Sunday, October 15, 2006

Turn, turn, turn

I just got back from a girls weekend away in Niagara on the Lake. Well, it was more like a night, really, as we left TO on Saturday morning and came back on Sunday morning. Seems like a bunch of mums just can't stand to be away from their babes for too long. I guess if you have to have an addiction, a cute baby is one of the good ones.

Some time back in August, the Mums group that I was a part of back when I was on maternity leave had one of our rare get-togethers - rare because we're all back at work. One of the mums suggested that we plan a weekend away, and of course, I said I was interested (who wouldn't like a weekend off?) mainly because I thought it would never actually come to pass. Wonder of wonders, it actually did.

Our mums group is rather large, and a splinter group of mums (9 in total) decided to take the plunge and leave the babies with the hubbies for the weekend. I debated going for a long time. It was a lot of money, for one. I didn't want to spend my precious weekend time away from The Boy or The Husband. But more importantly, would I even have a good time? I mean, I hung out with these women once a week for a couple hours, and we had several extra get-togethers, but could we actually spend a whole day and night together without getting tired of one another. Well, since this is my year for turning over a new leaf and doing things that I thought I would never do, I decided to go. I am glad I did.

Yes, we talked about our babies a lot. A whole lot. How could we not? Even if we didn't meet in a mums group, I don't know many women with children who could avoid talking about them for long. But we also talked about home renovations, wine, books, careers.....and, well, had adult conversation. It was so civilized. During the day we drove around NOTL and did some wine tastings, and at night we went to Peller Estates and had a private tour and a four hour dinner. Wow. Most of my dinners these days last ten minutes, if I stretch them out. No worrying about snacks. Now worrying about naps. No stressing because The Boy won't eat vegetables - again. We even decided to form a Book Club. It was Heaven.

The only sour note to the event (other than the fact that I still have this dastardly cold), was an innocent comment made by one of the mums. You see, I've always felt like a bit of an interloper in this group. They all met in a "Bringing Home Baby" class, and after the class was over, they decided to keep meeting. After five months of miserably walking the streets by myself pushing a carriage with only my thoughts to sustain me (not very nourishing those post-natal brainwaves), I met up with a friend of mine from FitMom who invited me to join the group. She said they wouldn't mind, and I was desperate for company. So I went week after week, and they didn't mind, although somehow I always felt that they did mind, just a bit. Eventhough I was there more regularly than the actual group, I wasn't part of the original group. Ironically, this was the class that I was supposed to attend, but was never able to because we were having so much trouble in the beginning with breastfeeding that we were in and out of the hospital non-stop for weeks. Anyways, I never felt totally accepted, but I assumed that it was just me being my usual paranoid self.

Last night, I don't even remember what we were talking about, but one of the mums said she always thought of me as "The Movie Girl". This is in reference to the fact that I was a regular at the local Mini Matinées. Every week I'd make the half hour walk to the movie theatre to see whatever show was playing (even if it was "Herbie Fully Loaded"...yes, I actually sat through that...). What can I say? I was my sanity. It was a little bit of normalcy in a world that had gone absolutely crazy. I felt that if I could get back that one little bit of my "old life" , I could deal with almost anything. And The Boy slept at 1pm like clockwork most days, so it all worked out. Most of the Mums Group were a bit horrified that I did that every week, and although they were never confrontational about it, I saw an edge of judgment in their eyes.

These mums are all educated, intelligent, career women whom I like and admire. I'll admit that I sometimes felt like the were "out of my league", so to speak. I think what I'm slowly learning, though, is that that kind of thinking is the real problem. It's my perception of myself that needs the altering, not how others see me. I've taken my first step this weekend. Normally, that "Movie Girl" comment would be soul-crushing to me. And it was for a moment. Now I know that I can see it for the random comment that it most likely was and just move on. Turn, turn, turn.


Suzanne said...

I'm glad you had a good weekend -- very brave of you to do that! Especially given the "outsider" status that they seemed to assign you. Group dynamics are so challenging!

kittenpie said...

Wow, I am so jealous of your weekend away with friends!

And yeah, sometimes we take things way more seriously than they were ever meant. My husband, for example, has some little factoid label for most friends until they becaome really close that helps him remember who they are, and one girl was called "Potato Girl" forever because she had a baked potato party early on. So it's likely just her identifier for you. Personally, I was never organized enough to join any groups or even get to movies, so I'm impressed by that!

sunshine scribe said...

I am so envious of your weekend away. I really really need that right now.

I am so impressed with your ability to not let that comment get to you. I have days where I think I'd be so strong ... and days where I still think it would have got me.

mothergoosemouse said...

Did you take the baby with you to the movies? As long as he wasn't languishing in his crib thirty blocks away, I can't see how a movie outing would be cause for criticism.

But hey, a weekend away is a weekend away. Glad it was a good one.

Jozet said...

Oh! Oh! I was definitly my own "Movie Girl".

And I know that feeling of enforced solitude with a young baby.

I'm glad you got away for a weekend. I'm supremely envious.

And from what I can tell from your writing, you are brilliant and fabulous and very self-aware. I'd love to be in a mommy group with you anyday!

Anonymous said...

I am very sensitive too and I think I might actually look for comments that throw me off and let them linger in my psyche for way too long.

During my first maternity leave I looked forward to Wednesdays for the 1 PM movies. Being able to take my daughter to the theatre was a little something for me that we both enjoyed. I had won a Famous player Big Card and got to go to movies for free for a year. We rarely got there after our daughter was born except for the Mommy screenings.

penelopeto said...

So glad you had a good time - i almost went away for one night for work, and the thought excited and petrified me.
i really don't get the 'movie girl' comment - my mom's group tried to get to the movies at least once a month in the winter, and these were about the smartest women i've ever met - how far above it could they have been? wish i had known you during those halcyon days; 'outsiders' were always welcome, and remain friends.

Her Bad Mother said...

I had an almost identical experience with my (former) moms' group, which I joined after-the-fact. Blogged about it, like, forever ago. Anyhoo - I hear you, but am seriously jealous of the WEEKEND AWAY OMG.

metro mama said...

I love NOTL. Sounds heavenly. Good for you for not getting upset over the comment.