I was scared as hell to be a mom!
I felt isolated, depressed and alone.
Later in my pregnancy, I met another “mom to be” at a seminar my boyfriend was hosting about family financial planning. Our due dates were 3 days apart (although, at the time, I remember thinking she had to be lying b/c she barely looked pregnant and I felt like the blueberry girl from Willy Wonka;). A few weeks later, we ended up in the same breastfeeding class, and I was relieved to finally laugh with a fellow mom about the hilarity of a class where holding a plastic baby doll like a football was supposed to teach us what having a live being feeding off of our fun bags would really be like. She would become my first “mom friend” and one of my best friends for life.
After my daughter was born, many things did change. I heard from most of my childless friends less and less. But thanks to my new mom friend, I was introduced to the “moms group”. I had never considered that such a group existed, but I was changed forever in my journey as a mom by the concept. I was nervous for my first event – worried if the other moms would like me, and if I would like them, and what we would talk about (if I wasn’t too nervous to open my mouth)? But I joined the group anyway for my first “moms night out” and I had such a good time that night! I remember looking around and thinking, “These women are just like me”. Here was a place I had never considered where I could finally be “Missy” and “Missy the mom”. We all had different kinds of family units – some married, some single moms, others divorced w/ blended families, some moms unwed with their baby’s fathers –and it was all ok! It was so refreshing to not feel alone, and to be able to talk about my kid and also to NOT talk about my kid – AND to realize I still had a personality that existed outside of being spit up and shat on for 12 hours a day. I still actually liked to have fun!
When my daughter was about a year old, we moved back to the Midwest to be closer to family. Since I knew no one in this new city, I once again found myself feeling isolated, and needing an outlet – I missed my mom friends, and I knew my daughter needed to get out around some other kids as well. I joined Meet-up.com at the suggestion of that same first mom friend (man, someone knew I needed her in my life!), who had also since moved to another city, and met new mom friends this way. I found a local moms group in my new city. I was nervous, just like before, to attend the first event. But I believed and knew I needed it – so off I went to Bazbeaux pizza to meet some moms for lunch, and I never looked back! I met some great friends through that group – women who shared advice that helped with my relationship/marriage, women who listened and helped me off the cliff when I was upset that I had to return to work from maternity leave and when my son STILL was not sleeping through the night, and women who helped with career advice, and inspired me to be an entrepreneur. These women were strong, kind, smart, empathetic, intelligent, creative, professional, stay-at home moms, business-owners, fun, fashionable, hip and many other things! But most of all, they were women who helped me realize the importance of having an identity for myself outside of being a mom – and how important this was for my family – for ALL of our happiness.
Because of the blessings I found through being a member of moms groups, and the passion that gave for me for the importance of moms needing connection and friendships more than ever once they become mothers, I co-founded theCityMoms. And I am elated that we are thriving in Indianapolis, for all our member moms!
As I sit here writing this in a new city, having moved to Minneapolis a little over a year ago, and now a mother of 3, I am once again feeling that desire for connection again myself. We hope to bring theCityMoms here soon and our vision is to bring the group to as many moms as possible – to be in many cities, helping moms and their families get out with and without their kids, and connect with others and their communities.
But until then, I remain hopeful for the future, and excited to meet new mom friends and their families, in a new season of my life. In many ways, joining a mom’s group saved me.