The hospital where Catie was born has a support group for new moms (the 0-3 month crowd). I’ve been meaning to go for, oh, the past 7 weeks or so. But every week, I’d end up sleeping through it, which is the kind of thing that happens a lot when your schedule is dictated by a newborn.
I finally managed to get there this week, and honestly, I totally hated it. Have you ever been in a situation where there’s a group leader who goes around the room and everyone has to introduce themselves? And then you have to say some interesting tidbit about yourself too? Those scenarios remind me of school, and they give me anxiety attacks. So I guess I’m just not a big group type, and that’s fine.
I realize, of course, that there’s a difference between a support group, and, say, a mommy playgroup or something. So it’s entirely possible that I might enjoy a different setting. But there’s this other strange thing that I learned about myself yesterday: I generally feel like I’m doing ok at this mommy gig, but if you put me in a room full of other moms, I feel completely incompetent. It isn’t just the breastfeeding thing, although, yes, I was self-conscious about mixing up a bottle in that room when a lot of other women were nursing their babies. I have no idea why I feel this way, but as soon as I walked in the room, I had to fight the urge to either cry or run out of there. I know that it’s all in my head, and it’s not at all a reflection on the people there. All the other moms seemed lovely and nice, this is just my own little neurosis.
After I got home, I started thinking that since I’m obviously not the mommy group type, I have to come up with something else to get myself out of the house so I don’t go crazy or turn into some kind of hermit. Before Cate was born, I had this romantic notion in my head of being a stay-at-home mom, and how I’d meet and become friends with other moms, and life would be one big happy playdate after another. Clearly, that is not going to be the case. And that’s alright, this is just reality setting in.
So I’m thinking about going back to work. Probably just part-time, and I’m not in any big rush – I’m not even planning to update my resume until Cate is consistently sleeping through the night. But I think it’d be good for all of us: since Dave works from home, it’ll keep us from getting on each other’s nerves (trust me, 24/7 is a bit much for even the healthiest marriage), and I think part-time daycare will be good for Cate too.
In light of that little epiphany, I decided to make the most of my remaining time of unemployment. So next month, Cate and I are going to my hometown to see my folks. I found a great rate on airfare, and I’m calling it my parents’ combination Mother’s and Father’s Day gift. They’re thrilled to get a week of grandbaby time – I mean, I’m sure they’re happy to see me too, but mostly it’s all about her.
So hey, if any of you happen to be in the vicinity of Jackson, Missisippi, from April 18th to 24th, let me know and we’ll have cocktails. Bonus points if we can include fried okra. (God, I miss the South sometimes.)