Thursday, July 5, 2007

Tiaras and Mommies

A while ago Joy, Of Course! wrote in her one word meme that she was not wearing a tiara. That made me laugh. But I have to tell you that today I type this wearing a tiara. It is hot pink, and it is MINE, not my daughters (although you and I both know it will end up in her dress-up box, but still...) I won this "Perfectly Pink Tiara" at the annual banquet of my local MOMS Club. I won the "Miss Ellen Degeneres" award - aka "most enthusiastic and funny" (thanks, girls!)

So I thought this might be a good time, while wearing my tiara, to tell you about my experience with Mommy groups.

When the May Queen was 3 months old, I finally went to a group designed for mommies and their infants (under 1) held at the hospital where MQ was born. It was run by a wonderfully patient woman who was both trained in parenting and an experienced mom of four. She was nonjudgmental and very caring. The group was a time for everyone to talk about their concerns and their joys, and for others to respond. Our fabulous leader spoke words of wisdom, certainly, but what she mostly did was taught us to trust ourselves as mommies. This group met every other week, but many of us began walking weekly, meeting regularly at the park, scrapbooking in the afternoons, and having holiday parties together. We continued to do this long after we "graduated" out of the class. This group also provided for me a friend who would become closer than I realized as we ate lunch together once a week, and our girls grew up together. Moving away from this fabulous group of women was difficult.

So when I arrived here in Louisiana and a friend at church mentioned The MOMS Club, I immediately joined her for an event, and wasted no time getting involved. The MOMS Club is an international organization (click on the link to find a chapter near you). There is no "qualified leader" of this organization, but rather it is led by a board of dedicated moms just like myself. What it provided for me was a full calendar of activities outside of the home, a chance to meet other moms, and a way to learn about the activities available in our new community. I have enjoyed being a part of this club immensely, and sing it's praises regularly, even though it did not provide the close friendships I found in the other group. A lot of that is just luck, I suppose.

Mommy groups don't work for everyone. But for me, who lives far away from family and friends, who thrives on activity and adult interaction, and who needed someone to talk to who would understand rather than go all glazed-out-eyes on me when I fretted over the May Queens naps (or lack of naps, as the case would be), they were a life saver. A true beacon of hope when my bag of entertaining tricks was empty by 9:30 in the morning.

As the May Queen draws closer to starting Kindergarten (which is all day down here) I know that my time and dedication to this group of Mommies will change. It already has. But I will never cease to recommend it to people.


Anonymous said...

As a past president, secretary, newsletter editor, and International volunteer, I concur that the MOMS Club is a great organization.

Joy, of course said...

I have had varying degrees of success with "moms groups". But it is so wonderful that you had such strong support when the May Queen was first born. It can be a scary overwhelming time. I may see if there is a "Moms Club" in my area.

And good for you for wearing your tiara!

painted maypole said...

SB (or should I call you Madame President?) Thanks for the heads up, I checked out that post. Always fun to get a different perspective, and I love that I inspired someone else to write their own post. Blush. Thanks for sharing, I probably never would have found it, since she didn't comment over here.

slouching mom said...

Interesting. I've always shied away from those kinds of clubs. I guess I prefer to find my friends/mommy supports in a catch-as-catch-can manner, at the library, or the playground, or the toy store.

Actually, it's mostly that I'm shy. I don't do well in groups.

Catherine said...

One thing I like about blogging is its kind of a mommy group you don't even have to leave the house for! Which is nice, in the winter, or when you're car's in the shop. :)

Have I mentioned how much I love your blog name?

Christine said...

Hey! i am an International volunteer for MOMS Club here in NY state!!!!!!!! My camping trip that i just went on was with my MOMS Club.

It isn't for everyone, of course, but I have found some dear, dear friends in my chapter and actually from around the country.

Library Lady said...

Lucky you for having found a good support group. I could've used one when my first one was a baby. And I wish blogs had been around 12 years ago--that at least would've been a good outlet for my frustrations!

I've always worked, so I was never looking for something like MomsClub. But I get a lot of moms looking for something to do with their infants, and it's always one of the things on my suggestion list. Glad to hear good things about it here.

Oh, The Joys said...

Hmmm. Never heard of it. Will check it out.

nomotherearth said...

Do they have these kinds of clubs for mothers of more than one child, though? It's funny how people think you don't need the support with 2 kids that you did with 1. Heading into my second maternity leave, I think I need it now more than ever. Maybe I'm just a scaredy-cat.

painted maypole said...

yes, these clubs have lots of mothers with more than one child.

thailandchani said...

That sounds like such a good idea... It's too bad there are not more of them, in all sorts of venues.




ewe are here said...

Parent/baby/toddler groups have been my lifeline since I became a sahm. They are extremely popular over here, and there are lots to choose from, so you can pick and choose based on your comfort level. I take my boys to 4 different groups during the weekday mornings.

I've made some nice friends at these groups, and we do try to plan outings.... like the forgotten chocolate fondue party just last week!