When I posted the Reflections of Motherhood video the other day and offered my own commentary I closed by saying that I have thoughts on some of the other advice offered. I promise this won't be another long post of me spouting out my (mostly bias) assessment of other people's opinions, but I did want to comment on one of the signs shown, "meet other moms."
So here's the thing - I know that I'm incredibly lucky that one of my best friends has a baby boy that is so close in age to Kale. I realize I'm even luckier that Lexy and I have very similar parenting styles and that we've developed a strong supportive relationship as mom's. I have no idea how I would have survived to this point without her. Don't get me wrong - Kris is amazing*** but he's never given birth, dealt with nipple pain, been sleep deprived from nursing all hours of the night, etc., etc.
If I didn't have Lexy as such a close friend perhaps I would have been more active in seeking out other mom's, but I haven't. I've definitely been open to meeting other mom's, but it's been way more challenging than I ever thought it would be. For example - last week Kale and I went to our first music class. I realize that we're totally priviliged to be able to take part in something like this (cost of program, transportation to get there, childcare for siblings - all challenges for some) and so I was anticipating a certain group. Kale and I got to class on time despite a mad rush to get our things together before leaving the house, but he was still wearing an outfit with a nice amount of drool on it that might have been a tad too small and he had a lovely scratch down his face because I'm really awful at cutting his nails. Still - Kale wasn't wearing pajama's, I'd even had a shower, and we were on time. Miracle, no? Apparently not. The other mom's trickled into class with their designer diaper bags (hey, mine's designer too! No one needs to know I bought it second hand), dressed to the nine's (I swear that one mom must have ironed her baby's shirt..either that or she just ripped the tags off it), and not a spot of drool in sight. It quickly became clear to me that all the other mom's in the class knew one another and despite the fact that I smiled at each mom and baby as they came in, not one said hello to us. During the class the baby beside us would roll over to Kale and try to steal his shaker's and Kale would try to eat his head and the mom kept snatching her little guy away as if Kale's drool was contagious. I told her not to worry, they looked like they were having fun. No dice. She continued to snatch. Oh well.
So we'll pause here and just note that Kale LOVED music class. The teacher started the class by singing hello to each of the babies and calling their names. Every baby would look at the teacher when she sang their name and sort of stare for a second until she moved on. When the teacher sang Kale's legs it was all I could do hold on to him as he started jumping in my arms and singing back like an owl "whoooo, whoooo." I thought this was awesome but the other mom's didn't look so impressed.
Anyway, when the class finished the mom's could not get at one another fast enough. "Is so-and-so doing this?" "My baby is doing this now," "Your outfit is so cute!" blah.blah.blah. Again, no one gave us a second look. I packed up our stuff and as Kale and I were leaving I said "bye everyone - see you all next week!" And get this (!!!) two mom's looked at me (but didn't say a thing) and the rest of them didn't even offer us that.
Ummm...rude? I think so. I could really care less because Kale loved the class and that's all that matters. I didn't go there to meet other mom's, but wanted Kale to be around other kids and to have fun and learn some music. But it was the perfect example of how breaking into a mommy circle can be next to impossible.
I want to think that this was an isolated group of snobby mom's, and that other cool mom's exist and aren't afraid of drool. Today we had signing class and the women were much friendlier and the baby beside us even had mismatched socks.
So when the woman in the video held the sign that reads "meet other mom's" I could help but scoff because it is not that easy. Also, I really don't think that the fact that I am a mom is going to make me want to be BFF's with women like the one's in the music class. And (!!!) making time for friends when you are a new mom is HARD. I have a lot of friends who are not mom's and I don't want to lose them just because I feel like my "friend time" should go to other mom's. In fact, talking to non-mom friends is really refreshing. When I talk to Lexy, 90% of our conversation is about our little guys. When I talk to Emily, she asks about Kale and then we move on to other important stuff like the sheer awesomeness of Blake Lively's body (seriously, this is a topic that comes up a lot for us). I like having BOTH conversations. And guess what? Both Lexy and Emily? Not afraid of drool.
*** Kris is amazing and in reference to the previous post in which I claimed that "When Kris google’s something for us, I usually have a complete nervous breakdown due to his sheer lack of speed," Kris would like me to note that his google skills are completely adequate. I only perceive them to be incredibly slow because I am crazy.