Thursday, November 10, 2005

First Contact

I used to think that once I started taking Baby out for walks in the buggy, I'd meet other mums (or dads) wheeling their own precious bundles around the streets. I envisioned us recognising each other as fellow new parents, and giving each other smiles of fellowship - like being instantly member of the same club or something.

Except this doesn't happen. Most of the times when I come across another mum pushing a buggy, she completely ignores my smile, leaving me feel like an unwanted door-knocker. (I told the boy this; he thought that if he were doing the buggy thing, lots of women would would be willing to chat to him. I agree).

I've been dying to do the mum's coffee group thing, if only to be able to compare notes and hopefully stop feeling as though I'm the only one who spends two hours getting her child to take a one hour nap.

Yesterday I ventured to the Sally Army's play group, which accommodates newborns up to pre-school. Walking into the hall with Baby in my arms (buggys and prams had to be parked in a separate area) was like walking into a party where you don't know anyone, but harder; at least you can tank yourself up for a party, and you're more likely to have had a chance to shower and dress nicely before going.

I did start a couple of conversations, one with the mother of the ugliest girl baby I've ever seen in my life and the other with the South African grandmother of a two-week old, there with the baby's nanny. I had to cut the conversation short though, because the whole experience was just too much for poor Baby, who'd already had yet another nap-less morning.

I've got high hopes for tomorrow and next week though; tomorrow Baby and I are visiting a friend from library school who has a son the same age, and next week is the first coffee morning of the local PIN group (a Plunket-coordinated social group of mums with same-age children). Yippee - peers!


Wicked said...

*Falling over laughing at the ugly baby comment* Some of them are BAD, aren't they?? I can still remember the ugliest babe I ever saw, when I was 12.
I was always phobic about having THAT sort of baby - the one where people say "awww, isn't she CUTE?" and then make a pukey face when they've left the room.

boudica of suburbia said...

YEY... that other coffee morning sounds far better than the other one.

Have fun!


onscreen said...

My wife met a few new mothers through Parents As First Teachers, and she learnt a lot about Babies..... might be worth a look.

Ms Mac said...

You'll get there. I met one of my closest friends through playgroup. Keep smiling, you'll break their through the walls eventually.

And you know, we have all been there with the nap thing. I used to spend hours patting my first baby to sleep. We only stopped when number two baby's arrival was imminent!

Oh and here's a secret which not a lot a people will admit... you will eventually meet other mothers who are not doing as well as you and it makes you feel better as a mother. Awful to admit but true.

Avery's mom said...

I need a play group....I'm so deprived. non of my friend have babies of their own so I'm alone on this motherhood thing

happyandblue2 said...

If you want other Mothers to notice you dress up like a dirty diaper and cry a lot..

Make Tea Not War said...

>the ugliest girl baby I've ever seen in my life

I am sure she is completely beautiful to her parents and the people who love her. And I myself have certainly never seen an ugly baby. I think they are all beautiful in their innocence, vulnerability and potential.

My antenatal class kept having get togethers post birth but I must admit I dropped out fairly early on after one coffee gathering where I was so bored I just had to leave before my brain melted. They were all extremely nice people (kind and sociable) but I didn't have anything much in common with them and just having babies the same age wasn't enough.

Violet said...

wicked: I'm so lucky that, being so shallow, my own baby is extremely pretty.

boudica: I intend to, as long as Baby doesn't mind.

onscreen: I'll have a look on the Internet. Thanks.

ms mac: I'm just dying to meet a mum whose not doing as well as me!

robyn: I'm sure you'll find one if you look at community noticeboards at the library.

happyandblue2: ooer, kinky!

mtnw: no really, this one was truly ugly.

Juliabohemian said...

that's a shame that you have encountered that reaction. You should definitely have some sort of support system that consists of other women in your current life situation.

glomgold said...

I suppose the mother of that super-ugly baby will never know. She would most certainly deny it anyway even though the facts would plainly be in front of her face. Hmm, George W. Bush might make a good mother of a ugly baby then.

Violet said...

juliahohemian: it's okay, the women at my first PIN group meeting seemed really nice and I've also caught up with a couple of acquaintances who've got babies. I think I'm building my network.

glomgold: I'm starting to feel a little bad about calling that woman's baby ugly now. I'm sure she's a lovely child who'll turn out to be an ugly duckling i.e. a super model when she grows up.