Saturday, April 17, 2010

My Mommy & Me Experience

I'm not really a joiner. I have a lot of friendly acquaintances, but only a few very close friends. So when my two best friends, girls I have known for almost 30 years, started pressuring me to join a mommy and me class after the baby was born, I thought they were crazy. They know me. I don't do things like that. I like to stay in my safe little circle. But they were rather insistent. They told me that I would need to get out of the house after the baby was born and I needed to sign up. So against my better judgment, I signed up and when Fussy Gus was just shy of 3 weeks old we packed up and headed to class.

I didn't know what to expect - and I'm sure each class is a bit different depending on the group of moms that come together - but essentially we were all in the same boat. We went around the room that day introducing ourselves, our babies and we shared our birth stories and maybe something that we were struggling with. Introductions for the nine of us ended up taking the entire two hours of class. It was like we knew it was a safe haven to admit that we were overwhelmed and pretty everything was harder than we thought it would be.

Class ended and I started packing up all of our stuff. I don't know if I would say I loved the class, but I didn't hate it and would mostly likely come back the following week. And then it happened. The group leader thanked us all for coming and told us to go and have lunch together. Huh?!?! I just met these people. I don't want to have lunch with them! And it was time to feed Fussy Gus. I wasn't sure I was ready to breastfeed in public, never mind trying it in front of a bunch of strangers! But I could hear my two friends in the back of my head telling me to do just do it. So I did. Six classes and six lunches later, I was sad that the class was ending. (And did I mention that I'm pretty sure I ended up flashing everyone in the Mexican restaurant during that first lunch?)

Since most of us were still on maternity leave we started planning outings together. We did a cookie exchange at someone's house, a bunch of us plus babies went and got pedicures (us, not the babies!), we had pot luck lunches at houses. One by one we headed back to work and the play dates became less frequent and eventually stopped, until today (now yesterday because I didn't finish this post until today) that is. Seven of the nine of us (plus babies) were able to get together for lunch.

It was amazing to see not only how much the babies have changed, but also the mommies. Besides everyone being out of their maternity clothes, there was a confidence that none of us had back then. And while it had been a while since most of us had seen each other, it was like no time had past. We bonded as a group so much during those early weeks, it was like we were a bunch of old war buddies. Now don't get me wrong -- none of us are experts. We spent much of the lunch quizzing each other how much and how often each baby was eating, who was still breastfeeding, who was or wasn't sleeping through the night and sharing teething tips.

We had a great time at lunch and it was wonderful to see everyone. I hadn't realized how much I had missed them. I certainly never realized that when I walked into that class almost six months ago that I would make so many new friends. I guess I owe my two best friends a thank you - I may not have wanted to do it, but it was definitively worth it.

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