I’ve been meaning to write more about a topic I barely touched on when Micah was much younger – different types of mamas I’ve met. However, I’ve had to censor myself SO MUCH because I am part of a community and my blog, even with its three loyal readers (one of them being me), is not anonymous. I should’ve gone the anonymous route because boy, have I got stories!
However, I noticed one type I can safely talk about as it is innocuous enough. I was reminded of this type when I ran into a warm and effervescent mama this past weekend, someone I had met once before at a gathering at the park. Though I was in a rush to get to an appointment with my hubs and baby Micah, I couldn’t help saying hello and chatting for just a quick minute as I cannot forget a face.
“Hi! I haven’t seen you since the park months ago! How are you?” I said.
“Hello, yes! You know what!? No one ever called me after that event. So I don’t know anything that’s going on. I gave my phone # to ______ and she never called me.”
“Well, you know how it is these days. Everything is done online, no old fashioned phone calls so you probably have to get in touch via email or Facebook for a quick response.” I also proceeded to tell her step-by-step how to get plugged into our group via Facebook so that she won’t miss out.
This reminded me of a neighbor I ran into months ago. Her baby is at least a couple months older than Micah. We were chatting about baby stuff when I shared with her that a favorite place for us is the local public library. She frowned and said, “Yes, I’ve heard about this library but I can never figure out where exactly it is so I’ve never gone yet. I really should one of these days because I want _____ to meet other babies.” (She said this as she snapped photos of her son with her iPhone. Hmmm…Now if only there was something magical and speedy within that iPhone that would allow her to find out where this library is. FYI, her baby is now a toddler. Ain’t never been to said library. And I don’t coddle folks. She grown. She has an iPhone. She can find her way to a library that is VERY easy to find and mere blocks away.)
I’ve always talked easily to strangers but now with a baby, I talk even more with just about anyone. Babies are perfect conversation-starters, though puppies and alcohol are up there. We were at the beach a couple months ago when a couple stopped me and my husband to talk about, yup, our babies. The mama asked me what activities I do with my baby because she needs some ideas. I told her I go to Gymboree and she said, “Why doesn’t anyone tell me these things?! I’ve heard of this Gymboree but no one ever told me what it is exactly. I’ve even gotten emails!” Again, she used her iPhone as we talked.
I confess that I am on my high horse at times being here in NYC across the country from my best friends and family, trying to raise my baby to the best of my ability. It ain’t easy. I don’t expect people to just drop baby knowledge on me and serve up a community for me on a silver platter. I hustle. I talk to other mamas to find out about stuff my doctors don’t bother to tell me. I initiate playdates. I start conversations. I make sure my boy has places and people to see other than our living room and my mug. I’ve benefitted by making at least a couple good friends, mamas I would hang with even if we weren’t mamas together. We laugh and commiserate and genuinely adore each others’ children. I hope to see more friendships blossom with those I can both trust and have a good time with. So I get peeved when these mamas, all of them with more local family support than I have, with friends they grew up with, claim that no one tells them about stuff. Be PROACTIVE! You can do it!
Back to the lady who said she never showed up to another mama event because she didn’t know about any. After I told her how to easily join our group for regular postings about events, she says, “Oh, thank you so much! Here is my card. Will you please call me about the next event?”
As I rushed off to my appointment, I said, “Honestly, no. I most likely won’t call you. But maybe I will run into you at another gathering.”
You are right, people expect to be handed information, and it really takes work to find out about baby stuff, but honestly with the internet is not that hard, hello Queensmamas.com has everything!!!! But I also think is people trying to be secretive and at the same time trying to dig for information. Like, I know you are super friendly and I can be very friendly and talkative but I always think people think more about themselves, so I always feel they are trying to find out stuff just to compare…. NYorkers love to compare! I’m not from here, but I have been here for 12 years now and I know people are super competitive and they like to know what you do so they can do the same or something better. It really gets kind of annoying! Remember the convo we had at the Botanical Gardens??? This sounds like that sort of thing too! Anyways I feel you! I think you have go get out there… I hate meeting people but when you have kids you really think about them and I go out of my way, to like you, have him meet different people and do things other than stay home!! I love how you worded it, Proactive!!! It’s going to be my new thing!! Thanks
It’s isn’t just mamas with this problem. I think almost everyone has an area of their life where some sort of “helpless laziness” seems to take over. They just don’t seem to be able to think of solutions for themselves or do even the simplest amount of research to get an answer. It drives me crazy. For example, my grandma wanted a number for a relative in Canada. She asked me what the country code was. Not knowing it offhand, I told her to call the operator. Then she asked me what the number for the operator is. Now my grandmother is not an idiot. And she is not loosing her memory. Sometimes people just want you to do the work for them—drives me crazy.