Being a mom is tough work. Add to the mix working full-time away from the home and you’ve got to be a mom juggler extraordinaire! There are reports to file, papers to sign, meetings to go to and that’s just for the kids, let alone the job! I’m lucky though that I work for a company that offers a flextime policy. As long as my physical presence isn’t necessitated at the office for some sort of project, event or meeting, I get to work one day from home. for me, that day is on Fridays.
I like working from home for a number of reasons and not just because I can wear my comfy sweats! Fridays are not some sort of goof-off day for me, I actually find that it’s one of my most productive work days since once the kidlets are off to school I can work pretty much interrupted (aside from the dog barking) for several hours. It’s also a day where I can catch up a bit on the housework that’s been literally piling up all week…that means laundry!
However, I love working from home for the one big perk it offers me. It’s the one day of the week where I can go and pick my kids up from school.
Seeing the look of absolute happiness and joy on my kidlet’s faces when they realize it’s me picking them up in the schoolyard instead of their sitter (Whom BTW is super fantastic, we all absolutely ADORE her!), just melts my heart. I mean what mom or parent for that matter doesn’t live for those moments where their child runs up to them with abounding energy to give them the biggest, most super-duper hug in the world, get pelted with kisses and hear phrases like “Mommy, I missed you,” “I’m so happy you’re here” or “I love you!”
I wouldn’t trade my Friday afternoon pickups in for the world. In fact I look forward to that special time every week. What I’m not a fan of is waiting in the schoolyard for the bell to ring.
Every Friday when I walk up to the school yard I’m surrounded by moms chatting away in their own little groups. There’s the fashionista moms, the sports moms and the volunteer moms to name just a few types of groups. I’m sure they’re all very nice people, but I really have no idea. I’ve done pickup now for almost two years and I’ve had no luck in infiltrating any of these groups.
I’ve tried to be both friendly and welcoming at pickup. I’ve even made the first move and gone up to a few groups and introduced myself. Each week I make sure to say “hi,” ask how things are going or try to make small talk about an upcoming school event. I always get a polite response from these moms, but I never really get included into their conversation. After a few awkward minutes of just standing there listening to their conversation I wind up walking away sheepishly and stand by myself in the middle of the playground counting down the seconds until the darn bell rings.
I have to admit that I haven’t been trying too hard lately. Though I’ve been blaming it on the cold weather, I’ve been timing my arrival at the schoolyard as close to dismissal time as possible. If I do get there early, I wind up burying my head in my iPhone-like I’m pondering world issues or answering “urgent” emails.
And just like that I’m suddenly transported back to high school and not feeling good enough to hang with the cool kids. Why am I so intimidated by the mommy mafia? Why do I feel like I’m being left out?
For crying out loud, everyday at work I have to deal with tough executives, handle major business crises and answer difficult questions from reporters at major media outlets. I’ve always been able to find a way to make connections and build friendships in order to get the job done.
Why can’t I seem to make those same connections with these moms?
Maybe it’s because I’ve worked at my career for 20 years that I have that confidence. I’ve only been doing the mom thing for six years and I never have 100% confidence that I’m getting it right. Maybe I feel like I’m not a good enough mom since working and not home with my kids 24/7 like they are?
In the past when my kidlets have come home and told me that they feel bad because so-and-so didn’t let them play with them or they didn’t get invited to someone’s birthday, I comfort them and tell them that it’s not the end of the world. I point out what makes them a great kid and advise them that they should seek other kids with similar interests and make friends with them, that they shouldn’t limit themselves to just one or one group of friends.
Maybe I need to heed my own advice. I work hard and I am a good enough mom. I shouldn’t feel intimidated by anyone else, especially another mom! I guess I just haven’t found my own mom tribe yet. I’ll be on the lookout again this Friday at pickup in the schoolyard. I just need to keep saying “hi” until I find my own group of moms to fit in with.
Now it’s your turn to share. How did or do you make friends with other moms?
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