The Power of A Mommy Group

You know sometimes Mommy’s groups get a bad reputation of just being an excuse to get together, gossip and complain about their lives but it’s not always the case.

While at the park you see mom’s (and some Dad’s too) hanging out while their children run around, climbing on the playground equipment and you think “it’s a walk in the park for those parents”. Well, it’s not always the case. Sometimes it can take hours for a family to get their stuff together and get out the door to meet up with their friends and children. The stress of trying to arrive on time, juggling nap times, meals and oh – the potty too can make you want to stay home on your own turf because it’s just easier. And on top of that there are tantrums…I’m just going to leave it at that.

Best friends since birth!

Best friends since birth! (2.5 years old)

A Mommy group isn’t just a play date for kids. It’s more than that, it’s full of:

  • an opportunity to learn from other mom’s experiences (not to compare children)
  • a chance to leave the four walls of your house for a few hours a day and escape daily tasks that keep piling up because we don’t have enough time to “get to it”
  • it’s social …. no, not like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. It’s LIVE, IN-PERSON socialization and personal interaction
  • it’s laughter when you need it most
  • it’s refreshing, inspiring. and can sometimes include really good food.

When I was on maternity leave with our first daughter Lilly, we started a play group from our prenatal class. There was 4-6 women and babies that would get together weekly. We called it our “Monday Funday”….oh yeah! The weekend was over, our husbands were back to work and it was time for us to get together. We would rotate from house to house each week and would always have a pot luck lunch. These were some of our best meals of the week….I’m not kidding. And if you hosted, sometimes your husband was lucky enough to have a little taste of what we ate for lunch. There was also the “field trips” that we took to farmer’s markets, the zoo, the park, the beach and the cookhouse for lunch.

The babies were born within 6 weeks of one another and have grown up together for the last 3 years. Each June and July we have a birthday party almost every weekend. It’s a fun time of the year because the kids get so much play time together. I’m talking about the kids here….not the Moms. Okay, maybe I am talking about the Moms … and the Dad’s too.

This time around with Hilary who is 6 months old, we have a few mom’s and babies that we get together with. Sometimes a big group and sometimes just a few. The best part is that the babies are getting exposed to other babies and the mom’s are able to connect, get support and enjoy each other’s company for a few hours.

A Mommy group of friends is a powerful group. It’s supportive, encouraging and inspiring. I know there are days that I can count on my group of Mommies for support; whether that’s a play date, a meal dropped off, last-minute pick up arrangements at day care or a simple phone call.

Mom’s or Dad’s – do you go to a play group?

What’s the best thing about your playgroup?

Weekend without our Little

Two weekends ago, Lilly went to spend the weekend with her Grandparents and Aunt Laura. We had it planned for over a month but for some reason I just put it out of my head until the weekend arrived. I planned nothing….we planned nothing.

My mom picked her up Friday night and they made their way back to Halifax – just over an hour’s drive. Lilly had a wonderful weekend playing outside, colouring, putting “ponies” in Aunt Laura’s, hair eating and sleeping well. And telling her Grandmother “you can’t catch me” while moving as far back in the bathtub as she could.

My husband and I decided to take it easy. The only plans we had were to go out for dinner and a movie – and that’s literally all we did. We saw “The Words” with Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana. When it was over I turned to Sai and said that it went by really fast and I wasn’t expecting it to end so soon. He replied with “Isn’t that a sign of a good movie?”

The other thing we managed to do was sleep in both days! Wow – sure forgot what that was like.

Everyone had a great weekend. Success!

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When my husband was away last year (for school), I was on my own working full-time, taking care of Lilly and our dog. It was kinda crazy as I look back at it now. There was one weekend that I blogged about but never hit the publish button, until now…. about being on my own for the first time in ages. No Lilly, no husband and Maclean (our dog).

My weekend without my little: (as written back in February)

I honestly can’t remember the last time I was completely by myself. Lilly’s been in our lives for 20 months, plus 9 months in my belly and I’ve been married to Sai for 4+ years.

I wasn’t quite sure about this idea of her being an hour away but what did I have to lose? Lilly left with my mom Friday morning and didn’t look back. No tears, no asking for Mommy … nothing. She played with my sister, stuck stickers everywhere at my parents house (on furniture, Grandad’s face, the floor) and drew a picture for both Sai and I. Apparently, she had a wonderful weekend with her Grandparents and my sister.

I on the other hand couldn’t figure out what to do with a whole weekend to myself. No toddler, no husband, no doggie (she went to Halifax too). I had a few suggestions from friends:

  • Drink tea and read a book
  • Sleep
  • Friday: Bubble bath, wine, none kid friendly meal (chips and dip?), early bed – ALL to myself!
  • Saturday: sleep in, go shopping, talk to long-lost friends on the phone, exercise, scrub bathroom, fold laundry, nap / lay in bed and read, cook a delicious, time-consuming, non-kid friendly supper, another bubble bath and more of that bottle of wine, read, relax,sleep.
  • Sunday: RELAX!!!!! (run, read, knit, tidy)
  • More Sleep, laundry, housework, sleep, beer
  • Sleep
  • And go for a Long Run

Usually I like to go into a weekend with a plan, things to do, items to cross of my list, goals to accomplish. Nope, not this weekend, I just went with it.

Friday:

  • Came home and closed the gate behind me – guess I was worried that I would fall down the stairs at some point!
  • Cooked up some bacon wrapped scallops. They looked great but didn’t taste so great AND I burnt the extra bacon! Dam!
  • Had a drink: Malibu Rum and OJ – yum
  • Relaxed in front of the T.V. and did nothing
Saturday:
[I REALLY, really wanted to sleep in this weekend]
  • Woke up at 6:35 a.m., went back to bed.
  • Woke up at 7:47 a.m. (I was not meant to sleep in)
  • Blogged
  • Cleaned the house
  • Ran some errands
  • Had a delicious hot chocolate and morning-glory muffin at my friend’s work (while she was working)
  • Dropped Lilly’s library books at the Library (or I would have had to paid a late fee)
  • Had lunch at home, caught up with a friend on the phone
  • Went to a movie by myself! (The Vow). One of my 12 things in 2012 done
  • Put together a shelf – should have started the wine at this point in the day
  • Worked out – felt so good…showered
  • Talked to my hubby
  • Watched Criminal Minds on my lap top while drinking wine, eating cheese, crackers and grapes.

Sunday:

[Again, hoping for a good sleep in – even 8:30 would be great)

  • 6:30 a.m. woke up, went back to bed
  • 7:14 a.m. woke up….Am I ever going to sleep in again? or is my body just hard-wired to be up at that hour ?!?!?!
  • Cleaned the house
  • 10:30 am left for Halifax to switch cars and pick up Lilly
  • I somehow manage to sneak in the house without Lilly or my sister, Laura hearing me (bonus)
  • Lilly see’s me and jumps up and down (BEST HUG EVER!!!!)
  • Lilly and I travel back home (she didn’t nap as per usual)
  • 3 pm – Lilly goes for a nap, I unpacked the car and starting writing my blog post (never published until now).

Looking back, it was a great weekend completely by myself. Now, I don’t think this is going to happen very often, in fact it will probably not happen again for a long time. Apparently, it was just what I needed.

As much as it sucked being away from Lilly for a whole weekend, I think I am a better mom for taking a break for myself. selfish, sure. Necessary, yes. Being a single parent is hard….hard work. I still don’t know how people do this and work, and manage a house and have a dog …. etc

When was the first time your little one(s) stay away from home for the weekend?

What did you do?

A little Friday thought…

It’s Friday!

Just wanted to share 🙂

What are your weekend plans?

Anyone running in a race?

Fall activities? Apple/pumpkin picking?

We’re celebrating my mother’s birthday 🙂

Dear Daughter

Dear Lillian Mae a.k.a Lilly,

WOW, 2 whole year’s at being your Mother! And what an amazing 2 year’s it has been.

When you arrived 4 weeks early – you really shook us for a loop. I had finished work the Friday before and by Sunday night you decided instead of sharing a birthday with me, that you would arrive early. Your own month, your own day. It was a long week in the hospital with you, not knowing when we’d go home or if we’d get you to nurse/gain weight.

We struggled for a long time to get you to nurse. I’m pretty sure not too many Mama’s would keep trying at the 2 1/2 month mark. BUT, we got there in the end.

Each month you grew and continued to amaze us new parents.

Teething wasn’t fun. Still not sure I am excited about your 2nd year molars that are still to come in.

You flew to England at six months – something that took me 30 years to do!

You started crawling on the May long weekend, with both Daddy and I present.

You have THE BEST SMILE EVER!

Your first birthday was quite fun – chocolate cake and all!

Then you went to the sitters and I, to work each day. That was a hard week for Mommy but I eventually got over it.

You took your 3 first steps while skyping with your Nan in England, Daddy and I right there with you. A very special moment for us all.

We’ve had lots of laughs, cry’s and sleepless nights.

7 months without Daddy around as he was away at school in PEI and Maclean covering you in kisses.

Your running around lots, throwing balls everywhere, reading books with Daddy and just a complete joy in our lives.

In one month, you will turn 2! Don’t grow up too fast.

Thanks for making me a Mom!

Love you little girl.

XO Mommy.