Momopoly: Finding the Right Mommy Group

Mothers and babies in a mommy groupThe moment I gave birth, my confidence about who I was faltered; everything seemed scary and lonely. I didn’t have friends with kids and I needed some. I needed women who could assure me that someday nursing would get easier, my c-section scar would stop itching, and I would stop crying—because WOW the CRYING! I needed a mommy group! I set out to find some mama friends and discovered several women from my prenatal yoga class had started a mom group. We’d gotten along well in class so I finagled myself an invite, thinking they hadn’t known how to contact me because I’d forgotten about the class ‘contact’ list.

exhausted mom with happy babyColor Me Clueless

When I finally went to a mommy group meet-up, OMG, was it awkward! I had nothing to say to these moms. They all acted perfectly “together.” Their babies wore spotless outfits, cloth diapers, and slept all night. They had perfect births, no feeding issues, and made homemade baby food. Not that there was anything wrong with that, but there I was, a week past my PPD and emergency c-section, pockets filled with mini snickers, with a baby who never slept! She was also sporting a disposable diaper and stained hand-me-downs. We were like their evil twins! Still, I tried to connect, but everything I said was met with dirty looks or blatant judgment. I left, assuming I’d never hear from them again.

two moms walking babies in strollersMiddle School All Over Again

Surprisingly, I was put on the group’s email chain. Had I just been paranoid? Was the first time not that bad? Maybe they thought my honesty about how parenting was kicking my butt was “refreshing”! So I went to a few more outings and just did “me.” Gradually, the emails stopped, I figured due to schedules changing. Despite not really connecting with them, they were the only mom group I had and I was bummed to lose it. Then, one morning, my daughter and I were at the park when “they” showed up. Yes, ALL of them. Because THEY ALL STILL MET. Without me. Ouch.

“Perfect-Mommy Mafia”

To describe that day as uncomfortable is an understatement. The “Perfect-Mommy Mafia” arrived, ignored me, threw homemade snacks out like confetti, and let their crazy-clean children overtake the playground, forcing me and my kid into the play structure that looked like a jail. That’s right. We were sent to jail. It was the game of Momopoly and I lost. Eventually, I heard the mommy group hadn’t liked me or my “attitude towards parenting.” I still don’t know what that means, but whatever. I have a great mom group now that accepts all my imperfections, store-bought snacks, and occasional meltdowns. I’ve learned I don’t need friends who expect me to change to fit in, nor do I want my daughter getting that message. More importantly, I never want to feel bad about doing my best. Because that’s all we can do, right? Parenting can be hard and isolating enough. Competing over who’s doing it best is a game I’d rather not play.

Comments

  1. says

    I don’t like this article. You are being judgmental yourself, the same as that judgmental group of women. I use cloth diapers and make homemade baby food (when possible), and you make it seem like I would be judgmental too. I also have stained hand-me-downs like you, there’s nothing wrong with reusing something still usable instead of buying something new! I am having trouble finding a mommy group too but this article absolutely helped me in no way possible!

    • Celia says

      Sorry you took it that way. It wasn’t meant to read as I am non-judgmental – it was meant to read as the types of moms that were in that group weren’t ones I could relate to or who could relate to me. I don’t really care what types of parenting choices other people make – it was more that THEY cared that I wasn’t making the ones THEY made that was the issue and why they stopped inviting me places. If they had used cloth diapers and made their own baby food – but accepted me into their mom group even though those were not my choices, that would have been great. It just didn’t happen that way. Sorry you are having a hard time finding a group of your own. That’s really hard. Hope you get one soon!

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