Mommy Support Groups

http://www.google.com/imgres?q=free+photos+of+mom+groups&um=1&hl=en&rlz=1C1_____enUS429US429&biw=975&bih=607&tbm=isch&tbnid=uucmp7HxYiNOkM:&imgrefurl=http://gymbobuzz.gymboreeclasses.com/blog/mom-groups&docid=SVGBzYDARiwPcM&imgurl=https://cdn2.content.compendiumblog.com/uploads/user/a811d913-0b90-470a-92f0-5a349c189669/47c83daf-6999-47a1-94b5-a935683e266f/Image/06e9d0a41b6cde157e7cfcaf0c3bbf23/infant_play_mom_home_v2_064_w640.jpeg&w=640&h=852&ei=2dFOT8uiAu_JmQXu3o2NCg&zoom=1How 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.

http://www.google.com/imgres?q=free+photos+of+M.O.P.s&um=1&hl=en&rlz=1C1_____enUS429US429&biw=975&bih=564&tbm=isch&tbnid=ONUCfaxcvnYpgM:&imgrefurl=https://missinginkshop.com/matthewwest/store/mops-free-mp3-download&docid=OzDHcshaw_b27M&imgurl=http://missinginkshop.com/matthewwest/sites/com.matthewwest/files/imagecache/product_full/mops_logo.jpg&w=550&h=550&ei=h9JOT_z3G-aemQWwtZG3Cg&zoom=1
MOPS groups logo

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

Parent Magazine
Parent Magazine Survey

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.

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Resolute This!

Happy New Years people!!! May 2012 be filled with blessings and rewarding challenges.

I bet this is one of those days that a lot of bloggers are posting similar things. My friend Christine (whom I’ve never met but share a bond through blogging with) from Confessions from the Crib has posted a great blog on this topic. It is funny but she writes about a lot of things in which I feel like it is my words on her blog. The way we think is so similar. We have even written on similar topics as well. Cool blog. Check it out! We are like Siamese twins, or twin sisters, but not. Heh…

Posting New Years Resolutions online may help each of us achieve our goals. (At least we think this will help us be held more accountable for our goals). Well, I am going to join in the band wagon for this one and post mine as well.

Most of my goals from the past have always been open-ended and not well-defined. No end in sight… and this is where I falter usually. I must have an end goal… a point where I can say, “Yes!! I achieved it!” and thus continue to pat self on back. I can say next year at this time I will have lost all the baby weight, but honestly… its continuing to keep off said weight that will be the true challenge. For me, I will take baby steps. I will set small goals that are achievable and I will let you know when I get there!! hehe…

In no particular order:

  1. Volunteer- Since not working currently and it doesn’t look as if I will be called any time soon, I will contribute time volunteering at my church more often, as well as for a disability organization in the area. However, this means they would have to make allowances for Sunshine to be with me…. as we can’t afford a babysitter right now. My church is amenable to this, most organizations, not so much. My goal is to at least contribute some volunteer time 8 hours a month.
  2. Improve my blog. This means: Blogging more often and improving the visual look of said blog. I hope to do a complete change of look with this blog. Make it easier to read and access old blog topics.  This will include some learning on my part, as well as a bit more time.
  3. Lose baby weight/be healthier. I am currently at 215-ish. I will have to weigh myself again to find out exactly. Pre-Sunshine I was at 182 lbs. During pregnancy I went up to 254 lbs (*note that all the different doctors offices I went to had different weights, but my endocrinologist had the heaviest weight noted as this, whereas my OB/GYN that I saw the same day had me as 247). My plan is to lose around 5 lbs a month. My mini goals to help me achieve this big goal are as such:  a) Join a Zumba class (local parks and rec has zumba classes several times a week. Some are at night, not so convenient, but I want to do something and it is hard to work out without someone around to care for Sunshine. Thus, dad will get home, and I will go exercise). b) Join a MOPS group and go walking with some of the ladies a few times a week. c) Eat healthier (I have found that Sunshine has taken a lot of my time and energy to the point where I have been skipping meals. This means that if there isn’t something healthy to eat right away, I tend to not eat such healthy things. Must prepare healthy snacks and food that is easy to prepare with my being at Sunshine’s beck and call). d) Smaller portions (I don’t really have a problem with portions unless I have skipped a meal, then I overeat at the next meal. Need to make sure I eat smaller amounts more often).
  1. Attempt to set a date night with the hubby and actually do something. Sunshine is wonderful and we love her so much, but her daddy and I have not stuck to our goal of having a date night once a week. It is made much simpler if we set a night once a week and stick to it. So, I am hoping that with my having choir practice and Zumba practice Mondays and Wednesdays, and the hubby swimming on Tuesdays and Thursday nights, that Friday nights could be our date night. This means that hubby needs to be home (if he has commuted to work). Being that we are often so tired and lack a lot of energy, this has seeped into our energy efforts to come up with romantic things to do. Any suggestions for free and fun romantic date night ideas folks?
  2. Insatiable BookSluts Reading Challenge: I will complete my reading challenge for the BookSluts, as well as try to compete with the biggest reading challenge ever! The END of the WORLD reading Challenge(this is the most number of pages read). With the books I have chosen to read for the first challenge, the End of the World challenge should NOT be a problem. If I count all the books I read on the side of the challenge, I will totally rock that reading challenge.
  3. MOPS- Being that this coincides with goal number 3, I am excited to join some mommy groups in the area. I need this for my own sanity and well-being, as well as Sunshine getting some play dates. Yep. Super excited.
  4. I will write.  My goal is to have about an hour to myself each night to write.  Not just my blog which I can sometimes manage to do while Sunshine naps.  I have several book ideas that I need to work on. So, with that… I am hoping, at least for the start, that 3 nights a week I can get in some writing while dad monitors Sunshine when he gets home.  This is sometimes easier said than done as Sunshine has reached that point where mom, and her orbs, are the only thing she wants at night. In fact, I think this will be the hardest goal to achieve. I can’t seem to work for long without the hubby coming back and saying “She wants mom” which I think is really a ploy to go back and watch football (next will be baseball). We shall see what happens.

Lucky seven people. I think I will stop there.  I know I have goals of structuring more learning time for Sunshine and making sure we continue to read to her every night before she goes to sleep.  These goals, however, will take some patience on my part and will work themselves out as we go along.  We’ve got a lot to tackle this year, folks, and its looking to be a challenging year but a good one. Don’t forget to comment below and let me know what you think… especially if you have any ideas for date nights with the hubby.

Hugs to all!  Happy New Year! and Don’t forget to Giggle!