Day 25: The Hell that is Mommy Groups

June 13th, 2015

 Joslyn Hamilton, freelance editor and writer, Salt Lake City, Utah

I’m taking part in a 30-day writing experiment. See Kale & Cigarettes for details and the Facebook Group to read stories by other 500-words-ers.

In an effort to make friends in Utah I have joined a bunch of mommy groups on At heart I am an introvert, so this is a stretch for me, but I am desperate to meet other moms of young babies so I can complain and brag to them instead of to you guys.

I feel the same way about Meetup groups that I do about finding decent and affordable flights back east—whenever I try, I get discouraged and realize there is not a solution, but if I give it a few days, I recover a modicum of hope and endeavor to try again. “There must be something out there,” I’ll pep-talk myself, “I just haven’t tried hard enough.”

I’ve tried pretty hard, though.

First, I joined the Mom’s Club of Sandy (the hopelessly suburban town I live in). I got excited for a minute when one of the moms told me they have a book club that meets once a month… until she told me that the book club meets at Chic-Fil-A and they are reading The Handmaid’s Tale, which I read when I was about 22. Yes, I am a snob. Sue me. I probably would have stuck around for that group anyway, but most of the moms had toddlers. Toddlers and babies are very different animals.

Then I tried the Cool Down to Earth Moms of Salt Lake City. I took the name literally and thought they sounded perfect for me since I, too, am cool and down to earth. I joined them for  an afternoon at Red Butte Gardens. Only two other moms showed up. They were really nice, and we had a lovely time. But they were not my people.

Salt Lake Moms of Twins has been the most up my alley so far. Last weekend I joined about 11 other women for a very rainy night out on a diner patio. I actually really enjoyed it. But I did not meet my soul mate there, sadly.

Part of the problem is that the typical Utahn mom is in her early twenties, married her high school sweetheart, and has never possessed anything even remotely resembling a career. Perhaps she had a job at some point, but as soon the first baby was born, she became a lifetime stay-at-home mom. Sometimes she and her husband talk about breaking free and moving somewhere exotic and far away—like Arizona. But for now, they are just living the Utah dream with their baby and their enormous house in suburban Salt Lake City.

I don’t say this to judge, because as I often write about, being a housewife is kind of my dream, but I just don’t have a lot in common with that archetype. I’m in my early 40s, have worked fulltime since I was about 14, and am not even married to my baby daddy. I’ve lived in at least five states, have traveled to most of the remaining 45, and have been to several other countries and continents—and not because I was on a Mormon mission.

Still, I’m convinced there has to be someone else like me out there—Just one person! That’s all I ask!—and so I started my own Meetup group, which I cheekily named Bohemian Mom’s Club of Sandy, hoping that the simple yet deceptively exclusive name would attract only boho expatriate moms like me whose idea of a good time is sitting around at Whole Foods drinking expensive tea.

The women who have joined my group are all super lovely.  I really can’t say a bad word about them. We have indeed hung out at Whole Foods, and we’ve also taken nice stroller walks through a park. They seem game for my ideas and for the times of day that I schedule them (generally, noon—why do most mommy groups meet so early?).

But still, most of the moms in my group are from a different generation and live in a completely different culture than I do. I’m feeling pretty cynical about meeting my mom tribe at this point, but I keep trying.

The good news is that I finally accomplished the impossible the other day: I booked flights back east at reasonable times and for a reasonable amount of money. So if this can happen, I suppose anything can. 

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One Response to “Day 25: The Hell that is Mommy Groups”

  1. Marissa says:

    I have felt this same way. I’m stuck in a weird in between land when in comes to finding mommy friends since I am an “older” first time mom…but not old enough to be considered old. I have a career but still take care of my child and I have seen and done a lot for someone my age. I am glad I met you today from the meetup group :-) you were great to chat with.

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