there to look out for me.

As I approached the park, for the first time since moving here, I was walking toward other moms. Let me rephrase that: I was walking toward a mom. There was one woman there at the swings with her baby, who looked to be about 8 months old. As I came up to the gate the woman greeted me and asked if I was Sam’s mom. She had me at hello, dude. She had me at hello. Never mind the fact that this is supposed to be a club and there was only one person there. One person is 100% more person than I have seen at any swing at any park so far.

She told me about the club, the message board, the activities. All of it sounded pretty good. And it sounded like it would be really helpful for a person who just moved here because I can post questions on the message board asking about doctors and babysitters and so forth. They meet at parks, have playgroups for different age groups, a book club, a mom’s night out once a month, lots of stuff. And so, I joined my little club. I paid my twenty dollar membership fee and bought myself some friends. Please understand, I am not a club/organization/sorority/institution type a gal. I’ve always felt a bit of disdain for any type of group that included the special some and excluded most others. It’s just not my style. In fact, I specifically sought out a college that had absolutely no fraternities or sororities of any kind. I just didn’t want to be in a place where people segregated themselves by choice. And my feelings about this have grown exponentially since becoming a mom because we need all the support we can get, (some of you may remember me yelling about this at length in the Middle School of Mommyhood .)

I guess I feel like this situation is a bit different because there was no process by which I had to be chosen. I chose them and then gave them my twenty smackers. So if anyone who has twenty bucks to spend each year can join, I feel like this is pretty inclusive. I like that they do at least some work for the community and seem to be very supportive of each other, particularly when a woman has just given birth – I saw a sign-up thing for women to take meals to the new mom’s house. So I feel like this might be a good thing. Touche to me. Or maybe I am just rationalizing this because I’ve just paid money to have the opportunity to meet people. Don’t care. I’m happy. I’m in the club. And as I said before, desperate times.

But does anyone think it’s weird that they told me to bring some duct tape, a swim cap, and several jars of honey to my first meeting? They said that traditionally they like to give new members a nice, warm welcome…:)


Blogger Nikkie said...

I do things its wired that they asked you to bring that stuff...only because I can imagine what you could do with that stuff! :)

Anyway, I hope you find what your looking for in the club. I comend your effort, I would have given up by now!

9:56 PM  
Blogger Adventures In Babywearing said...

I am so glad you found a club. You know if you lived closer we already would have formed our own club... even tho I've never met you in person! Whoever gets to have YOU in their club is a total winner. Sounds fun - especially that they actually DO things... even if it is with honey and duct tape, I guess you can overlook that! (wink, wink)

11:39 PM  
Anonymous katie said...

Good for you! It sounds like a club that has a lot to offer. A lot of the groups here have a small fee to pay for snacks, outings, etc. I feel you with your post about mommy middle school. I have had times where I have gone to groups and felt totally left out. Now I just introduce myself to any other moms who look uncomfortable and go from there! Let us know how it goes! I would love to find a book club in town.

12:21 AM  
Blogger Susan (5 Minutes For Mom) said...

Way to go!!!

I am so sincerely impressed by you. I really wish you lived next door, because I know we'd be great friends.

I cannot even imagine how hard it would be to move to a new city and have to start over from scratch. But I have had to make some new mommy friends in my new neighborhood and it was really taking a looooong time.

And it's really pathetic that it should have taken so long (over a year), because I live in a townhouse complex where every other door has at least one diapered child behind it.

But strangely it was really hard to connect with anyone past small chit chat while passing on the sidewalk.

But finally I invited a few of the moms with babies the same age as my baby Julia to her first birthday party. Two of them came and brought their babies and we are now a close little group of our own. (In a good way!)

In the last couple of months we've become great friends and I feel like I've known them forever.

I am still working on getting "closer" with more of the other moms whose houses are much "closer" to me than anything else.

But at the moment, I'm enjoying the fact that skyrocketing house prices brought me to this townhouse complex and that I now have a couple of friends that I can hang out with anytime.

I know you're going to find some kindred spirits soon. Just do NOT give up!!!

Talk soon,

2:05 AM  
Blogger kate said...

good for you, beth! i hope you meet some people you feel comfortable with. i went to a mom's group and it was horrible, so i haven't tried again! i wish better for you! sending good juju your way in hopes you find a kindred spirit or 2 there!

1:05 PM  
Blogger ABC Momma said...

You're kidding about the honey and duct tape, right?

This sounds like an awesome group of women.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Cmommy said...

Anything involving duct tape is considered hazing and therefore, illegal (lol)

"I bought myself some friends"--we are all there at some point! Sounds like a fun, organized group! C

4:55 PM  
Blogger beth said...

Yes, yes I am kidding about the duct tape. That was my little hazing joke slapped in there. Guess my blasted sarcasm doesn't come through in writing sometimes. Sorry.

6:14 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Yay! You really needed this! And who cares if you had to pay for it...peace of mind is priceless!

2:23 AM  
Blogger Mama D said...

It seems like it's totally worth the $20 bucks. Meals after baby? Priceless. I hope this group turns out to be everything you've been hoping for! When's the next meeting?

P.S. Nikkie and I both tagged you for the same meme.

8:32 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

Hmmmm...that's not exactly my idea of a warm welcome. :-)

I can TOTALLY empathize with your plight! I was so fortunate to find a mom's hiking group just six weeeks after my daughter was born (hiking being a great passion of mine). It has seriously been my sanity and my social outlet. I would've gone nuts without other moms around to relate to!!

3:15 PM  

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