Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Mommy Club

My younger brother (Middle Brother) has an antique spinning wheel.  All but one of the spokes on the wheel are identical.  One of the spokes though is just a little bit different.  It's still part of the wheel, but just different enough to be the odd one out.
Much of the time I have felt like that "odd" spoke.  I might be part of a group, but never quite fit in.  I can be a little awkward, and just in general, different.  I never quite felt like I was at the same place in life as my peers.
In all the lonely times, especially as I got older, I held onto the fact that one day I would belong to "The Mommy Club".  The Mommy Club, in my mind, was the club that all mommies belonged to.  You didn't have to do anything to join except be a mommy.  Once you were a mommy you would belong to this unofficial club.  Every mommy would belong because they would all have something in common - they would be mommies!
Just over a year ago, I had a baby.  I could now be part of the Mommy Club.  Except I never found it.  I suspect that the mommy club is a lie, cooked up in my own psyche.  Yes, I have a baby (toddler?), yes, that makes me a mommy, but I'm still the odd spoke.  I still dance to the beat of my own drum.  I realize that the Mommy Club is as fictional as The Village in which the women all work together raising the children and looking out for each other.
They both sound like wonderful things, but like many wonderful things, they aren't necessarily real. Doesn't mean I don't often wish it were so.  I wish there was a Mommy Club, or a Village where I could kick off my shoes (or leave them on if I wanted), curl up on a couch, stretch out on the floor, or lounge on a pillow and just be with other moms who subscribed to the same philosophies that I do, or at least similar ones, or at the very least weren't adamantly opposed to them.  Maybe we'd drink some tea, maybe we would talk, or maybe we would just watch our littles be the little people that they are, not worrying about what the other mommies think about how we are parenting.
I am so fortunate to have found at least 2 other mommies in the neighborhood who I can mostly relax with - and as I get to know them better, and they get to know me better, perhaps we will become a Mommy Club.  But even if we don't, that's okay too.
The Mommy Club doesn't have to exist for me to belong.   My parenting styles don't have to match up with anyone else's.**  I do not have to defend my parenting to anyone else.   Having the support of other parents who follow similar styles is great, but I'm learning that it doesn't have to be shared face to face over a cup of tea.  My "village" is spread around the globe, and consists of hundreds of people. I can't talk to most of them about everything, but I can talk to all of them about something. I have a group I can ask questions about babywearing (however, getting hands on help for those back carries is hard on the internet!), another group I can ask about why my son has decided to stop using the potty, another I can ask about which essential oils will most effectively treat my husband's cold, and another I can turn to for support when it comes to sorting out thing related to Bean's hearing loss.  So it's not just one village, but lots of villages and I can travel from village to village with a click of the mouse.   This virtual metropolis will never quite replace The Village of bygone days (if that Village ever truly existed), nor will it replace The Mommy Club (which I suspect never actually existed), but it will be good enough.   Because when I march to the beat of my own drum, I know who will be with me all the way:

**My parenting style does have to be compatible with my husband - this parenting gig is a two person job, but other than him, everyone else can go fly a kite (and he can too, as long as he takes the Bean with him)