I just finished reading a Le Leche League book on sleep called, Sweet Sleep- Nighttime and Naptime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Family” which is an excellent parenting book. Of course I think it is excellent because it agrees with my parenting style. It ended with the suggestion that it is important for mothers, especially mothers of young children to have a support network. The authors strongly recommended being part of a Le Leche League group.
There used to be a group in Mt. Carmel. I know because I was a regular attendee when I was little. There are pictures of me playing dress-up with my wide brimmed straw hat, bag of books and newsletters, and my bottle-free baby doll on our way to our pretend meeting. My mom was a Le Leche League leader. I kind of assumed that eventually I would be too.
There aren’t any groups within driving distance. I checked before Onen was born. I checked before Tia was born. There was a breastfeeding group, I got a post card or two from them just before and after Onen was born. I didn’t go. There was and probably still is a mothers of preschoolers group in town. I went with my step mom for a while, but it was twice a month and often conflicted with my work schedule at the time, and I always felt like I was off on the sidelines, a bystander. It is not that they treated me like I was different, I just didn’t have the energy to connect.
So, I finished “Sweet Sleep” and I thought, “I should start an actual Le Leche League group!” But then I paused. It would take a whole lot of effort to start an authorized group. And it would feel weird to me to focus only on the breastfeeding portion of mothering. And my parenting choices are so…. odd. And I am so not the extroverted, energetic leader type. And.
So I started typing. I have lots of information. I think that I am good at sharing it, especially in written form. I can also easily share in person when talking to one or two. So now I have started thinking. Perhaps I should start a group, but what kind, what focus and how?
In historical novels set in Europe, I have often read about people having “at home” days where their friends and acquaintances could stop by, drink tea and discuss local news or politics. I think that I like that format.
So here is what I propose. I am going to call Wednesday morning from 9-noon, my “at home” mother’s meeting. I am going to give it a name, “The Introvert’s Mothers Meeting for Smooth and Crunchy Mamas .”
I have been a stay at home mom, a day care worker, and a working mother. I have cloth diapered and disposable diapered. I have had a C-section, a drug-fee hospital birth and a home birth. My kids have slept in cribs, on couches, in tents and with me. They have eaten breastmilk on tap and in bottles. One ate jars of baby food, the other has had to feed herself solids. I have experienced infant loss. I am willing to share and listen. And I know that mothering is hard and that babies and children are different and what works for one family will not work for another.