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Saturday, September 11, 2010

The New Mommy

Hi. I’m the New Mommy. No, I’m not A new mommy, I’m THE New Mommy. You know the one. You don’t know or remember my name, I don’t have the right school sticker on my car, I’m looking around for the bathrooms because my preschooler didn’t go before we left home and I’m actually playing WITH my kids because none of the other mommies will talk to me yet. Yep, that’s me at the playgroup, park and storytime.

I’m the New Mommy.

You see, I just moved here. I’ve got kids like you. I stay-at-home (or sometimes work at home) like you. My husband works hard like yours. And like you, I like to keep my children engaged in activities. It’s good for them and it’s good for me too. I like to talk with other adults and like you, I feel like mommy to mommy conversation is important. I have friends – great friends – that think I’m funny and serious and organized and quirky and come to me for advice and help and girl time. The only difference between your friends and mine is that my friends happen to live far away. I have family too. My kid’s grandparents love to come to their games, school events, buy their fundraisers, and cheer them on. It’s just that they only get to do it once in a while because they live far away too.

And like you, I have mommy joys and successes. Sometimes I burn dinner. Sometimes I’m too tired to cook. Sometimes it’s a stellar week and I’ve planned ahead and every meal is wonderful and on the table when hubby gets home. I help with homework. I forget to sign the paper. I have extra snacks. The wipes ran out in the diaper bag. I take my kids to church, but sometimes their loud because I don’t know where the nursery is or what is “acceptable” for children’s behavior in YOUR church.

I’m the New Mommy.

When you see me, please don’t look at me that way. I know your curious. So am I. And most likely, I’m desperate for new mommy friends. You see, since moving here, I’ve been in the house all summer/month/week with children of various ages. We don’t go anywhere because, well, I don’t know where anything is. That and I’m probably still trying to get stuff organized, doctors found, records transferred, pantry stocked and life as we knew it re-ordered.

I’m the New Mommy.

When you see me, instead of watching and pointing me out to the other mommies you talk to regularly, please talk to me too. I don’t bite. I’m nervous and scared and thinking about stupid stuff like “I hope my kids and I aren’t too under/over dressed.” I don’t know what is normal for this activity that I found because I called and asked. No mommy referred me or invited me. I sort of invited myself.

Next time you see me, please introduce your children to mine. Please introduce me to your other mommy friends. We don’t have to be BFF’s (although we never know where a new friendship may end up), but at least talk to me and make me feel welcome. Give me a quick run-down of how the activity works; “Come on in! We are just gathering for some free play. After about 10 minutes, Betty is going to lead our activity time with a story and craft. Then Sally brought snacks to share. We do nut free snacks, so I hope your kids like cheese and grapes! And while the kids are having fun, we mommies sometimes stick in the back and enjoy tea and cookies.”

Ask me about how I’m getting settled into the town. Tell me about fun things in the community for families. DON’T tell me what doctors/schools/churches/parks/etc. to stay away from. Chances are, I may already have experiences there that have been positive because I didn’t know any different when choosing location and or service providers. Invite me back. Write down my name so that you can look me up on Facebook later and learn more about me.

When I’m at school with my kids, who are also new and uncertain and need friends, offer your PTA agenda to me because I didn’t know where to grab one and am totally lost. Talk to me afterward and explain how the fundraiser they just mentioned usually works – is the stuff good? Our children have met each other, so when you get home, please encourage your child to say hello to mine when at school. They don’t have to be BFF’s, but my kids could really use the boost of a friendly face in the hall or on the bus.

I’m the New Mommy.

I have a million questions, but don’t want to sound needy or desperate or… so please be patient with me. Tell me what you would want to know if you were the new mommy. But remember, sometimes, I just want to chat about life stuff. If my kids are attached to my side, know that they aren’t ALWAYS this way. They are new, scared, nervous and uncertain too. Be patient with them as well.

After a few times of meeting me, invite me – just me – out for coffee. Get to know me. Ask my hubby and I out to dinner or something, but please be understanding if we can’t go (and don’t ask why). We probably don’t have a babysitter we trust. We may have no extra money – moving can be expensive. We may just be tired.

And remember, I may talk a little different, but we really do have more in common that you may think. We both need adult friendships. We both are trying to do right by our kids. Most importantly, we love our families.

As you see me, my children, my family, think about how you look at me and interact with me. I never thought I’d be here and you may be in the same place someday. Someday, you may be saying…

I’m the New Mommy.

Kris recently moved to North Carolina with her husband and 4 children. Visit her blog at www.krismares.wordpress.com to learn more about her family, the move and life as the New Mommy.

2 comments :

  1. Boy do I know how that feels! You nailed it, friend! We've moved a lot, and it can be really tough. Depending on the ages of your kiddos, you might check out a local MOPS group. I've joined them in 2 different cities, and they are very welcoming. You can google it. Best of luck and thanks for speaking out about what is on the minds and hearts of all of us "new mommies!"

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