Mom's Group Or Soul Mates?

So today I got together with a new mom's group, a group of ladies who had never met one another before.

I was a bit apprehensive, after sampling a few mom's groups in the past, I have become way too familiar with the undercurrent of competition that seems inherent with these groups and yet I continue to try new ones in hopes that I will find that Holy Grail, a group of similarly minded people who have kids of similar ages who are just as lonely and befuddled by the mom journey as I am.

I had several epiphanies as a result of today's meeting:

1- We are all a little embarrassed when we realize that the same woman who used to rule the board room (namely, us) is now talking in dulcet tones to an infant while said infant screeches at the top of his/her lungs. That same woman is the one who will be dancing with scarves to nursery rhymes at the "Infant Dance Class". Yep, same girl is wearing no fewer than 3 bodily secretions from that infant, and couldn't be happier about it.

2- It isn't that we lose all sense of style once a baby is born and hibernate in slouchy maternity jeans, over-sized sweaters and sneakers (what I have lovingly titled the "Jennifer Garner Uniform"). It's that nothing fabulous in our wardrobe currently fits, and even if it did, it really wouldn't be pragmatic for squatting on the floor to play with a baby. Also, it is amazingly easy for an infant to go fishing in a sexy top and expose more boob than you have shown since college.

3- We all struggle with guilt. The fear that we don't do enough, that we can't be enough, that we are somehow shortchanging our precious bundle because of our all to human weaknesses.

I can't say why exactly, but discovering that I wasn't the only one struggling with these changes somehow comforted me. It's like I suddenly have compatriots on this long, often strange path of parenthood.

Note: this was originally published on 11/4/10, the day that I met some of my greatest friends ever. No, we don't all have the same opinions but we DO share an open mind and a willingness to accept each other as we are, and have become incredibly close ever since that first meeting :-)
Raising our kids together has brought us closer than I ever would have guessed and I feel incredibly lucky to have their friendship.


So until I had a baby girl, the color pink was not in my repertoire. I was a neutrals kind of girl. My wardrobe was full of classic clothes in a full spectrum of neutral. My home was tastefully decorated in neutrals. I even drove a car in a lovely metallic neutral. In fact, I do believe I was allergic to pink.

And then I had that ultrasound that showed that I was having a little girl. And my world shifted.

Suddenly, a new rosy world of color opened up to me, one adorned in ruffles and bows and little lacy things. And I went a bit crazy with the pink. I bought pink blankets, tiny pink sweaters, pink toys, pink snugglies, and yes, an entire pink bedroom for our little bundle of pink to come home from the hospital to.

It is amazing how one simple ultrasound can completely change your life. I have even added a few pieces of soft pink to my own wardrobe.

Who would have thought I had it in me? Not me.


Before I became a mom, I used to hear about "Mother's Guilt" and think it was an absolutely absurd concept. After all, moms give us life. What we do with it is up to us. What in the world would the average mom have to feel guilty about?

And then I had a baby.

And I realized that pretty much every decision I make has a tinge of guilt associated with it. My baby girl S is 5 1/2 months old now. At 24 hours of age, she made the momentous decision not to nurse, and stuck to her guns no matter how I tried to entice, beg, and pry her tiny little mouth open to get her to nurse. After what felt like eons of torment, I agreed to give her a bottle just to get something into her system.

Having a strong commitment to breast feeding, I refused to be side-tracked by an infant and so began a month of alternating pumping and adamantly insisting that I would convince this kid to nurse. Finally, after 4 weeks I gave in and accepted that perhaps she was right. She would not nurse.

And so began my long, not so loving relationship with the milking machine I lovingly titled "Pumpy". Pumpy and I spent long hours on the sofa together, while Pumpy did the work that my daughter refused to do. 6 times a day, 45 minutes a shot Pumpy and I dedicated ourselves to the task of keeping our girl fed.

When S was 4 months old, I was diagnosed with a pretty severe sinus infection after experiencing extreme vertigo. After weighing the impacts to S, I finally decided to go ahead with the antibiotics. Two rounds of antibiotics later, my system was all out of whack, my sinus infection still had not left the building, and all remaining options to clear up my system would be pretty rough on S. I put off treatment for 3 more weeks while I stock piled enough milk to get us to that critical 6 month point.

So right now I am in the process of decreasing milk production. My long, arduous hours with Pumpy are decreasing, my tether to a pumping schedule is weakening, and with each ounce that I decrease in production, my guilt grows because I feel like I am short-changing my daughter.

No, it isn't the emotional connection that I fear we will lose because to be perfectly honest, from the beginning S has screamed during my long visits with Pumpy each day. And no, it isn't that I fear being replaced because from the beginning S has pretty much associated anyone willing to stick a silicone nipple in her mouth with meal time. I feel guilty because S will only be breast fed for 6 months and while that is a great minimum, I fear that perhaps there is a Harvard scholarship that she will miss by thismuch because mommy couldn't tough it out.

Yeah, I am sure I am over-estimating the impact that her meals will play in her overall success, but what if I'm not?