Saturday, September 18, 2010

More to learn

Fall is finally rolling in. This afternoon we went for a walk and I was still cold, in spite of wearing a heavy sweater and pants. But it was a refreshing kind of cold. The breeze was just right; a little more sunshine would've been nice, but I'm trying to focus on the positive :).

These past couple of years that we've lived in Boston, I've been a bit of a hermit. Most of the time, Jose and I just spent time together on the weekends, and I'd usually busy myself with crafts when I wasn't working. But now I'm feeling the need to be more social, or maybe I'm just noticing that engaging more with the outside world really is an important part of having a healthy and balanced life.

As soon as we got back to Boston, I jumped on my computer and searched for local mom meet-ups. So I've been going from one meeting to the next, hoping to find a group that I feel I can "belong" to. I'm still lookin'. It's interesting how there are so many of these groups set up to help moms feel like they can still socialize with adults while caring for their little ones.

At one of the meetings, hosted by a doula and lactation consultant, one of the leaders mentioned that they initially set up their specific mom group to help mothers feel like they can reach out to their community to get support. She also said that things are a bit different now compared to when she was a young mom, because more families are separated by miles and neighborhoods are usually empty during the week, since many parents work. I could relate to the first observation she mentioned. We are definitely miles away from family. As far as the second thing she mentioned...well, where we live, we are surrounded by grad students. Their bedtimes are usually still in the very early AM hours, as opposed to 10 PM.

So you can see my reasons for wanting to meet other moms: all of us coming together for similar reasons. You'd think that we'd find some common ground, right? Hmmm... though everyone was pretty friendly, and most of the moms have similar issues that they're dealing with, I still notice that more common ground is required for friendships to form. I know that's pretty obvious...

...But I guess I was hoping that our coming together for the same reasons would be enough. We all want to feel like we're in this together, and that we support each other-since most of our families are far away. We could be pseudo aunts for each other's kids maybe? Oh, if only it were that ideal. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I have to admit that community just doesn't provide for me what extended family and sincere friendships can. Those friendships can certainly blossom out of these one-hour-a-week interactions, but it seems a little forced sometimes... and I'm remembering again why it is I have/had my hermit tendencies, and why I never really liked/got involved in "groupy" type of activities in the past...

Sometimes I just don't feel like doing the "hi, how are you? I'm from blah blah blah" thing. That's what I love about having family and real friends. Then I laugh because I realize that all friendships begin with these simple conversations. Still, friendships are the best when they happen unexpectedly. When you casually come across someone interesting and just so happen to effortlessly strike up a conversation with them--yes, it's a pleasant surprise and you actually feel refreshed after that initial meeting, instead of drained...

That's it, I think I've figured it out now!

You know that feeling you get when you walk into a room filled with the people that make you you? Or when you're surrounded by the familiar folks that see you and love that person anyway? Yes, that's what I miss. Not having to try. I miss it even more now as a mom, because I'm realizing how important that sense of security is in raising a child. Jose and I can definitely provide love and security for Mirabel, there is no doubt about that, but she deserves that and more. I know some folks say that it takes parents to raise a child, where others would say it takes a village. I believe it takes both, but unfortunately my village is scattered throughout the US. I know I can invite others in, but when you first have a child...it's nice to already be surrounded by that special group of people, instead of having to go out and find them all over again.

To end this on a positive note...living here in Boston these past 2 plus years has really taught me to appreciate my relationships a lot more. We'll be going back to Texas in just a few months, and thankfully that's where Mirabel's grandparents live :). I'm just thankful that we will be going back, we won't always be just the new mom and baby at the meet-up group.

3 comments:

Tracy said...

It's a funny thing about finding friendship, especially as we grow older. When we were children it seemed to happen so naturally. Just a look and suddenly friends! Finding an instant connection can happen, but it is rare I find. Where I am living I don't have many friend, and live far from my family & friends where I come from. So my online friends mean all that more to me. :o) But a little real life is good too... Hope you find your group of friends, hope you find that click, the connection. ((HUGS))

Amanda said...

I hope you find some other mothers to connect with. I would enjoy that myself, but we don't have any meetup sites for this area and I don't really have the time either with work.

I was going to mention to you that I saw another blogger had posted a little blurb on goat milk for dairy allergies the other day. You can read it and it might help you figure out if maybe that's why Mirabel was still having a bad reaction the other day. (http://forthislittleoneweprayed.blogspot.com/2010/09/13-month-update.html)

The Librarian said...

I wonder if it is also hard to find common ground with the mommies in the group because of the age difference? Is there a huge difference between you and the other mommies? I know that when I moved back home and was finding community outside home, I had a hard time meeting people because the older people wanted to put me in my age bracket place. I still have to contend with that, but I know how to handle them when they say, "Oh, you're young, you will know better..." etc. Once you meet people who feel they are intellectually par with you (no matter what age), then it gets easier. It took multiple knitting groups to find my group of peers. Hang in there! And, yes, it does help to come into a group and say, "They know me already!" Instead of having to make sure the shield is in place to guard those who instantly don't want to like you (it always happens like that).

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