I mentioned in my first mommy post that I’ve struggled to connect with other new parents (outside of those already in my life). Not for lack of trying, mind you. After the initial new baby lock down of the first few weeks, I started to get out to baby oriented yoga classes and went to some drop-in mommy groups. I guess I’d always imagined it would be simple: I’d meet other new moms, we would hit off and, voila, we’d start hanging out. What I didn’t anticipate was that while all the women I met were friendly enough, I had some serious high school-like social discomfort. Somehow I thought becoming a mother would change me so profoundly that entering a new social dynamic where I didn’t know anyone would no longer faze me. Wrong.
And you know what? I really enjoyed chatting with other moms, but it was the whole asking them out thing that I couldn’t quite figure out. It is weirdly like dating. You meet all these different mommy-baby pairings and after a bit you might hone in on one or two that you think you’d like to see again. Then (if you can muster the courage) you ask them if they’d be into meeting up and if you’re especially lucky, you’ll hit it off.
Seriously, is there a natural way to transition from tales of late-night feedings and poop-splosions to seeing if maybe they’d like to, you know, swap digits? It’s all kinds of awkward. Or maybe it just seemed awkward because I am. I hear you, I hear you. And there could be something to that, I grant you.
In retrospect, I’m thinking maybe I wasn’t the only mama hoping to meet some new mama friends. I mean most of them were probably there for just that reason. And maybe I would’ve come to that realization eventually if I had kept on going, but alas, I will never know. When L was around 4 months old I stopped attending the classes and the group.
After months of extreme sleep-deprivation (I know you know) my husband and I decided it was time to get her out of our bed (more on that later) and into her crib. This became my fulltime mission. A few emotional weeks later we had her on a nap/bedtime schedule and she was mostly sleeping through the night and fuck if I was going to mess that up for some class/group that clashed with her routine. I became pretty obsessed with it actually. Still am. It has shifted and changed over time, but it still fundamentally remains the same and, frankly, it saved my sanity. I’m not saying I ever feel totally rested, I’m not sure I’ll ever be again, but it is so much better. So I don’t regret that decision for a minute, but I do wish I could’ve found a way to incorporate both into my life at that time.
As I mentioned, I already knew some other moms before I became one myself and both my sister’s have kids too. So while I didn’t get that mama group I’d always expected with all our kidlets the same age, I still have women in my life who can relate to all the ins and outs and insideouts of parenthood. And just as one theme of this blog is that it’s never too late, I have recently reached out to a few more moms. I made a play date just this week with some old friends who had babies this year (via facebook) and I awkwardly asked another mom in our swim class if she’d like to hang out. It really was not my smoothest moment, but she seemed genuinely happy that I asked. And now that the peanut is able to stay up for longer stints between her naps, I am signing us up for more activities, which will provide many more mama dating opportunities I’m sure.