I posted awhile ago about a mothers’ group I planned to join… I never got around to it. I told myself it’s because I’ve been busy, but it’s really because the whole thing made me feel a bit odd — the fact that it was a group that you paid to join, and the way they were all so organised in their friendship… It struck me as very sorority-like, and I was never a sorority kind of girl. I prefered my friendships to build more organically — sororities always seemed too instant and… somehow mercinary for it. So, I have hung back from joining this group, wanting friends but not sure if I wanted them this way, while time ticked slowly on.
Last week I realised that we have been here for eight months and the thing that I have found most difficult — well, there have been so many difficult things… Ok, one of the things I have found most difficult is the total isolation, the complete lack of friends. In all this time, I have made a few friendly aquaintences and one possible friend-in-the-making, but nothing more. My main companions are M and my mother, and that is too heavy a strain to put on those two relationships.
So, tonight I was thinking about it and realised that if I were a high-flying corporate type and got transferred to a new city, I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to join a professional organisation. I’d happily pay my dues, attend meetings, eat the nibbles, make contacts, network my way into my new workplace, and perhaps even discover an actual friend along the way. Mercinary, yes, but all part and parcel of moving and establishing a career in a new place.
Well, this is a mothers’ group and my current job is Mother. So paying to become a member of this group is no different from joining any professional organisation. When I look at it this way, I suddenly feel totally comfortable with it. And, what’s more, this group’s focus is as much about helping mothers transition out of and then back into work as it is on nappies and playdates, so joining it might actually be more of a ‘professional’ move than I had first anticipated.
So, tonight, I emailed the membership secretary and told her I wanted to pay up and become a member. And I am feeling fine about it, because I do need to start thinking about what I want to do when it’s time to go back to work. And I do need to make contacts and network into our new area.
And most of all — mercinary or not — I just really need some friends.