You’ve all heard the term “play date.” Defined by me it means “To gather for the purpose of social interaction for children and adults with like interests.” Mommies live and die by these groups. There are websites extolling the virtues of these excursions and the fee varies on number of children, outing, and number of children in your family. Finding the right fit when it comes to a mommy group is tough. Especially for me. I have twins. That means two little tornados ripping through the room. Right now my sister’s here to help but doing it solo usually makes me end up looking like some kind of psycho mom on a rampage when all i’m really to try to do is a simple head count.
I recently tried out a new mommy group holding a play date at Hurstbourne Baptist Church. It was nice…Clean environment, nice variety of kids of differing ages, and mommies in all different stages of mommyhood. When we walked in the moms were in a circle on the floor loosely watching their kids run around them. I settled the boys in and sat down to engage in meaningful mommy conversation. Here’s the tough thing about mommy groups that no one tells you: when you’re new it’s really hard to fit in. Everyone there knows each other already and so meshing isn’t always easy. As I sat on the floor no one really asked me anything or tried to talk to me. One woman did ask if the boys were twins. Guess being in the same outfits, the same age, height and development didn’t give it away. I said yes and she seemed surprised…so I said, “Unless i’m just really fast at having kids” and laughed. She didn’t think it was funny.
I enjoyed their topics…they talked about how careful they were with their first child but that subsequent children had loosened up their mommy compulsion for perfection. I couldn’t really relate just because I never started out with just one child. I got two off the bat which immediately moves you into the category of “they’ll probably be fine if we let them __________” and then fill in the blank.
All mommy groups have the same mom categories:
The Over Achiever
The Baby Machine
The Cool Mom
My friend who invited me falls into the category of “The Saint.” She’s just a wonderful person, sweet mom, and yet down to earth…that perfect mom you would love to be but know you’ll never pull off. I think she’s just awesome. She seems patient, engaging and managed to run the play date while managing her son and making me feel welcome.
There was “The Over Achiever”...you know, the one who told the room about her bachelor’s degree in engineering and her Masters degree in early childhood education. She’s uber educated and yet she’s sitting in the same type of dinky chair I am, handing out animal crackers and trying to teach her kid not to eat chalk. These moms are in love with their kids but just wish they could be a mom and still go out and impress the world.
Then there’s “The Baby Machine”… the pregnant moms (there were two) who were managing at least one kid while rubbing her belly and talking about how many more they plan to have. At the same time these moms tend to complain about the load they’re carrying already and they wonder how on earth they’ll pull off another little being in their universe.
Next in the mom category: “The Chopper”… the over protective mom who hovers like a helicopter over a wreck. Example: my kids put almost all the toys in their mouthes. I mean, they’re 18 months old, that’s what they do. But she was telling her daughter “No” every five seconds and replacing any toy with a pacifier. I guess that’s one way of doing it. I joked that at this age that’s pretty much what kids do and she told me she just felt bad because if her kid slobbered all over toys then she would have to clean and sanitize all the toys before they left. I inconspicuously snatched the piece of plastic pizza out of Luke’s mouth and vowed to bring more wipes next time.
Finally there’s “The Cool Mom.” She’s dressed casually but nice, her hair’s pulled back perfectly but looks effortless, and she’s sitting back watching her kids but not stressing over what they do or how they do it.
I wonder if these moms judged me as I have judged them, into which category would I fall? I guess i’d hope for the last but they would likely invent another category like, “Clueless and Irresponsible but has a lotta love.” My advice? Find a mommy group and get to know the other women pulling off the impossible feat of raising little people.