Before my son was born, I didn’t really consider how much help I may need in adjusting to motherhood. How could I, really? That’s like knowing the ins and outs of driving an 18-wheeler without ever being behind the wheel.
Soon after we brought him home, though, I began to realize how nice it would be to have my family close by. We live in a different state than any of our relatives, so the stories of Mom living in with you for two weeks to help with the transition or siblings gladly sitting for you to allow for an occasional sanity-saving date night were just subjects of my deep jealousy. Well, jealousy may be a little strong. Envy might be better suited here. Or Still, you get the picture.
Seriously, though, when you are a new Mom, everything is not innate. You need other people to talk to, comiserate with over lack of sleep, share tips with, help you find great baby gifts and gear, and compare experiences to be sure that you’re “doing it right.” And if your family is not nearby, it’s time to become resourceful and find yourself an outlet!
I finally wised up and started taking my son to a local branch of The Little Gym, of which there are many off -shoots now. I got to socialize with other Moms of same-age kids while the program leader taught us songs, age-appropriate gymnastics or dance moves, and induced screams of joy whenever she brought out the giant parachute for the kids to run under and jump on.
In addition to that, I discovered that my neighborhod had a preschool play group. They met every other week for a couple of hours at the pool or playground. This was a great resource for both of us. Max met friends from our neighborhood, and I had the advantage of the experience of six or seven other Moms to draw from. My son is almost six, and that Moms group still gathers several times per year!
If you are starting to look for an outlet like these, I have put together a short list of some national organizations, which may have branches in your area. Some have annual dues to join, and some don’t. Thank goodness for the Internet! I encourage you that, if you don’t like the first group you go to, you should try a second or even a third. You’ll find the right place eventually, and you will be so glad you did.
International Moms Club http://www.momsclub.org/
Moms Meetup Groups http://moms.meetup.com/
Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) http://www.mops.org/
Moms Groups posted on BabyCenter.com http://community.babycenter.com/groups/topic/21/local?sortby=pop