After the birth of my first child I joined a moms group because it seemed like a good way to network with other women who had recently given birth to a human being. Parenting can be lonely when it’s your first trip to the rodeo.
It didn’t go so well for me.
I HATE PLAYGROUNDS
The first problem was weekly meetings were held at the playground. If I were to be completely honest, I hate playgrounds. How can you enjoy yourself when you are terrified someone’s child might pitch themselves over the gaping hole between the slide and the fireman’s pole? Also, how can I engage in thoughtful conversation with another parent while riding a seesaw?
LAST MINUTE CANCELS
My work was unpredictable and on several occasions had to cancel on moms group events at the last minute. Look, new friends, I know I said that I could bring a fruit tray to the Halloween party but now I have a conference call and a press release to distribute. Hope no one was craving grapes or honeydew melon.
When I did show up it felt like I was the only single person in a bar full of people in already committed friendship relationships. Sorry, I’m with her. We don’t need anyone else in our group. You seem like a terrific person, I am sure you will find a special friend one day. We just won’t be one of those people.
It’s hard not to look pathetic when you are asking someone for their contact information over an arts and crafts table. We (as in me and my offspring) would love to get together sometime. I know we are strangers, but perhaps you'd like to come to our house and make s’mores? This poor woman, they probably thought, she is so desperate for friends. Why is she wearing running shorts? Is she a runner or has it been a bad laundry week? Can’t she get that hair out of her daughter’s face? Didn’t someone tell her that is a horrible stroller?
Then I failed in my attempt to make new friends at the moms club’s annual holiday party.
#1. Didn't Pay Attention While My Child Almost Choked
I handed my child a large unpeeled apple slice to snack on while I talked to another mother. “I think she is choking,” said my new friend. “No, she’s fine,” I replied. But she wasn’t fine. She started coughing and then vomited all over her dress, my shirt, and the carpet below her. So I did what any other Mother of the Year would do, I rubbed her vomit into the carpet since I didn't bring wipes, gave her a cookie to mask her breath, and then pretended as if nothing happened.
#2. Gave Things to Other Children
While Santa was giving all of the kids an opportunity to tell them their gift wish list I started up a conversation with a little boy. “What is your name? How old are you?” Instead of answering me he kept saying juice and pointed to the table with all the refreshments. I thought I was being helpful when I gave him an opened yogurt drink resting on the edge of the table. His mother informed me not only was the drink not his, but she also didn’t allow him to eat sugar and he had a milk allergy. He was also probably in some sort of Juice Anonymous program and I made him relapse.
#3. Didn't Read My Emails
I missed the email that requested all club members bring one gift for a family in need. I came empty-handed to a holiday event with a charitable mission, which is like sitting down and having Thanksgiving dinner at a homeless shelter when you are in fact not homeless.
So I left without any new friends and a little girl who smelled like trash.
I never went back.