Today’s post was contributed by Monica, founder of the Gen X Moms group that inspired our blog.
So here I am a new stay-at-home mom with my new baby! What a glorious feeling! Not to have to get up with the alarm, trudge into the office and sit at the computer all day in the glaring fluorescent lights, falling asleep in the afternoon at my desk, staring at the clock, waiting for it to turn to 5. I do have a different sort of alarm now and it tends to wake me up all night long. But I don’t mind that because when I do wake up, I can stay in my pajamas and usually I can even stay in bed. During the day, I can hang out and watch what I like on TV. My house is spotless because I am able to clean since my little one sleeps so much. And many times, I get to nap while he is napping. Oh the fabulous life of staying home!
Fast forward six months. I don’t know if I can face another day with nothing to watch and no one to talk to except my gurgling infant! I wish my husband could stay home and keep me company! All of my friends work and can’t talk while they are at work. I spend far too much time at Target, chatting with the checkers and spending more money than I should. They are nice and they compliment my baby, but it’s not the same. My mother visits me once a week and I am grateful for that, but I need some real companionship! I need an adult female, preferably also a mom, who I can share the joys and sorrows of my everyday life with. This is a situation I have never been in before! I have always had plenty of friends and people to talk to and gotten plenty of accolades for a job well done. Now I am lonely, cut off, cooped up, and in need of some advice about what to do with this baby that wakes me up all night long. And I mean real communication; real-world advice from a living, breathing person, not some internet article that tells me not to co-sleep and above all stop breastfeeding your seven month old! I need some mommy friends, and I need them fast.
Ok, so what does a smart, previously gainfully employed, college-educated woman do when faced with a problem she’s never had before? She “googles” it of course! Ok, get on the computer, bring up the home page and search: “kids activities”, “Mommy and me”, “fun things to do with your baby”. What is this? Playgroup for young moms? The description reads, “Whether you are a mom who is young or young at heart, this group is for you”. Well, I’m no spring chicken, but I do FEEL younger than my 34 years. I guess I fit the demographic. Yay! So I join up and RSVP to some events. I attend one or two. The first one I went to, no one else showed. I pathetically asked every lady I saw with a young baby if she was with the mom’s group. No, no and no were the answers. I went home dejected. But, I was determined to try again. This just had to work! Next, we’re off to story time at the library. A few moms this time, and they are all very nice. We talk about babies and sleeping schedules, feeding schedules, diaper schedules and anything and everything pertaining to babies. But when I inquire, “what did you do before you had your baby?” I find that many of these moms got married young had families young and are still very young! Way younger than me anyway. They may have had a job or two, but does working at Target for a year count as a career? They haven’t traveled; they haven’t almost married two different times before finding the right guy. I have at least 10 years on these girls and no experiences in common other than the babies. But, it’s better than nothing. So I go along this way, joining some other groups and getting myself out there. I’m not nearly so lonely now and we have fun. I have since had my second baby and enjoy getting all of us out of the house. So I have some mom friends now, but still, no one I really connect with. Wait a minute; I’m starting to get an idea……
There have to be other moms out there in my situation. Moms who had careers and went to college and traveled and lived their lives before settling down to have a family. Where are these moms? I guess in order to find them; I should start my own group! If I start it, they will come, right? The demographic should be moms over 35 with kids under 5. No, that might be too exclusive. I met a few early 30 something moms who fit the bill. Ok then, moms over 30 with kids under 5. That ought to do it! So I formed the Gen X Moms playgroup. My description reads: “Ever feel like the matriarch of your playgroup? Want to hang out with other moms your own age who have young children? We are the Gen X Moms and are a group of mommies who have had our children later in life.” And one by one, they did come! They flocked in fact, and now, almost a year later, I have over 120 members! I remember the very first play date I scheduled. It was at a local park and I had four people RSVP. I was a bit nervous, after all, now I was the organizer, the one who had to introduce myself and make sure everyone met each other. Well, only one person showed up and it was the Librarian with her little Rocky. I was thrilled, just to have one other mom to talk to and our boys had a blast together. I found that she was the same age as me! She had had a career and went to college too! We had subjects to talk about that didn’t involve just the kids and that was fantastic. The Gen X Moms was on its way. I have made so many friends in this group, and a couple I have really connected with. I see at play dates the way the moms interact with each other and know that others have made connections too. It makes me so happy to know that my group is helping moms to find each other and friendships are being forged. After all, we women need other women whether we like to admit it or not.
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Monica!