How many of you mommies have attended Mom and Me support groups in your area? What do you do for resources when you have reached you wits end? How do you get out of the rut you might be in and reach out to other moms?
In our area there are a lot of different support groups. This is great, but I am finding I have to shop around a bit to find the right place for Sunshine and I. Why? Cause isn’t a support group, like a support group, like a support group? I am finding that this is not so. I thought most groups were a lot alike, but I am wrong. (Damn. I hate admitting that…heh).
I was hoping, after giving birth, that I could create and attend a support group for moms with mental illnesses. (These are mental illnesses prior to having a baby, not that pregnancy always induces mental illness but I expect many moms feel more eccentric after having a kid. I know I do.) I found that the agency for mental health support groups that I used to attend, does not allow kids. Well that screws me over. I have to take her with me. So, what support groups are there for moms with mental illnesses where you can take your babies? Surprise. There are none.
I have attended public Library reading groups. I have really enjoyed these groups. Mostly because I have connected with some local moms. One, a super nice gal who is much younger than me but with a cute little boy two months younger than Sunshine. You’d think most library’s would be the same. One library is not like the others… similar programs, similar ideas. Some sing songs, some play with toys, and only a few actually get books out and have you practice reading to your kids. (Surprising, I know!). In my pursuit to do as many activities that get us out every day of the week and are free, this would be a top place to go.
I have attended two MOPS meetings , (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers). I realized soon after the first time, that MOPS is religiously based. Now, I don’t mind praying before and after the meetings. I don’t mind the messages and the speakers having religious ideas and Bible verses throughout. I have really enjoyed the speakers. The ladies in the groups, though. Yeah. Not so much.
They are nice but I feel like 1) They were trying to get me to join their church 2)Once they found out I have my own church I was ostracized and not really spoken to for the rest of the time because I don’t have that in common with them. All these ladies have done is talk about their Bible studies and what they learn… and thus I am not included. I thought this was supposed to be a support group for MOMS??!!! Obviously, it is for only those moms that attend the same church. I am thinking about trying a different MOPS in the area to see if the mothers attending are different, or if it is a running theme for MOPS.
I have attended a support group for moms through a local hospital. They have the group for 0-6 month babies, and then a group for the 6-12 month babies. I enjoyed the group and made some connections with the ladies there. I finally have a person who can teach me how to knit hats!! We are all going to lunch after the meeting next week. It is a nice group of ladies. However, the leader of this group, a matronly woman who works for the hospital, has some very clear ideas about what us moms should do for behavior modifications, sleeping, and so on. In fact, because I co-sleep with our daughter, because we don’t like to use the word “No” but explain why we don’t do certain things (i.e. cause that hurts, cause its dangerous, cause your friends won’t like being smacked) the leader for this group suggested I would be more “at-home” with the moms groups in the big city nearby because they might do some of those things (Attachment Parent, that is).
I have heard about some of the Attachment Parenting groups in the
area, and one I can’t go to due to a evening conflict, the other I was warned about. Supposedly, this other attachment parenting group happen to be extremists. Some moms have felt they HAVE to do everything the AP way, whereas most AP groups talk about doing what you can. So, I have a bad back due to accidents and a jump off a 40 foot cliff, so I can’t carry Sunshine in a sling 24/7. Some AP groups would say do what you can, this one, I guess says if you really want to do it the right way you have to carry them in a sling 24/7. I took this survey from Parenting Magazine and found I was a 7/8 average. So, where does a mom like me go?
Where is the common courtesy for people with differences??? Its like you are either one or the other, black or white, no gray in the middle. No acceptance, no support. I admit I have met some moms and made connections with those I have things in common with, or just plain nice people. I am super happy with this. So I don’t feel a big need to listen to unsolicited advice, or even solicited. I will make my own damn decisions based on what works for my kid.
Have any of you moms out there had similar experiences? What have you done and is it easier to just take everything with a grain of salt? Just go to a group to meet other moms that you may have things in common with? Would love to hear your thoughts and if I am not alone in the support group finding dilemma.