Saturday, September 13, 2008

We (don't) want you!

I am not much of a joiner. I don't always have to have a place to be, and I don't have to be surrounded by others. That's not me.

There are certain times when I do want to be out doing things, but I am perfectly happy to be home playing and reading and exploring (and cleaning and cooking) with Little Elvis.

This is NOT common where we live -- at least not among the mommy set.

I kind of knew this, but it became very clear this week as Little Elvis and I attended the first get-together of the new Moms group I just joined.

The moms were nice, but they were all shocked that my son was 19 months old and I had only now joined this group. Most of them assumed I had just moved to the area, I'm sure my southern accent helped with that assumption. When I told them we had been in the area for more than 2 years, their mouths kind of hung open... Wha?

They couldn't believe I was a stay-at-home mom who was only now joining a mom's group. I told them that my neighborhood had a Mom's group, but it wasn't active, so I decided to find a more active one.

In admitting that I'm not a joiner, I don't want you to think Little Elvis and I spend our days lollygagging around the house snacking on York Peppermint Patties and sipping Canada Dry. We do stuff. We walk to one park in our area at least twice a day. We play at the mall, we run errands, we go to the post office, we try to participate in the library's story time, he goes to the nursery at church. We DO stuff.

But I try very hard not to pay to DO stuff. We have a playroom full of toys, books and assorted objects that he has loved at one time or other (just about every empty lotion bottle, an aspirator, you know, stuff.) We have a backyard with a playset, two cars, and a little pool, the front yard has the swing and the driveway has our real cars. We can easily entertain ourselves with these amenities, and the parks in our area.

That isn't enough here. Most of the moms in the neighborhood belong to several different clubs and playgroups. They sign their toddlers and infants up for all sorts of different lessons. And, of course, many also belong to some co-op child care service so that mommy can get her "me" time.

Despite many efforts to try and find some interested mom in our area, I couldn't. I tried to set up different playdates, had a very poorly attended playgroup, tried to find a mom that might want to walk with us to parks (or anywhere), etc.

Not only did the moms not respond to my attempts to find social interaction for my baby, but a couple of weeks ago it became apparent that Little Elvis and I were the playground pariahs in our neighborhood.

We were at his favorite park. It's the most run down, but it's shady and it faces the street so he can watch the cars, vans, trucks, buses and UPS trucks drive by while he swings. He really loves this park.

One of the moms was heading in our direction with her two sons when she saw us, and -- I kid you not -- turned and went the other way. I have no idea what I did to her. If it was just me, I'd shrug my shoulders and pretend I didn't care. But since Little Elvis is involved, it's different.

After realizing that I wasn't going to find us a group to hang out with in our neighborhood, I finally caved and paid to be part of this new group.

I've been dwelling and dwelling on all of this for weeks. I will write a post full of venom, and then delete it. I am extremely lonely here. I would love to have friends to talk to, I need the comraderie as much as my son. But I'm not sure where to find it.

8 Comments:

Blogger Laura said...

Hang in there...I have been in the exact same situation. I have learned it is better to not be in a Mommy cliche than to be in one and be a part of the catiness (SP).

Just do your own thing - and believe it or not you will meet up with a mom who shares your style or some of your interests. It happens. I was feeling all out of sorts about the exact same situation and then at a community park met a mom and we have become friends - good friends - and believe it or not, I think I recognize her as one of the snotty moms from before...but for whatever reason we re-connected and hit it off.

This mothering-gig is hard...especially on us! Hang in there.

2:49 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

I'm so sorry you're going through this! I'm not much of a joiner either, and I was very VERY fortunate to find two great mom friends at the library storytime Isabella and I used to attend when she was 5 months old. We clicked immediately, and now we have our own mini playgroup (we go to lunch, the playground, or eachother's houses) at least once a week.

I agree with Laura-you will find someone without joining a Mommy group. Keep going to the library, perhaps enroll LE in an inexpensive class (my town offers toddler classes at a very fair price) and keep your eye out for other "loner" moms there.

And if I lived near you, I totally wouldn't turn and run the other way!

9:44 PM  
Blogger LaskiGal said...

We are so much alike!

You know my struggles. Our lives are so similar. It is J and me . . . all day, all the time.I truly love it, for I know these years are fleeting.

YES, I would love to meet other moms. Lord knows I've tried. I haven't worried much about it, but now that J is getting older I would like for him to have a few playmates.

I'm considering joining a mom's group. I have to believe that there will be other non-joiners like me who are finally joining for the sake of their children . . .

I don't get why she walked away. Her loss. And I mean it. If you lived here, J and Elvis would have a blast (and so would we).

1:44 AM  
Blogger MIP said...

I am so there too. For me it has been a combination of being a work-at-home not quite a stay-at-home mom and now just working in general. But even when I spent more time at home with the kiddo it wasn't too easy to really find people to connect with. Hang in there, it sounds like you have been trying lots of different avenunes... and obviously little Elvis hasn't noticed the difference. He's such a happy boy!

12:19 AM  
Blogger Ann(ie) said...

OH honey. I'm so sorry. They were judgemental and rude and snooty and you don't need to waste your time with those cliquey morons. I don't have a lot of real life Mommy friends either...mostly non mommy friends or my friends have much older kids. I totally know what you mean though and I do think someone cool and warm and lovely person will cross your path soon. In the meantime lean on us virtual pals. we're here to listen and understan. xo.

12:23 AM  
Blogger Marla said...

She turned the other way? Woah. What a B****. I am so sorry you are going through this. I have been through so many similar things and never seemed to fit into groups like that.

I think you would have the best luck making a new friend for you and then taking it from there. Even if the person does not have a child. Maybe there is something you could do at night, a class for something artsy that you may get into. Meeting another mom who is creative like you are would be great. That is how I found most of my friends. Playgroups just are not the answer for some moms. The moms there can tend to be competitive and overly obsessed with their children.I am not saying all groups are like that but lots of them are.

I wish you were not hurting. You have been there so long and have been struggling in this area for some time now. I will be praying that you find one good friend. Sometimes the beste friends don't have kids. They have more time for you and lil' Elvis that way.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not just you...people of all ages, sexes, locals, far from homers, etc... all have difficulties finding friends...people are just "too busy" to take time for others. I read an article that stated people put more time into online than face to face frienships. Like everyone has said enjoy your time with your son because in a flash he'll be off to school.

11:04 PM  
Blogger MoziEsm√© said...

Ouch - I'm so sorry! I haven't really connected either, but at least haven't dealt with any deliberate cattiness (or been too naive to see it). I am so thankful for the blogging world.

5:28 PM  

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