Tuesday, November 15, 2005

"First Contact" meets "A desperately bad housewife"

This morning I went to my first PIN group meeting i.e. the social group consisting of mums of same-age babies. I was looking forward to it, and hoping I'd be able to keep Baby in her buggy for the duration - so I could keep her asleep.

The meeting was held at the home of one of the mums, just down the road a little from my place. Outside the venue, a nice workman helped me carry the buggy over the huge ditch which stretched all the way down the street, and onto the hostess's porch.

Here was a woman whose domestic abilities far exceeded my own. Not only was her house beautifully renovated and decorated, but it was intimidatingly tidy. She could've been a saner version of Bree, of Desperate Housewives.

The group was at the back of the house, in a beautifully apointed sunroom looking out onto a beautifully landscaped garden. Baby was fast asleep, so I parked the buggy under the shade and hoped she'd stay down.

There were about ten women plus their babies, and the ones I spoke to seemed really nice and friendly. However, in the twenty minutes I was there (I had to leave early to go see my physiotherapist) I'd already started to succumb to that infamous coffee group competitiveness I've read about in parenting magazines.

I was jealous that half of the mums there were successfully carrying their babies around in frontpacks, when I've just about given up on using one with my daughter; many of the babies present were already holding their heads up, while mine isn't (not much anyway); the woman sitting next to me had a baby who sleeps all the time, and you already know how much hassle we have getting Baby to sleep...I was a little jealous.

Mind you, none of the babies there were a fraction as cute as mine. Trust me.


Jon said...

Oh, you need me as your housekeeper! I freak out if there's a crumb on the floor!

Make Tea Not War said...

Yes, I think one of the things that put me off my antenatal group get togethers was the way the other mothers managed to do baking and domestic goddess type complicated food preparation as well as going off to post pregnancy pilates and planning trips overseas and just generally making me feel inadequate, exhausted and slovenly. My baby was much better than theirs of course which was some consolation.

Incidentally did you ever explore the Baby Centre forums for people with babies born the same month as yours? I found that quite a good resource for seeing where other mothers and babies were up to and for factual info. I still check it every now and again.

boudica of suburbia said...

I'm so glad my insane father discourages people from coming round. I can't keep my room clean, let alone an entire house!


The Editter said...

You were only there for 20 mins, who knows how much screaming she did before anyone arrived, or if she was on Ritalin like one of the Desperate Housewives, or how inadequate any of the other mums felt at your baby's overwhelming adorableness?

Wicked said...

I totally agree with the Editter - how do you know she wasn't running around frantically before you all turned up, tidying her abomination of a messy house to within an inch of its life??
You should only start getting jealous when there's baskets of homemade cookies and the like on the coffee table, a la Bree Van Der Kamp.

Violet said...

jon: housekeeper, nanny - you could have either job if you wanted!

mtnw: maybe I should volunteer to host the next one. If everyone sees how much of a dump my place looks, it'll take the pressure off all the other mums when it's their respective turns.

boudica: I guess there's a reason we don't get many guests...

editter: this is true; she may well have stayed up all night vacuuming and polishing...and next time I'll make sure all the mums get a longer look at my pretty one's little face.

wicked: I wasn't the only one who brought something in from the supermarket, but I was the only one who didn't put the biscuits in a tupperware box to make them look homemade...

Super Domestic Engineer said...

I am laughing again at one of your posts...so true!!!! I am about to go to my first meeting of MOMS International , but I do not have very high expectations as pretty much what I've heard about these groups is the same stuff you described in your post...still, I am going to try as my two toddlers could benefit from the experience of playing with more kids...let's see...oh! and do not worry if your chlid does not seem as 'gifted' as the others, you know it has not been proven that the child that walks first or gets potty trained first will get farther in life...so forget about that stuff..On the hosting thing of this meeting...my experience? the perfect host stereotype means you work like HELL before your guests arrive and when they get home you act as if nothing happened and you always have your house in such a perfect place....so, that means, that the poor host of that meeting probably ended exhausted that night!!!...if you do not identified yourself with the group do not go to their meetings but if I were you I'd tried for a few meetings, it may be there are other moms that feel just like you and you may make new pals.

Violet said...

super domestic: I will go to the next few meetings at least, since I didn't get much chance to talk to everyone last time. There's bound to be at least one person whom I can bond with.

Urban Chick said...

oh gawd

i've been to a few of these and i usually did end up talking to someone i got on with, but there was also sometimes a bit of a competitive undercurrent esp about the breastfeeding thing (how long did you do it for? where longer is better)

and remember: lots of new mums LIE about stuff

and besides: YOURS was the cutest baby!


Violet said...

urban chick: I should perhaps start telling a few lies of my own eh? But for me it's pointless not being honest because then I can't find out whether other mums have the same problems!