Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mom Sorority

Janet at Three and Holding asked, "Has blogging had any unanticipated side effects on your behaviour or life?"

I commented that blogging has made me realize we moms are more alike than we are different.

Before JP and I thought seriously about having a child, I felt we were like the odd couple out. Almost everyone we knew who was our age had children. People with children tend to do things with other people who have children. I knew this because one by one, we saw the majority of our good friends drop out of our lives after the baby came. We sent cards. We called. We e-mailed. But you can only have a one-sided relationship for so long....

I began to think that if we were going to have any friends at all, we'd have to have a baby just to have a social life.

And I admit that back then, when I would see moms, I would wonder what it was about having a baby that made you shun childless friends. I'm a nice person. I enjoy playing with little ones. Heck, I went to all those baby showers -- why wouldn't my friends want me around the actual baby? I began to be afraid of moms my age, just a little bit, probably a fear of the unknown. They had their own secret society -- a mom sorority that I wasn't allowed to enter.

After several years of all that, though, I just put it behind me. I forgot about it. And when the baby pinings became so intense, and when JP and I finally had Fly, the mom sorority fears surfaced again. What if I didn't fit in? What if having a child was only a small part of being accepted?

Then I found mom blogs. I read the funny posts, the cranky posts, the tantrum struggle posts, the up-all-night-sick posts, the deep and thoughtful posts about what it means to love your child. I realized moms are all different, but we all want the best for our children. We want the best for our own lives, apart from our children, too.

Meeting new moms in my hometown cemented this fact. There is a sorority of sorts. And that's comforting to me, now.

Even though some of my old friends flaked out on me, that stuff doesn't matter anymore. What matters is the community of mamas around me -- online and offline.

And I'm thankful to you all for that.

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Blogger Janet said...

It's funny how having a baby completely rocks your universe. I'm thankful for both my IRL friends, and those I have discovered in the blogosphere, who help me get through these crazy times.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

One of the biggest effects its had on me is that I am sure to capture more images (i.e. take more photos) and write more about what is happening in our lives, which gives us a better record of where we've been and what we've done for our scrapbook! :)

2:30 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

It's a strange phenomenon, but very true. It's just easier to have friends that have kids when you have kids. No matter how much a childless person tries to understand what it is like to have a child, it just isn't the same as having one - giving the baths, wiping away the tears, changing the diapers, feeling that intense and overwhelming love that is like no other.

3:03 PM  
Blogger Damselfly said...

Stephanie, I know a childless person can't truly understand what it's like to have a child. However, it would have been nice for these friends not to have dropped me like a hot potato when I clearly tried to remain a part of their lives.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Jill said...

This is a really great post. Man, I love a good mommy blog!

9:56 PM  
Anonymous jenn said...

A great post! There is something comforting about other moms, sharing things and realizing we all have our share of frustrations, victories and fears with raising our kids. :) I'm blessed to have kept one of my childless friends. She compares her graduate work keeping her busy to what Baby K does for me. It's a nice blessing to have that friend I can enjoy time with and not talk about Baby K too!

8:37 AM  
Blogger Nadine said...

It's funny how our lives change and those who surround us change too. Even when we try, it's not the same.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I've never really belonged to anything but the track team, and even that was more individual than team based when taken down to brass tacks.

I love and relate to this.

9:43 PM  
Blogger oh amanda said...

Absolutely true. The mom sorority is the biggest surprise of being a new mom. I can talk hours with women I don't even know about naps and breastfeeding. But it's a relief! What a great post!

8:11 AM  

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