Friday, February 8, 2013

Mom's Group

Back when I was on my last maternity leave, forever ago, I joined a local Mom's playgroup.

At the time, it was sort of fun. We met up on the long boring weekdays and chatted. (We never ate, for some reason. We'd have these playgroups going from 10AM to 2PM and god forbid anyone would ever suggest having lunch. Mothers don't consume food, right?)

Eventually, I went back to work. And that was it for the playgroup and my playgroup friends.

I still get emails about the playgroups. They're always on weekdays, and even if I happen to have the day off, I'm usually playing catch-up on errands. And whenever I suggest doing something on a weekend, everyone tells me that's family time.

I think this is why working moms and stay-at-home moms can't really be friends, not because we have nothing in common. SAHMs want to fill their weekdays with activities, whereas on weekdays, working moms are either working or too exhausted to contemplate going out.

Still, it makes me sad every time I see those playgroup emails.


  1. May I suggest The Mommies Network. It is an online forum that has local mommies groups. I have found that, at least in my area, the mommies tend to be more real. Ya know, the kind of moms who eat their own cupcake and maybe their kid's leftovers while stuffing laundry under the bed because company is coming. If you visit their main site you can look for a group in your area. The often have weekend playdates AND weekend mom's night out events. :0D

  2. The first semester of med school, I had one afternoon off a week and I joined a really fun playgroup in the area. My daughter LOVED it and would get super excited every time we went. Now that I have a class during that time, I asked if the nanny could take her instead- I was told it was just for moms. I understand that it is social-mom time, but now I feel really guilty that my daughter has to miss out.

    I get sad when I get the weekly emails, too.

  3. I met a woman with twin 14 month olds about 4 months ago. She saw me running one Saturday, and told me she was looking for a running partner. She was so nice, and it sounded great. The only problem was that she was a SAHM, and could only go at 3 or 4PM during the week. I didn't want to be "that" woman, but I wanted to say, "You know I have to WORK right? And then I have to pick my child up at daycare and it's me all by myself with my child until about 7 when my husband gets home." I told her that I was sorry, and that I didn't think our schedules would ever mesh up. Now she pretends she doesn't see me when we pass each other on the street.

  4. Sigh! And it isn't only play groups. The PTOs at my son's schools met either early in the morning on weekdays or at "lunch" on weekdays. And then you never make contact with the PTO parents....luckily band boosters was made up of "working folk" and met in the evenings.

  5. Felt similarly, when I went back to work, but that was several years ago now and the feeling had completely faded, until you just reminded me. Thanks for that, Fizzy (just kidding). But the feeling did fade. I did stay friends with that one mom who also went back to work! Also, it is fun to bond with other working moms AT work... and on weekend swim classes and evening soccer practices.

  6. Here's the best place I've found to plug in my SAHM friends, even if it means we rarely see each other's kids. They love and are desperate for a girl's night (dinner, etc.). I love and get desperate for girl's nights. True, it may not happen often, but we try to plug it in somehow. Or a lunch on my day off when their kids are at daycare/school (this worked as kids got older). I learn SO much about activities and things around town to do that I just don't have time to find out about.

    I once went to a play date with a bunch of SAHM's, when my kids were toddler and baby. I felt like they had this incredible skill set that I needed and sucked at very badly. I watched them manage boundaries and discipline around the kids that I felt so uncomfortable doing outside my own two. The other day I was at my daughter's basketball game and my son was running around the bleachers in back with a bunch of 6&7 year old's. They got a little rowdy and started to run in front of the adult audience for the kids. I quietly stopped them and pulled my own son aside, explaining why he needed to stay at the back, and asked him to be a leader for the others. It worked. I was cheering myself in my own head - just like those SAHM's I admired way back when!

    I think my comment was longer than your post. I am so pathetic.

  7. This isn't so much a SAHM vs. working mom issue so much as a mommy MD issue, but I sometimes have a hard time relating to moms/others who don't get medicine. A few months ago I went out with some moms, most were SAHM whom I didn't know, for dinner and to see the movie "Magic Mike". The movie was mindless with some funny parts. When I said as much as the end the other moms were like "oh no, that was sooo sad". I was like "are you kidding me? I told a 22 year old he was going to die today. That's sad." Needless to say, I don't see them too much.

  8. Of my 4 closest female friends, one is single with no children, one has a high-powered non-medical career, and two are SAHMs, and my larger network of friends is just as diverse. I think part of what made this possible in my life is that I did not go the high school to college to med school to residency to work route. I had a life and a career before starting medical school in my early 30s. I accumulated friends and built up my social and emotional IQ prior to entering medicine.

    This is not to say that it is impossible to build a diverse network of friends and find ways to carve out little slivers of time to spend with people whose schedules are different than yours if you have exclusively grown up in medicine, it may just take a little more time and patience.

  9. You just have to keep looking for the right group! The mom group I just joined is made up of both SAHMs and moms who work outside the home. And most have or have had high powered jobs. Needless to say no one even bats an eye that I work or that I am a doctor. Well except may be that I am an anesthesiologist since the group is an attachment parenting group and a lot of moms are against birth with medical interventions. I am sooo happy to have found a moms group I really like. My son is almost 3 so it took this long and countless moms group to find this one. BTW if a little girl became attached to other kids in our group and a nanny wanted to bring her, we would totally let her.

  10. I loved my two Mommies Groups when my schedule was more flexible. I am trying to work to plan Resident outings for those of us with families . . . . let's see when I really have the time to do that. LOL!

  11. I started my own bookclub to help with this issue, and to start with was very picky about who I asked. I only asked moms who were working in some sort of professional capacity (MD, engineer, social worker, midwife, etc) to start with. (this has changed a bit now, but I'm still picky. Noone who's going to make anyone feel judged!!).

    I certainly have a mix of different women friends in general, but I have found it super helpful to have a space where everyone in the room "Gets It" on some level. The rules are: once/month, always at my house (so noone has to stress about hosting), no RSVP (just run out if you can), and noone can bring anything (so no stress about baking or shopping or whatever). I provide two simple snacks which may or may not be store bought depending on the week) and simple drinks & tea. Done!

    It has been awesome and very therapeutic. I find the bookclub structure is better than just a "girls night" as it feels you're supposed to go, it's not purely social (even though it is!).

    1. um. this sounds totally awesome. I have every intention of stealing the idea of "no frills" book club.


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