I’m not much of a joiner. Oh, I’ll take a class once a decade or so, but in general I prefer the comforts of loneliness to the discomforts of small talk and role playing and having my torso and face break out in red blotches while everyone stares at me as I’m forced to introduce myself and name my favorite animal.
The idea of signing up with the local nonprofit that matches new Seattle parents with other people in town with babies the same age as theirs filled me full of dread—especially when I learned there would be singing.
It turns out, though, that stay-at-home-and-try-to-write-a-teeny-bit motherhood is boring. And lonely—lonely in a way that’s starting to make small talk and publicly naming my favorite animal sound appealing. So when the 400th person told me I had to sign up, I did, despite my reservations about the singing and the facilitated conversations about such scintillating topics as feeding, clothing, washing, and trimming the fingernails of my family’s newest member. I was in it for the camaraderie of other stay-mostly-at-home moms. And the Perrier.
I attended my first meeting today and had only two social anxiety attacks—the first when I realized that despite the fact people having been telling me I “look great” for having just had a baby, there are moms out there (moms in my group!) who look considerably “greater” than I do. It should be illegal for new moms to wear jeans smaller than a size 10 around other new moms! Honestly! The nerve!
My second attack of teariness occurred when the other moms talked about their schedules. They have schedules! They have husbands who work consistent, predicable hours and are home at consistent, predictable times! Their husbands can “do” the 7pm feeding because their husbands are always home by 7. Hell—they have a 7pm feeding! What’s up with that? I thought you were supposed to feed two-month-olds when they’re hungry. How do they get their babies to be hungry every night at 7?
Let it be resolved that I am going to impose structure on the baby’s and my life. Dr. Husband can negotiate his life around ours as his crazy “sometimes I work from 6am to 3pm-ish, sometimes I work from 11am to 8pm-ish, sometimes I work from 1pm to 10pm-ish, sometimes I work from 11pm to 6am-ish” work schedule allows.
On the bright side, at least my baby didn't poo all over the hostess’s wool couch.