A few days after the BAD play date, my friend had our own little play date at my house. MUCH BETTER! As soon as she arrived, she apologized for the way that the four year old acted. Then, she apologized for how poorly the mothers there that day had handled their children. I told her, of course, it wasn't her fault and that she can't control the actions of others. I wanted her to know that the actions of those folks in no way changed my respect and love for her. I just wasn't interested in joining the mom's group.
We continued our conversation, as best as we could with two year old children around, and I learned that she wasn't exactly one hundred percent in love with her group either. She told me stories about how they had kicked moms out of the group for not attending enough events and how they deliberately left certain moms off of invites to play dates or mom's night out events. She sounded very frustrated and heart broken as she explained that the group had changed hands and it wasn't what it use to be. I felt so bad for her. She watches children from her home too and this group had been her outlet to the world . I tried to be the good friend and tell her she would find another group and things would all work out.
That's when she hit me up! "Actually, that's part of what I wanted to talk to you about! I am thinking about starting a mommy group of my own. One just for moms who watch other peoples children. I've been asking around my friends who do what we do and there are a lot of people interested. Ian, no! That's not your toy! Give it back."
I was in complete agreement with her as I redirected a near bite attack. "Oh, what a great idea! You should do it! There is nothing out there like that and there needs to be. It needs to be more relaxed about attending events than your old playgroup. When first got started, I had 3 babies to care for, I couldn't go anywhere!"
"Good. Then will you help me do it?" Darn, I walked into that one, didn't I? "You have an education background and you always have such good ideas. I think we would work really well together." She was very good about buttering me up, but she could tell I wasn't sure." I know you're really busy, so if you can't I understand. I just thought you would be perfect to do this."
Deep inside, although I have a million things on my plate, I knew she was right. I wanted to do it, I was just concerned that I might not be able to keep up with everything. If I am going to do something, I want to do it right! " What exactly would be involved?" I said skeptically. " I want to help you, but I don't want to be that person that says I will help and then drops the ball."
She had me and she knew it! She started beaming as she headed to the bathroom with one of the children. When she got back, she had it all laid out. " Okay, you will just be the assistant, for now, so you won't feel overwhelmed. I will be in charge, unless you are up to doing co- chair? Okay, right now I just want to brainstorm. I'll take care of finding a site to put up. I'll only give you as much as you can handle and if it is too much, then tell me and I'll get more help. If it's causing you stress, it's not worth it."
"Okay, I'll do it. But we have to have a forum for people who can't get out of the house. And we need to make sure we keep people from being mean on the site. And..." etc. You get it! She got me. I am in!
I have to say I am really excited about the possibilities with this group. While watching children allows me to be home with my little darling Ruby, it also has some difficult parts too. Unless you have done what we are doing, you don't understand the dynamics. Even if you have six children, it's still not the same because they are all yours. You don't have to answer to another parent if your own child falls and gets hurt. This could be very therapeutic for people who have no one else to talk to and helpful to moms just getting started. A place to share thought, ideas, hope and dreams!
Although the BAD play date was a bit traumatic for me, I can see now it was all part of a bigger plan. I had to go there to see what I didn't want... to know what I DO want. Gosh, Sounds a lot like dating! The old saying, "you gotta kiss a few frogs to find your prince," rings true in this instance too. I guess we might need to change it just a bit. How's this? "You gotta play with a few frogs to realize your a duck!" While a frog and a duck both like water, they are very different creatures with very different needs. That's kind of like me. I may look like just a mom, but I am actually I'm a kids-aren't- all-mine-momimus! And we momimusses need a place to play too!