Since my son was born almost five years ago, I have joined (and un-joined) more mommy groups than I care to count. It’s gotten to the point where I’m starting to think I just don’t fit in ANYWHERE.
My friends swore by mommy groups that dealt with breastfeeding and the new challenges of motherhood. I thought, wow, what better way to learn about motherhood and feel a sense of connectedness, than by hanging around other moms and their groups. I liked my friends, so I figured I would like their groups. I took their advice and joined. And then I quit. And joined and quit again. And I haven’t stopped since.
There was never any real reason why I quit, or anyone I didn’t get along with. (Except for one mom. You know those moms who talk to you like you’re their 3-year-old? That’s her–only tenfold.) I always felt that I grew apart from the group. What they were “preaching” was a little too “preachy.” (How many different ways can you define “attachment” really?) Things that felt good at the beginning started to feel a little forced toward the end.
I have tried Mommy and Me(s), Mommies Without Me, and Mommy groups centered on specific theorists’ notions of child development. (It seems that once you have joined the latter, you can never change your mind.) I have tried just about every mommy group within a drivable distance.
I even tried creating my own group a time or two. There was always something about conflicting schedules or the nuisance of having the group meet in my home: like the kid who picked his nose and wiped it on my son’s toys, leaving me to run around spraying the play areas with sanitizer like I was putting out fires. And when one mom came over with her five children and their five colds, I decided to draw the line and call it quits…again.
I have never thought of myself as much of a quitter until I started quitting mommy groups so often, and now I wonder: is it them or me?
So I made a pact with myself to stick to the one group I am currently active in, comprised of Jewish homeschoolers in Los Angeles. I am Jewish and homeschool my son. It should be a perfect match. Right? I guess you could say I am the lobster among a sea of gefilte fish moms (Orthodox) who feel that wearing pants is a surefire sign that one cannot be a good Jewish mother. Maybe they don’t really feel that way about me and it is all in my head. Or is it? There is a clear separation between us on park day, and not one that I am creating (intentionally), as all the moms converse around the picnic tables while I sit in the sandbox and play with my son. But for now, the Jewish Homeschooling moms are stuck with me simply because I refuse to leave and label myself a quitter (yet, again).
Want more on mommy groups? Check this out.