Don’t get me wrong, I have met a lot of cool moms through my local parents group, a few of which I think could really be long-term, super cool friends. I mean, really, if your Facebook profile photo has penis balloons hanging in the background, you will definitely be a friend of mine!
But the overall theory that proximity and the ability to pop a kid out your vag will make you immediate friends? I’m not so sure.
The first meeting is always uncomfortable because you feel like the one mom who doesn’t know everyone. You spend your time watching your little kid playing near the other kids, because at this age, do any of the kids actually interact (besides stealing each other toys, I mean)? The conversation could range from “Hey! I popped a kid out of my vagina a few years ago!” to “Hey! I live right over there! You can see my house from here!”
My Moms Group is hardcore too. We make dinners for moms that just had kids (I totally signed up and then promptly forgot about my meal day and left a new mom and her family starving. Nice, huh?) and some moms even switch off babysitting for each other.
Maybe Mom Groups are like church: they are a good support system when you need them but maybe they just aren’t for everybody?
I mean, I’m all for people making me free food when I pop another kid out of my vagina, but babysitting? I hardly even like watching my OWN kid. Why would I want to watch other people’s kids?! There’s maybe one or two kids that I could handle watching or letting Moms watch Bee, but as for everyone else? I guess my rule of thumb is if I don’t even know your last name, you probably aren’t going to be babysitting my child. Fuck, why don’t I just walk in to the local grocery store and drop Bee off with the first lady with kids I see?
And then there is the problem of so many people in the group that never come to things. Part of me doesn’t blame them because each event gets booked up quickly with the same 7 people, which makes it really awkward for the newcomers to try to infiltrate their ranks.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean to entirely bash on Moms Groups.
But since we’ve already started…
Let’s discuss the basic etiquette that I think is necessary to participate in anything where children interact (play dates, story times, etc.)
Rule #1: If your kid has green oozy snot running out of his/her nose, please keep them home.
I know you probably really want to get out of the house and interact with adults, but Dear Lord, if you get my child sick, I swear to the Flying Spaghetti Monster I will hunt you down and cover your front porch with my child’s drippy oozing snot.
Rule #2: Please teach your kid to share.
Most of our children are too young to grasp the concept of sharing, but it’d be great if you’d, well, try to teach your kid that it’s not okay to forcefully grab shit from other kids. It’s fucking Dog-Eat-Dog-Lord-of-the-Flies here anyway, we don’t need some crazy Incredible Hulk kid ripping toys from little hands, okay?
Rule #3: Since we’re on the topic, don’t let your kid hurt other kids.
Seems obvious, right? If your kid has the tendency to tackle, hit, or stab other kids with a shiv, please keep them home. Honestly, it just makes it really awkward for the rest of us moms to have to be Mama Bear protecting our cubs during play group.
Rule #4: How about a lesson in how to behave in other people’s houses?
Sweet Jesus, it might be okay for your kids to swing from the curtains, climb on tables and color on the walls at your house, but I actually care about keeping things from breaking at my house. Kthxbai.
Rule #5: Discipline is great when your kids don’t abide by Rules #1-4.
Seriously, try it some time.
Besides having to deal with people who aren’t familiar with Rules #1-5, I have enjoyed meeting new friends close to my house. My advice if you haven’t joined a Moms Group yet is have an open mind. Realize that you aren’t going to be BFFs with everyone, but you might just be lucky enough to find a few really incredible new friends.
But you might want to pack some extra disinfectant wipes, just in case.
Song title: A Lot in Common by Group 1 Crew