My Mom's Group - my best friends!

It's no secret that my friends, my "mom's group" saved my life...

David & I moved here when I was 7 months pregnant, having NEVER visited this part of the country nor having any family here. We had a few friends, people David worked with that also got offered jobs with Pixar, but none have children therefore, we felt they couldn't really relate nor "be there" for us the way we needed them to be. David felt the overwhelming pressure to perform perfectly at his Dream Job and to ensure our livelyhood as he was officially the breadwinner (I stopped working right after I found out I was pregnant) in a very HCOL (high cost of living) part of the Country and because... it was his Dream Job and he didn't want to screw it up. So, he was rarely around, I was unpacking and setting up the nursery alone, going on hospital tours and taking breastfeeding classes alone and just really felt... alone.

My mother came to visit often and was here four days before I gave birth AND stayed two full weeks after Emily was born but I was homesick beyond belief. I was also scared to death of our daughter and raising her with NO FRIENDS that had kids and could help me adjust and do all the right things.

When Emily was 8 weeks old, I got a call from Gwen Meyer, the leader of what would become my "mom's group", through Alameda Family Services, asking me to join the group for once a week meetings. I resisted at first, still terrified to leave the house but joined the next week and, in hindsight, cannot believe I almost passed up the opportunity to change my life!

The meetings were light-hearted and casual, food & drinks were there, the couches were comfortable and all 18 new moms breast or bottle fed throughout, changed diapers and got up to rock/swing our babies into a silent slumber. We talked about everything, a new topic each week, from our bodies healing to our crappy, uninvolved husbands. From the lack of sleep to having more children. We all bonded very quickly although, 7 of the moms only showed up sporadically over the next 6 weeks and ended up quitting the "group". We had a family potluck dinner and a Halloween Party, where we met each other's husbands that we had talked so badly about all those weeks before and got to see where each other lived.

We became close, so close in fact that, at the end of the 6 week offical group meetings, we decided to keep meeting up to talk, vent, let our children socialize and learn from each other. Marla led our group, ensuring a date was set each and every month for us to get together and plan activities for the following month. With babies intow, we went to the zoo, our local coffee shop, Fun with Music, Together Classes, out shopping in The City, to lunches, Habitot, our local Library Story Times, Studio Grow and Tumble & Tea activity cafe's, to each other's homes for play dates and on walks around Lake Merrit. We also were committed to Mom's Night Out once a month and a Family Day once a month, over the weekend. There was a time we met up every single day and then, it began to tapper off to 2-3 times a week as two moms went back to work and the holidays crept up. Then, another mom moved out to Dublin and returned to work. We celebrated 1st birthdays (all together!) and left town for the Holidays in the second year and another mom returned to work. Now, we were 5 and the activities dwindled as our babies transitioned to Toddlers and weren't quit ready for real, structured activities but were no longer happy to be stroller around in The City or playing contently on their playmats at each other's home.

It's seems a resurgence was in order and I feel like that is what happened this past month. The babies finally reached that crucial 16 month old mark, they were finally more cooperative and could communicate a bit and could finally participate in more. They are also all on one nap a day (around 11am-2pm) and were eating three good meals a day. I was relieved to finally see "my girls" again, my closest friends, my family these past two weeks at Story Time, Studio Grow, Crosstown Coffee House and over at Becky's for a playdate/Wine & Cheese party. :) A few of us have enrolled our kids in Ruby's Tumbling and have committed to weekly get-togethers at someone's house. Between you and me, I'm very excited for mom's night out this month, which is on the 15th!

I would be lost without them - they have helped us adapt to this area, grow as a family and raise our daughter. They mean everything to me and I know how blessed I am as friendships like these are very few & far between! :)


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