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?


Om Nom Nom

Yesterday we took a very enjoyable trip to the farmers market. I excitedly purchased the raw milk farmers cheese we discovered last year but couldn’t have because I was pregnant. The size of the market and the number of vendors has increased so much since last season! Very exciting to see. I spoke briefly with the market manager about having a tent next year when I return from Maine. That means I need to get my craft on these next 11 months!
I purchased an all natural diaper cream that doesn’t negatively effect the absorbency nor stain cloth diapers. this inspired the purchase of 6 more cloth diapers. X is getting closer to being a fully cloth diapered baby every day.
I find the progress of the farmers market really promising. Moving here was difficult for me. Organic food is expensive and often hard to come by here. I couldn’t find a prenatal yoga class to take while I was pregnant. Locally owned shops and restaurants are scarce, being an area with mostly chain dining and big box mega stores. There’s a Starbucks on every corner, but I’ve only found one local coffee shop. This is all very different from the Eco and health conscious town I moved from in Maine where local business is thriving. But the farmers market gives me hope. The progress of downtown gives me hope as well. There are a few like minded people here and hopefully this community will thrive and grow.
All of the fresh produce was so beautiful. I must admit, I can’t wait for X to start eating solids. I’m going to make my own baby food and am really looking forward to coming up with recipes and seeing what he likes. He will be 4 months in less then 2 weeks, but I’m going to wait the 6 months. I know the health benefits of waiting. Who would have thought that after 28 years this little man would finally teach me patients.
Shortly I’m heading back to Maine for a year. X and I will be staying with my grandmother. They just started a new farmers market right across the street. As soon as I get there I’m going to start buying fresh, organic produce and filling the freezer with baby food. I’ll be sure to document my process once I start.