Connecting in the Real World
Earlier in March, Cape Cod Moms held the first ever Mom Night Out. We were extremely blessed to have the opportunity to work with Alex, of Dot to Dot Art Workshop in Harwich, in order to facilitate a relaxing evening out for moms on the lower Cape. There were nine local moms in attendance for the event and we really had a great time.
Alex came up with a great spring craft to help get us in the mood for the snow-free days ahead. We created butterfly branches out of various paper and every single one was unique and beautiful just like the women in attendance.
The craft was just a bonus, because the real magic was in the moms meeting other moms. For me personally it was truly amazing to finally put names with faces and to get to know some of these beautiful women a little better.
I learned that Rachel and Amanda were huge fans of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, like myself! We had quite the conversation over those shows, debating who was the dreamiest man. I was able to finally meet the extremely dedicated Rita, who helps run the Lower Cape Mom event calendar and runs art workshops in the area for the local community! I also finally met Betsy, whose Wildtree newsletter I have been reading for over a year. I met Chanelle, whose husband works for the Coast Guard and I found out just how much she loves living here on the Cape. Their friend, Rachel, who attended with them was full of positive energy. You could clearly see how great a friendship she has with Chanelle and Betsy (their kids even all play together!) I had a great conversation with Alex about how she decided to leave teaching in the school system to be able to cultivate her love of art by sharing it with the community. Lauren, a fellow Upper Cape mom, made the trek to Harwich to join us for a much needed break. She even brought one of her twins with her. He was well-behaved and quite the charmer of the ladies!
The evening was a success in my book. I was so thrilled to be able to meet some other local moms and just enjoy a quiet evening out. It is really hard in this day and age to find the time to slow down and put yourself first. As women and mothers, we often are the ones who take the proverbial backseat, while we put our families, jobs and everything else before ourselves. Unfortunately, there is also the underlying competition that we often see taking place between moms, especially in the virtual world. In the day and age of constant communication and "Facebook", we often feel the subliminal prodding of guilt and competition that comes from the updates online. I know sometimes I feel guilty when I see posts about super-healthy meals, moms in super shape, activities that other parents are doing, posts from my stay-at-home mom friends or even working ones. I sometimes feel as if I can't quite measure up to this perceived ideal that society has created of the "perfect mother". But after this recent evening out, I realized that it's is all in my head, a virtual reality created by the Internet and this constant need to stay connected. When we come together in person, all those feelings of competition and guilt disappear. It was a nice reminder that we need this time every so often. We need to unplug every once in a while and actually meet up in the physical world. When we come together, we begin to realize that despite coming from all different walks of life and having different opinions on things, we are actually all pretty similar. We also realize that we're all in this parenting thing together, sharing the same parenting struggles, never to be prepared for what's next and just trying to do our best, hoping that it's good enough. It takes a village, and we all need to support one another. I, for one, am looking forward to more of these events where we can unplug and come together to share these struggles, goals, and hopes for the future.
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