So, I’m really doing this . . . writing a blog post, I mean. I’ve written thousands of things in my lifetime: grade school compositions, high school term papers, a college thesis, law review notes, legal briefs, and closing arguments to name a few. More recently, however, my writing has been confined to grocery shopping lists and status updates.
When I was invited to take part in World Mom’s Blog, I was intrigued and also a little intimidated. It has been almost two years since I’ve written much more than a text message arranging a play date or a meet-up with another stay at home mom for a cup of coffee and a trip to the swings.
I love reading all different types of blogs. I’ve been a long time regular reader of blogs written by lawyers, parents, political pundits, women struggling with infertility, fashionistas and military wives. I have often wondered what motivates someone to add their voice to the cacophony out there in cyberspace. For me, I finally decided to contribute to the blog because, like so many of us stay at home mommies, I found I needed an outlet to express myself.
As we all know, once baby makes three, we are no longer number one; and, as cute as they are, babies and toddlers don’t really care about our desire for a little “me time”! The idea of having a place to share my voice was very appealing. This is my chance to open up my life to other moms (experienced ones and first-timers like myself) and share stories and find the common threads.
Personally, I felt that at times, being a stay at home mom was very isolating, especially when I was used to having professional adult interaction every day. I remember the first few weeks, after my husband had gone back to work and the visitors had petered out. I would take Chase for walks in the park on the East River and eye the groups of moms who were out for an afternoon walk together with kids around the same age. How did they know each other? I wanted in!
So, I entered the world of “mommy-dating”. I felt like I was back on the market in the singles scene again. I did some research and decided to cruise the new mom get togethers. I found a good one at the 92nd Street Y, picked out the one post partum shirt that was not too stained with breast milk or spit up and headed out!
The group was an informal weekly meeting led by the wonderful director of the parenting center. There was a relevant discussion topic each week (Introducing Solids, Dad’s Essential Role, When You’ve Had It!, to name a few), but I found that the topic mattered less than just getting out of the house each week with a set destination.
After a meeting or two I got some mom phone numbers—nothing too serious—and agreed to meet back for next week’s session. Then, we’d share the walk home and talk—no commitment, mind you! Next, we’d agree to meet at Dunkin’ Donuts and grab an iced coffee with the kiddies in strollers. And, so it went, until I found myself in a regular playgroup with women that I adored. We found time to get together, and when maternity leaves ended we still kept our “dates”. More than two years later we all still live in the neighborhood, the kids are all friends and look forward to seeing one another at playdates or toddler classes.
Making those connections was a very important part of my happiness in the first year Chase’s life. I am also very blessed to have a great and very supportive family who live nearby—my sister is my best friend, and she’s mom to a fabulous, sweet and bright little 22 month old girl. She and Chase are more like siblings than cousins which makes me very happy! I know that everyone is not that fortunate and that living near family is a luxury in this day and age.
And, as for writing, I guess I’m hoping that my posts will resonate with the “mommy world” and serve to further connect us all throughout the real world. So, I am happy to say that, yes, I am really doing this!
Do you have an experience in “mommy-dating” that you’d like to share? Or, have any questions for Allison about being a mother in New York City? Please write them in the comments section below!
This is an original World Moms Blog by Allison Charleston. Allison is navigating her way through and living the New York City mom life!
Photo credit to http://www.flickr.com/photos/63854529@N00/422441141/. This photo has a creative commons attribution license.