Have I ever told you about my first day meeting my mom group? No? It’s a good one….
I was just talking with a very good friend of mine who recently had a baby. I shared my first mom group experience story with her and she encouraged me to share this with you. The reasoning and hope behind this story it to spark some courage in new mommas out there to get out and make new mom friends. I promise, it’ll be the best thing you can do.
If you’ve been following DSBG, you know that my husband and I are new Dallas residents as of March of 2014. We lived in Austin for 7 years and really considered that to be our home and where we planned to raise a family. We had a perfect little house, on a perfect little street, with a perfect little fence that backed up to nothing. People waved at each other as they drove down the street, it was simply lovely and everything we pictured in a home to raise a family in. Then, when I was 8 months pregnant with Little J, there were ripples in the water of a new opportunity for J in Dallas. We pushed it aside, obviously our lives were embedded in Austin, I mean, I was minutes away from delivering our child and we had only been in our house less than a year. We weren’t moving, that would be insane.
It was Christmas Eve when J and I sat down in private (in serious private since our families were in town for the holidays) and agreed that moving to Dallas would be the best thing for our family in the long run. From there, everything snowballed. I went back to work and tried to help wrap up a few things before my March depature, J was already working in Dallas Monday-Friday and coming home on the weekends to be with Little J and I. Our very first family home was on the market and we planned to downsize to a much smaller home in Uptown Dallas, which meant most of our big furniture was thrown onto craigslist. It was a lot all at once and stress was high in the M house, with both excitement and anxiety.
Truthfully, I was terrified. I was quitting my job to be a stay at home mom, in a city where I knew no one. All my friends in the past were from my job or J’s, it seemed almost impossible that I would be able to meet other moms in Dallas. I was also nervous about the Dallas Mom Scene that I had heard about. I’m more of a jeans and t-shirt gal and I consider The Gap, name brand so I was already going to stick out. One night, in a panic, I researched mom groups in Dallas and was directed to Meetup.com. I quickly found a newly forming mom group focusing on moms in Dallas who were transplants from other cities. On a whim (and a glass of wine) I decided to request to join.
Fast forward to the first Monday after our move-in weekend. We had said goodbye to our old home in Austin, loaded up our life and crammed ourselves into a pretty little high rise apartment with a beautiful view of Downtown Dallas. Life was….different but fun. I woke up early that Monday to shower and blow out my hair before my first meet up. J kissed us both goodbye and wished us luck, I heard him close the front door and lock it. I had to change my outfit twice (TWICE) due to some projectiles from Little J but by 9:30am, I had my ducks in a row. I had our diaper bag packed neatly, our stroller set with the car seat to travel down the 14 floors to our car in the garage. I took one last glance in the mirror, put on my best lets go meet new friends smile and went to open the door…and couldn’t. The door was stuck, the lock had jammed inside.
Picture the Jaws theme music as my anxiety crept up to a full on panic. I have somehow managed to lock myself inside my new apartment. I call J and explain the situation (in a totally calm and reasonable voice, I can assure you) he promised to call maintenance and ended the call with every mans favorite thing to say to their panicked wife “just calm down”. Awesome.
At this point, I’m sitting on my kitchen floor sweating bullets, thankful that Little J has decided to take a snooze through this mess. The minutes go by…it’s getting closer and closer to the start time of my first mom group meet up. Finally, I hear rustling outside my door.
“Ma’am, I hear you can’t open the door”
“Right, yes. My husband locked the door on his way out and it looks like it’s jammed.”
“Looks like it. This may take a little bit, I’ll have to remove the locks. Do you need to be somewhere? ”
You know when your seconds away from crying and your voice starts cracking in a high pitch? That’s what my YES sounded like. I was freaking out….like FREAKING OUT. There was no way I would make this mom group meet up and I knew if I didn’t go today, I would talk myself out of going the next day and the day after that and eventually I would become a hermit who never left the house. Minutes were racing by at this point and I was officially starting to die a slow death, Little J had woken up from his nap….screaming but then…CLICK! I finally heard the sound of our door unlocking. I heard mumbles of the maintenance man stating that he’ll put in a new lock and leave the keys with the concierge, I barely heard him because at this point I am running full speed to the elevator- make up has been removed by massive face sweat (thank you hormones), my shirt feels sticky, my beautiful blow out has been thrown in a pony tail and my child is literally screaming his head off.
Here’s the thing- the old me would have thrown in the towel, I would have made an excuse to make myself feel better about backing out… but the old me was never alone in a new city. I had to do this. I realized that these moms may be what helps me adjust to our new surroundings and in turn, their children may be wonderful future playmates for Little J. This was no longer about me and the anxiety I get when meeting new people, this was about Little J, and making sure he had as much opportunities to interact with children his age as possible.
I kept thinking about this as I parked my car in front of the coffee shop. I knew no one here, which meant, if this whole thing was a flop- who cares! Carrying Little J, our diaper bag, the baby carrier and about 1,000 other items, I stumbled through the front door and was instantly greeted by about 10 friendly faces, welcoming faces. I exhaled. This would be ok.
That day I met some amazing women. I can say that today, almost two years later, I consider several of them very close friends. I am thankful for this group of moms, so very thankful because I would not have felt comfortable in Dallas without them. These women have seen me at my best and worst mom moments and never left my side. We swap war stories and joy stories of our child achievements, they have provided tips on pediatricians and family doctors and even helped our family determine where we wanted Little J to attend pre school. The best part is that over these two years, Little J has found some of his best buddies in this group. That day, the smeared make up, the messed up hair, the panic, none of it mattered and it was all worth it.
I hope you all found this as amusing as I do when I think back to that day but I also hope this gives new mommas the determination to find your mom friends. Join something- anything that will get you out there. Seriously, this can be anything, a mom group, music classes, Gymboree or even enrolling them in a day care can help you meet new moms. New moms need new mom friends. Be determined. Your situation may not be the same as mine (seriously, check your locks) it may take you several tries before you find a group of women that works for you….but when you do, it’s pure mom magic.