Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mommy World

With the birth of my daughter has come a ticket into this strange and unfamiliar world I like to call "mommy world". Mommy world is a place where new mothers get together and try to figure out this what their lives have become since the birth of their child. Attendance is mandatory - participation is optional.

I have have always had a strong leaning towards hermit-hood. If given the choice between going to a party and staying in to watch movies and eat pizza, I would choose the latter option every time. Its not that I don't enjoy drinking and mingling as much as the next just takes so much effort. I would much rather drink and enjoy the company of a small group of select friends who won't analyze every little thing I say...or at least if they do then they don't hold it against me. I have a tendency to be far too honest in initial conversations which can be putting to those that don't know me. I would say things like, "thank goodness there is someone here who is as fat as me," or "wow, five drinks and you're still walking up stairs. Does someone have a 'problem'?" I spend half the night trying to take my enormous foot out of my mouth. But I digress...

After the birth of Alice, I fought vigorously to maintain my quiet, solitary life despite the best advice of all those books everyone reads and my doctor, whom I adore. I took her on walks and scoped out the mommy and me movies that only show at 10am on a Thursday morning. I ran errands and planned dinners that I always found an excuse not to cook. For three solid weeks after my husband went back to work, I managed to live my life on a day-to-day basis with only an infant for company. Then I realized that if I don't have adult conversation at least once during the day, I start to go a little nuts. So, I stepped into mommy world.

I joined a group of women that met every Wednesday for lunch who drank too much and were all about to get a divorce, and I joined a group of women who met every Tuesday who researched all the new toys and had advice on every topic imaginable pertaining to babies from how to get them to go to sleep to what diaper is the most socially responsible. I figured between the two groups I actually ended up with a nice balance. I was amazed at how little effort joining this mommy world was. All I had to do was express the smallest amount of interest and the people came to me. Suddenly, I had people wanting to get lunch and go for walks on a daily basis. My social calender was busier than it had ever been. Alice was as shocked by the turn of events as I was. Every day a new baby stared blankly at her while reaching out a wobbly hand to touch her arm. We became wildly popular. Apparently honesty is a good thing when it comes to raising a child, and my mommy friends couldn't get enough. Having other mothers to talk to is surprising helpful. I'm realizing that my baby is not the only baby in the world who would rather poke burning hot stakes through her eyes than sit in the car seat for five minutes, and that it is perfectly normal to poop green every once in a while. Who knew? I still find this mommy world a strange and unfamiliar place, but it is helping me get a grip on my sanity, and I honestly think that the other mothers are just as lost and confused as I am.

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