So, as you may or may not know, every month I attend a meeting of the local Holistic Mom's chapter, or as our family likes to call it, the Hippie Mom's Club. It is a breath of fresh air, but unfortunately it feels like I'm holding my breath between meetings.
It's funny, I had quit thinking of myself as an introvert until I met Jo. She moved to the area a few months after I did. We took the kids to a park the other day, and she mentioned that she felt like she was starting to find her friends here. I was in awe. I've got three months on her and she's the first person I've gone anywhere with. She's one of the few people I want to go anywhere with.
There are hippie moms that I'd like to hang with, but it's awkward. I feel like a little kid saying "Can you play?". It doesn't help that I can't imagine why they'd want to play with me. By which, I'm not saying "Oh, I have no self esteem, Wah!" I suppose I'm likable enough. It just seems like the other moms already have friends and a very full life. "I know our kids aren't anywhere near the same ages, and I know you're terribly busy with your volunteering, and of course your busy social life, but could I trouble you to leave your GORGEOUS house and come slum it in my rather unkempt shabby-chic apartment for a cup of fair trade coffee? Because I don't have a car, and it's rude to invite myself to your house anyway, but I thoroughly enjoy your company." You can see my discomfort.
Part of it, too, is that although I am rather slow to make friends, I make a very good friend. Extremely loyal. A friendship, to me, is similar to a marriage, in that I fully intend for it to last the rest of my life. I don't enter into these things lightly. Which is not to say I don't have acquaintances. I do. I've got several acquaintances in my neighborhood- people with whom cups of sugar are indebted and the like. We're friendly enough. What I don't have in this locale are the kind of relationships that sustain you. The kind of people you go have fun with. The kind of people that support each other when trouble is afoot.
I do have some people in mind. I just have to be patient with myself. And creative. I will find ways to get together with people and I will relax a little until I do.
After the last hippie mom's club meeting I sat around with two other moms and chatted. One of them has the same name as Loon, and the same lovely dark curly hair, and a similar way of being reserved around new people, so mayhaps I'll call her Lune. The other is a super cool hipster mom whose profession is being an artiste. Ummmm. I guess I'll call her Betsy. So anyway, Betsy and Lune and I sat there for a good half hour after everyone else had left. Lune and I feel especially trapped right now. She, because she has three little ones, two of whom are nursing, and I, because I have one little one and no car. All three of us were wondering how on earth mothers in the past managed to keep their houses clean when they had little children, because we were pretty sure they'd be shocked at the state of our houses. Everyone always mentions that the older children were supposed to help with the younger, but what about when there weren't any older children yet? And I've always thought that we were meant to have our mothers around to help when the children were little, but what about the frontier women who had left their moms behind? We tossed around the idea that they just let the kids cry. Right now, this is what is hampering Lune and I. We can't get away from the baby without there being tears. So we carry the baby. What's that? Use the sling, you say? Ever try to wash a sink full of dishes whilst your baby reaches for every yucky thing in her ever widening radius? Better yet, see what happens to your back when trying to load a washer and/or dryer while you've got a 14 lb baby hanging off your shoulders. Yes, for me there is nap time, which is a whirlwind of activity when I don't use the time to take a nap myself, but Lune's kids don't nap. Yipes! I often ask Boy to help, but I feel guilty about doing that too much. He is not the Daddy, and I don't want him to feel burdened. I do believe it's fair for him to help. I don't think it's fair to ask him to raise the baby, and I'm constantly worried that I ask too much of him.
After I left the meeting I had another thought about the frontier moms. It occurred to me that they didn't have the kind of space or the quantity of things to clean that I have. Admittedly, they had other chores to make up for it, but I think that if you've got an outhouse, two dresses total (One of which that rarely gets worn), one room with a dirt floor and maybe two beds between six people, you cut down on the housecleaning dramatically.
Given the choice, I suppose I'll stick with indoor plumbing and many, many clothes.
Apparently I've chosen the Dirt Floor option, though.
I did make headway this week. I have all the windows in the living room sealed up for winter. Our lovely rug is finally laid down, the curtains hung up. Many things have been hauled into the attic. Laundry has been washed. Dogs have been washed. The kitchen is still trashed, and I'm dying to get this computer moved into the main living space, but one thing at a time I suppose.
I'm thinking about making a banner for this site. I was tossing around the idea of the iconic pointy black hat, maybe a pair of bright red boots that would make Nanny Ogg proud. Then I saw a little sign that said "I have flying monkeys, and I'm not afraid to use them!", which made me think that cute flying monkeys were in order. However, my affinity to Witches includes those from places other than Oz and I don't want to categorize myself too strongly. Maybe flying monkeys wearing red boots. Flying red boots? Monkeys in pointy hats? Unbuggered hedgehogs in red boots watching monkeys fly?
Guess I'll have to work on that some more,