When I was on maternity leave last year, I felt this overwhelming obligation to leave our home and embrace the world of motherhood. So I downloaded a Meetup App that offered weekly mommy events in my community. Before I knew it, I had packed a massive diaper bag full of fussy aids and headed out to my first meetup ̶ a sing-along in the park.
As I drove to the park, I envisioned a pack of moms sitting cross-legged, kumbaya style on a vintage quilt, sewn by generations of other moms. They were smiling and singing as their kids danced and clapped along. Afterward, we exchanged phone numbers and became friends for life.
When I pulled in, the parking lot was empty all except two elderly women unfolding a plastic blue tarp.
“Uh, I’m here for the sing-along?” I said, to which they just stared at me and returned to their conversation I am sure was about soft biscuits and calcium supplements.
Eventually other moms strolled in and we crammed together on the tarp. It became painfully clear that I was the only new mom in attendance.
Other moms were deep in conversation about diaper rash outbreaks, or busy breastfeeding and changing diapers. Before I knew it, the first song commenced. It was an introduction song for each mom and child and I managed to fumble through it.
Each song that followed was more foreign than the next. It was like being at a concert with all of your friends to see a band you claimed as one of your favourites, and not being able to sing along because you don’t know the lyrics as well as you thought you did.
How inadequate was I as a mother not to know any of these songs? Hello Angela! The Wheels on the Bus was so last year. Insert eye roll here.
After 30 minutes of moving my lips without actually singing, it was halftime. A mom next me threw over a life preserver by asking me how old my daughter was. I thought okay, here we go, no need to pinch Layla’s leg to induce a tear-filled retreat back to the car. I’ll stay for the second half.
As the songs started back up again, I detected an odd familiarity. They were the same songs we had (or they) had already sung! Needless to say, we didn’t attend the following week.
Has anyone else had an awkward newbie experience?