Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Whiny Wednesday: The Mother’s Club April 13, 2011

I recently moved to a new town and I’m working to establish a life here. I’ve always got one eye open for community events that I might want to get involved in.

At the farmer’s market last Saturday I picked up a flyer for a group that was all about growing and producing your own food. As I have a garden and it actually rains here once in a while, I’m very eager to create a thriving vegetable patch. I’m even considering getting chickens! So this organization looked perfect for me.

But when I examined the card closer, I saw that the group was aimed at mothers wanting to provide healthy food for their children. I put the card back on the table and walked away.

I can’t say for certain that I wouldn’t be made welcome at that group, but I wasn’t prepared to risk it. And even if I was accepted there, wouldn’t the subject of motherhood trump the love for vegetables?

As it’s Whiny Wednesday, I’m feeling bad about being left out, and whiny about how the exclusivity of motherhood infringes on all aspects of life—even the growing of tomatoes and the canning of fruit.

Do you have a whine, justified or otherwise? Today’s the day to get it off your chest.

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10 Responses to “Whiny Wednesday: The Mother’s Club”

  1. Tara Says:

    Oh I am feeling your pain today……..My husband and I are having a lot of trouble finding and making friends with people, we have 2 couples friends who are also childless, both by choice and have no clue of where to go to make new friends.

    This morning I had the bright idea to walk my dogs before work past the elementary school at the same time when all the kids were being droped off…..and there I saw about 15-20 women standing on the other side of the fence, chatting it up, laughing etc……it’s so easy for them, they see each other every morning, they have something in common, maybe their kids are friends.

    Walking past them with my 2 dogs…..I felt like an alien in a world I didn’t belong in……not only that, the huge sworm of women did not move over for me and myself and my dogs had to resort to walking in the mucky grass.

    Hmmm….not the best morning walk I’ve ever had.

    • Kathleen Richwell Says:

      Hey Tara – Meetup.com has a category for – well – everything. If they don’t have a kid-free group where you are, you can start one yourself, or opt-in to be notified when one is started. The beauty of the opt-in notification is, it will tell you if – who – and how many – others are already interested in a group, but they don’t want to be the organizer.

  2. Kathleen Richwell Says:

    Lisa – I am not sure that the subject of motherhood would “trump” the love for vegetables, meaning you would not be welcome, but you know as well as I, that it would MONOPOLIZE 100% of all: conversations, topic, flyers, classes, events, blah, blah, blah . . .

    A few years ago, an online client of mine, invited me to join a “work at home moms” online network, and I explained that I wasn’t a mom, and it mattered not to her. But recently I came across, an online network that listed “being a mom” as one of three requirements to join. Ok, BUH-bye.

    In all fairness, I think for most, it is just a default. It applies to the thing that takes up the vast majority of their lives and, it applies to such a huge chunk of the population, they are not risking limiting their audience.

    It reminds me of a (really annoying) TV commercial for life insurance, we see all the time. It starts with the announcer saying, “If you are between the ages of 0 and 85 years old . . .” (???) Now there is a company that does NOT want to limit it’s audience. And I keep thinking, “If only I had a 10 month old to make that call.” :o)

  3. Mali Says:

    That would definitely have made me put the card down and walk away too. It’s hard enough moving somewhere new, when you already feel excluded, to feel excluded from things you like to do as well.
    Hugs.

    I always feel a fraud whining on a Thursday (as I’m always a day ahead!), but I’m going to. I just wish I didn’t feel so stressed about work, that I could do what I want to do and make enough money from it to replace my corporate stuff. But I can’t. So I’ll stop whining and procrastinating and get the stuff done. That might help.

  4. C Says:

    Yeah, because precious spawn are the only people who should be eating right, huh?

  5. Kate B Says:

    I recently left a group of friends that started as an online gathering for women all planning weddings in the same region around the same time. It evolved into a mommy-centric group and while they claimed they welcomed the diversity that I & a couple of other childless women brought to the group, it became clear that what made me different was polarizing. Most of them viewed the world throug mommy-goggles. They could see no other viewpoint but theirs and it finally led to some of them being downright nasty to me. So – time to go. I may test the waters with other groups that seem mommy-centric – give others the benefit of the doubt that they are not like the group I left, but I will be very very cautious.

  6. sewforward Says:

    The sad thing is – the best person for this group – the one who knows the most about the microclimate/soil amendments and the best plants to grow in your region may not pick up the flyer due to its ‘mommy-i-ness’. I am not against moms having their groups, but when we limit our viewpoint or make our membership exclusive then sometimes we miss out on what we most desire. The best gardener I have ever met was this ‘old’ guy that lived down the street. We had NOTHING in common except the desire to grow really good tomatoes. His advice about soil amendments/the microclimate and what successes he had had and more importantly his failures have helped me grow some delicious tomatoes over the years. If I had only wanted to discuss my gardening with others like me (married/no children/unemployed/etc) then I would have missed out! That’s the sad aspect about groups like the one you discovered in the Farmer’s Market – they are missing out on some great people because they have limited their viewpoint and have made their ‘club’ exclusive. Too bad. Nothing says summer like a great tasting tomato!

  7. Kathleen Guthrie Says:

    Gals, checkout the subgroups on the home page of LifeWithoutBaby. If there isn’t one in your town, create one. There are already groups for book lovers, cooks, and gardeners. This site gets 10,000+ hits a month, so we’re out there, and we are looking to connect. Begin the conversation here, then let’s get some small groups together. Let’s get something started!


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