Mommy Playgroups: Awesome or CrazyTown? 

Note from the Editor: A few weeks ago an act of kismet brought us in touch with the wonderful Moms over at Rants from Mommyland when we published a story that was strangely akin to a post that they had published some months ago. Thankfully, Kate and Lydia saw it for the manic-mom-induced coincidence that it was and did not threaten to have us hung up by our toenails… and low and behold, a beautiful new online relationship has blossomed. We are thrilled to have them here today to guest rant. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Hi and waving! It’s Kate and Lydia from Rants from Mommyland. Today Momicillin invited us to share a Rant with all you fabulous moms. Our topic of the day? Mommy Groups. You know, those larger ones that are specially organized to create playdates for our little kid-lets. Recently, we’ve heard some horror stories about these groups—which was shocking because we both think they’re awesome. (When Lydia first became a parent, it was an impromptu group of four other new moms that saved her from a trip to the Nervous Hospital.)

For many of us, the first few months of motherhood brought a loneliness and remoteness that maybe we weren’t prepared for.  You’re suddenly at the mercy of an adorable yet strangely diabolical little cupcake bent on depriving you of sleep, coherency and a clean shirt. So the knowledge that there’s a group of women just like you getting together at a house nearby can start to look like a lifeline.  Not only can they offer coffee and a reason to put on a clean(er) shirt, but they can also keep you from self-narrating everything you do because, so far, the baby can’t talk and you feel a need to fill the silence. [Or, maybe that was just me. I remember once narrating about brushing my teeth. It was a proud moment. -Kate]

That being said, both Kate and Lydia had shall we say, *strange* experiences trying to join organized Mommy Groups. Kate went to one on a whim, only to be greeted by a woman who thrust a clipboard at her with a form that seemed more invasive than a pap smear and then was told that “maybe she should have come prepared” because she didn’t bring her driver’s license and her then-3-month old daughter’s vaccination records.

After moving away from her beloved group of mommy-friends, Lydia tried to join a local Mom Group in the new town. But she had the wrong zip code for one and for some unknown reason, was forbidden from joining the other when she told them the name of the her street.  Seems that the two ever-so-close-yet-not-quite-close-enough neighborhood groups had a small gap in their coverage. Their gap was apparently Lydia’s house.

What we’ve discovered is that the majority of Mommy Groups out there (and the Leader Mommies who run them) are wonderful, supportive, inclusive opportunities for little biddies to play near each other while their moms get some much-needed adult conversation.  But not always.  Sometimes, there’s a Mommy Group and a Mommy Leader who take it all a little too seriously and veer dangerously off course into CrazyTown. Case in point? This application we just made up to be stupid came across on the internet:

We like to think that the whole point of Mommy Groups is to provide a little comfort during a time in our lives when we’re so deep in The Blur that we can barely remember the last time we took a shower.  But when the gift of mom friends comes wrapped in a whucktastic wrapping paper of arbitrary exclusions and bizarre rules these playgroups result in doing the exact opposite of what they’re intended to. They make new moms feel more isolated from their pre-mommy selves and unsure if they want any part of this brave new social world of the Stroller Set. And that stinks, because we all deserve better than that.

And really, don’t the diapers stink enough?

For more fun and hilarious rants from Kate & Lydia, be sure to visit them on their blog and “like” them on theirFacebook page.

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