Building a Community

I’ve always been a bit of a loner. I’ve always had a few close friends but definitely not an extensive social circle. Before I got married I’d established my largest social circle ever. I had friends that fed all parts of my personality. I threw dinner parties and Sunday brunch. We had to split into two teams at Trivia night. I felt comfortable in my own skin, for once in my life. 

Then I moved across the country, got married and had a baby. I have a few momma friends, but my focus in life has changed, never mind the fact that I live a thousand miles away. I need to build a new community. Being socially isolated myself is one thing, but I want more for X. I want him to have social confidence, I want him to be comfortable playing with children his age and I want him to have a group of people he can depend on. Being in the military separates us from our extended family, I need to build our own community.

Today we attended the monthly meeting of a stay at home mom group. Honestly it was a super frustrating experience. The group schedule is only given to members (which prevents weirdos, makes sense). I emailed two months ago requesting the time and date for a new members event. They only do one a month, but it took 2 months for a reply. Then the date changed. I emailed to confirm my attendance and received no reply. I show up and all of the doors are locked. four or five other new moms show up and none of us have any more info. Finally someone from the church asked why we were wandering around outside and contacted the president of the group. So we all headed to the new destination. There was no one there to meet us and we wandered around outside for quite some time. We were right next to a playground full of preschool children so of course X fussed and cried to go play. Plus we live in Georgia, it was 90 degrees outside. So finally we realize where we’re supposed to be, which wasn’t baby proofed, had no toys and was full of dangerous things (pool cues, bats, etc.) I mean, really?? Only the president and one other existing member showed up, yet she conducted the meeting like we all knew what she was talking about, which we didn’t. There was no explanation of how the group works, what would be expected of us or anything useful. It was mostly vague references to past projects or places we didn’t know anything about. Then she forgot the sign up forms (which needs to be completed to receive the emails and newsletters for actual events) and told us to email the woman who took 2 months to respond to get copies sent to us.

There has to be an easier way to do this, right? Standing outside for an hour in the heat and then preventing my child from killing himself or another kid while a woman babbles about things that doesn’t make sense… It was all really frustrating.

How have you worked to build a community? How have you made other parent friends? How have you made friends for your kids?

2 thoughts on “Building a Community

  1. Oh, boy! I remember having similar experiences when B was first born. I tried all sorts of groups in search for a good mommy support network. It too awhile. I tried sign language classes, music classes, library story time, neighborhood groups, mommy playgroups, and church groups to name a few. I finally found moms that were more my style at a La Leche League meeting. Later I also found a fun mommy group (although not all the time) by going to Meetup.com. Don’t give up! It’s a slow process – at least it was for me.

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