Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sisterhood in motherhood

I was speaking with a friend the other day, a mother herself. We shared stories about trying to find friends. Not the friends you grew up with, went to college with, worked with - your mommy friends.  The friends you hear you'll find in a mother's group or at the hospital with your baby.  Their children and your children will be besties.  The women you'll find that are in this moment with you - your sisters in motherhood. They share your experiences, they understand what you are going through.  You'll go to the park. You'll have play dates. It'll be grand.

I have friends in my life, that are my family - they are my sisters. That's not what I'm after. Though if I'm being honest, I wouldn't mind a good local lifetime friend up in here. It's more so, I imagined that this whole motherhood gig would bare a sisterhood among other mommies. A bond or respect that is instant or at the very least likely.

Except it's not.

I'm sure these groups or people exist, somewhere. I'm not saying these magical mommies are the unicorns of Fantasyland. I am saying, I'd fall over if I met one.

This friend I was speaking to? She has three girls, all somewhere around my age. Home girl was speaking from experience... but guess what? It hasn't gotten any better, not from my vantage point. What the hell, I thought everything got better with time?

If you are going to say any combination of the following, I don't want to hear it:
  • Get out there!
  • Be patient. 
  • Are you getting involved?
  • Have you tried local mother groups?
I've tried it all.

I join online groups (meetup.com, local Facebook groups) and I have been kicked out of more than one. Why? Because I can't commit to the daytime play dates. I work. Let's not get into that divide, the continued debate, the {dramatic music} mommy war.

What the hell, ladies, I can't meet for coffee at 9:15 or story time at 11 and you can't do this girl a solid and let me be involved virtually to start? It's freaking meetupDOTcom. It's a freaking website. I told you I would meet up at some point, just needed to work some things out. What's that? None of you want to meet in any hour that is after 5 pm or on the weekend? Awesome. Leave me out in the cold? Thanks. I really feel that sisterhood, especially when I get another deactivation notice in my inbox. Nothing says solidarity like a "you can't be in our club" notice.
Said profile picture that
repels people.

Facebook? I've reached out to people and volunteered where I can for local events. Nothing. The group leader puts out a request for volunteers - message me - they say. Message I do and I don't get a response back. Is my profile picture not friendly enough? For God sake we're a freaking Pinterest dream right here.

I've signed up for classroom activities, reached out to other parents in the class to see how I can help and on more than one occasion received a "we're all set." I've attempted to volunteer directly through the PTO and received little encouragement if any response. It's as if, they have their tribe - their people - and not taking new recruits. They are all set. My oldest is in kindergarten. For all intents and purposes, I will be in the district for years to come. Wouldn't you want to let me in, if only for the tenure I have to offer? I've attended a PTO meeting in a room full of people who all knew one another. Not one person introduced themselves. I smiled, I said hello, I was friendly.  I was shy, but not unwelcoming. In the same meeting they discussed how more parents need to be involved and how could they get people to be more active?

It took all I had in me to not raise my hand, "Suggestion from the peanut gallery - a little 'hello, and how do you do' is a start. Playing hard to get as adults is not cute."
Side note: Someone is saying to themselves: "Are you this hostile in real life? Cause I think I found the issue." No, I'm not. That's why I didn't contribute in that moment, because I likely wouldn't have been able to be all calm about it. Someone who knows me is thinking, "You are TOTALLY this hostile." And to that I say: it's different if we already know each other.

Could I have been more aggressive (in a nice way), could I have stuck out my hand and introduced myself? Absolutely. I have. It still gets me nowhere.

At a recent meetup activity I was able to attend, I introduced myself to another mom. Stuck my hand out and said hello.  You know what she did? Didn't take her eyes off her phone. She was on meetup.com to see the RSVP list. She said she wanted to "see if she recognized anyone by their picture to introduce herself to." As I was introducing myself, live - and in person. 

I have this dream that I'll find my tribe. Forget the tribe, I'll take a warm body (that makes some semblance of eye contact). They have to be out there, right?  I'm looking for quality over quantity. I'm hoping for one person to let me in their club; to show me this comradery of motherhood - face to face.

Side note: did you know they make 'mommy play date cards'? I can't seem to get a hello, but somewhere, someone out there is meeting so many people she needs freaking business cards? How in the hell?




Source: etsy.com via Amanda on Pinterest


I'm going to keep trying. I'm going to keep at it. It doesn't help I'm coming from a place of starting out.  I've been the new girl for the last few years. I'm always starting this search. I cannot wait to not be the new one. When I come in contact with the 'next' new person - hold on, girl. Mama's gonna make you feel welcome, it will be uncomfortable for both of us - I'm sure.  I can assure you it's better than the alternative.

2 comments:

  1. You are totally not hostile. I can verify as you were one of 3 people I spoke to when I was scared of everyone at BlogHer '10.
    It IS hard to find mom friends when you work. Because I CAN'T MEET YOU DURING THE WEEK, no matter how lovely that sounds.
    Good luck. And I am weeks behind on blog reading :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well... to be fair I totally AM hostile in the behind the scenes on my everyday. BlogHer? That, my friend, is a whole other animal. It's not every day I'm surrounded by 100s? 10000s? of women I'm needing to jump into a social situation with. Ahhh... my introvert self still twitches at the pressure! :)

      Delete

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