In September I joined a local group on meetup.com comprised of moms in my community. Most people who I told about this, looked at me cock-eyed and offered some variation of, "YOU joined a mom's group?" Implication: You are socializing with new people purposely?
Why yes, yes I am. I told you I have grown!
I admit, this may be one small step for your typical, well socialized human but it was one giant step for me. Yes, it was a step , ok, LEAP out of my normal, antisocial comfort zone, but I felt ready to do something new. I am happy to report I love it. I've been to several meet up events over the last few months and have enjoyed meeting new people and their kiddies. Of course, there are some ladies I feel more inclined to spend time with than others, but overall everyone has been welcoming and friendly. The group has offered Ian and I the opportunity for several outings a week but we generally only attend one or two. The bonus is, this keeps me from the other nasty habit I have to fill my time. Shopping. Granted, now that Ian won't ride in a cart anymore shopping no longer has the same appeal. What I like most about it is I now know of several moms whose company I really enjoy, but at each event there is the opportunity to meet new members so there is always the chance of making new friends. It seems the moms really bond on the Mom's Nights Out, which I have yet to join in on. I hope to soon.
A small subset of this moms group started a babysitting co-op. It is managed through the website www.babysitterexchange.com. We just started this up, but I think it is really going to work out well for us. Each member, once approved is alloted 40 points to start. Then, when you would like a sitter, you put out a request with the date, time, and how many children. The other moms in the group indicate whether they are available and you choose which one will watch your munchkin(s). The cost is 1 point per child per 15 minutes. So it ends up working as a trade. You earn points when you babysit for others and you pay points when someone babysits for you. It really is a great idea and as the group gets more used to using it, I think it is going to be really helpful to everyone that participates.