Coffee, Carseats & Community


I was born to be social. No, really. I don’t know how I would make it through life without people to talk to, people to see and places to go. In fact, before I had Adelyn I was always on the go. One week before our wedding people told me I was crazy attending a cd release party with Husby for a band he recorded and produced. Aren’t you spinning with last minute things to get done? How can you even focus on having fun with all the loose ends you probably need to wrap up!? Seriously, folks. I’m a marketer/public relations nerd/event planner by day. There were no loose ends the week before our wedding!


Then you have my pregnancy. I still went to every one of my husband’s shows, attended the area music awards event, hit up the gym daily and even ran an event for work out of town less than 6 weeks before my due date, all proudly toting around my growing bump each and every place I went. The day before I was {finally} induced to have Adelyn I was out walking miles with Husby and our dog. I was social. I was active.


Now…I’m a mom. Wowza does that change your social life. {Duh, right?}


That wasn’t so obvious to me. In fact throughout my entire 10 weeks of maternity leave I stayed social. I went on walks with friends all summer, had outdoor patio coffee dates with other friends and even went to outdoor music events downtown (we invested in these must-have noise canceling ear muffs for Adelyn’s fragile ears and soft head—get them if you plan to take your newborn anywhere noisy!).


Once I returned to work it became an entirely different story. Everything is harder. My friends without babies are amazing. They love my little lady and totally encourage me as a mom. But my schedule is still so different from theirs. So when invited to dinners, drinks or football parties, I can’t just say yes anymore (and they all totally understand and forgive me, which does make it a thousand times easier!). Between 7:30 p.m. bedtimes for Adelyn and a husband who sometimes works until all hours of the night with his studio, a weeknight dinner or drinks just isn’t feasible. Weekend football parties quickly remind me that at 7-months-old Adelyn needs structure on nap times and she no longer just falls asleep anywhere, so gallivanting all over messes with her.


This is why having a community of other moms with babies somewhere near the same stages of yours is so detrimental. Especially if you thrive on social interaction like I do.


So where is this coming from?


Last Saturday three of my girlfriends from high school and I had a morning coffee date. And It.Was.Glorious. The snow was falling lightly outside and we all carried our little ones bundled in their car seats into a local coffee shop for some mom time.


I still can’t believe that somehow, some way all four of us had babies around the same time. It’s beyond great because we’re all going through the same things and can talk about them. We can talk about baby stuff and mom stuff and not worry about if we’re boring the people we’re with. We can tend to our babes without worrying that the extra noise is secretly irritating the others in the group. We can be ourselves, moms, who still want to have girl time!


Prior to Saturday I think I forgot how important that time is. I cherish every second I get with Adelyn, but it’s not good for me—or her—if I completely forget to nurture my social side. With other mom friends I can spend time with Adelyn while fulfilling my social needs, guilt-free. The best part is that I know these girls aren’t going to judge me when I tell a mom story or ask a mom question, because they’re right there with me. Every step of the way.


And we get to learn from each other! Later on Saturday one of the girls sent the rest of us a text that the Gerber bottles fit on the Medela pumps with no problem and are a fraction of the price. SERIOUSLY!? This is why we have girlfriends! We help each other, we clue each other in and we laugh together at all the mistakes we make that could otherwise make us cry.


Moms need community. Even working moms. All four of us work during the week. I feel like there’s the misconception that working moms automatically have more social time because they work around other adults. The problem with that thought process is it fails to acknowledge that sometimes working relationships can become strained for a variety of reasons; so becoming too personally intertwined with some coworkers can do more harm than good. In fact this week I’m already experiencing tension with another coworker who at one point I believed I had developed more of a friendship with (and it’s only Monday…waahh!). It’s a perfect example that when it’s a working relationship, egos are still involved allowing competition and jealousy to take over.


I have to disclose here that I’m still pretty lucky because I do get to work in the same office as someone who is not only one of my best friends from college, but we’re old roommates and were in each other’s weddings, so I always have someone to have good mom talk with on the occasion we both have spare minutes in our day.


All in all, I’m so thankful for my community of mom friends. I’m so thankful for Saturday mornings, for local coffee shops and for a mommy support system. If you’re a mom and you don’t have a mom community, I hope this changes your outlook on the importance of finding one. If you’re new to an area you can go online to find mom groups near you!

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© 2013 by Heather Anders : Meet Me on the Intersection of Richmond & Style.