Feeling Lonely & Isolated - Too Poor for Local Moms Group. WWYD? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 12-06-2010, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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:Sorry if this is long - need to vent a little!: redface.gif

 

DH and I just moved to a new town 3,000 miles away from home for DH's job. We've been here for almost 3 months now and I'm starting to feel pretty lonely and miserable. I'm a SAHM to an amazing 11 month old baby girl, but just having her and DH to interact with on a day to day basis is wearing a little thin. I feel like a need a friend or someone else to hang out with or even just talk to from time to time.

 

So, I started looking into finding some other local moms, and I did find them - several, in fact. There is a local moms' group here that meets weekly and is organized according to your child's age, so that you're put into a group with other moms who all have children in the same age group as yours. It sounded wonderful, so I emailed the group leader and asked to join. They signed me up for their group email list and started sending me invites to their weekly playdates.

 

Here's the problem: they are all wealthy, and we are not. In fact, compared to many of the families around here, we are dirt poor. My husband works for Ritz-Carlton, so we live in an area that attracts and caters to the super-rich, even though we are far from it.

 

As far as we are concerned, we are pretty broke. We rent a small cabin on the outskirts of town, we only have one car, we shop mostly at thrift and consignment stores. I make most of DD's toys and we don't have TV. I haven't had a new pair of jeans in 3 years and the most dressed up I usually get is a pair of yoga pants and one of DH's thermal shirts. I cook all of our food, clean my own house, and burn wood in the fireplace to heat our home. I make DD's baby food and we CD. In other words, we are pretty much the complete polar opposite of every family in town.

 

I first became nervous about the mom's group when I got the schedule for the next month's playgroups, organized at member's homes. One night when DH got home from work, I decided to stalk a little and drive around to some of the addresses on the playgroup list. Each house was bigger and more expensive looking than the last. I gave up when the last house had a private gated entrance and I couldn't see beyond the front courtyard.

 

So, I am feeling a bit lost. What would you do if you were in my situation? Would you strap baby to your back, walk down the mountain and into town, and take your chances with the rich folks? Or would you be too embarrassed to even show up not driving a Lexus or a Mercedes? DH thinks I should at least try, that not every mom in town could possibly be a millionaire. I'm just afraid that when I show up with DD in a sling and a bandana on my head they'll mistake me for the cleaning lady, lol lol.gif Any advice or suggestions?

 

Thanks for reading mamas! :)


~ Sarah ~ Living the mountain life with DH Dan hug.gif & DD Lillian 1.6.10 energy.gifand DS Jack 10.22.11 babyboy.gif Trying to find time to sewmachine.gif!!

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#2 of 18 Old 12-06-2010, 02:50 PM
 
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I find that even when I'm a little intimidated in a group I can usually find one of two crunchy moms in hiding or crunchy moms in the making. You may be the one that makes someone think 'why don't I wear my baby?' why don't I breastfeed, why don't I eat better?, etc etc. That said, you may also check on www.llli.org and see if there's a local La Leche League group. If you're nursing go to group, and if you're not you could still call and ask if they have playgroups or an email list. You could meet crunchy moms galore there! Good luck!


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#3 of 18 Old 12-06-2010, 03:02 PM
 
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I know how you feel because I feel the same way about mamas in my area, too.

 

It's hard to not compare yourself to other mothers--how they parent, what they have, what they do, etc.--and to feel naturally competitive.  That being said, you also don't know all the details of their lives. You never know--they may look at your life and be envious.

 

I agree with your DH.  Meet with them and see what happens.  Hold your head high and be proud of being an amazing mama!

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#4 of 18 Old 12-06-2010, 03:04 PM
 
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What about looking for friends at your local library? Many have story time for little kids at the very least and somehow I think you'd have a better bet finding similar minds. I sort of agree that it looks like the moms group is full of well off women and it might be hard to fit in with such huge lifestyle differences. 


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#5 of 18 Old 12-06-2010, 03:06 PM
 
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I feel for you, NevadaMama! I didn't even have a cross-country move to deal with, and it took me a really long time to find like-minded mama friends to hang out with. Give the moms from the local group a chance-- the worst thing that could happen is that you find out that they *are* actually all superficial snobs, and you'll have a funny story to share with you DH, but there could be a few whom you click with!

 

You might also check out the Finding Your Tribe threads here on MDC. There isn't a Holistic Moms Network chapter in Nevada, but you could look into starting one (holisticmoms.org)-- I helped co-found the chapter in my town several years ago, and have made so many wonderful friends. There must be a LLL group or similar, though, and that might be a way to meet crunchy folks. Is here a health food store with a cafe or library story time you can hang around? Children's museum, zoo, anything? 

 

Good luck :)


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#6 of 18 Old 12-06-2010, 06:31 PM
 
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I think there's financial diversity in the moms group that I go to.  Not quite as vast as what you are describing (I think?  or maybe the vastness is just familiar?)... and I do get a little bit of class anxiety now and then ... but I would definitely give it a try.  What's the worst thing that could happen?  Someone makes a snide comment, or implies you don't belong?  That could happen anywhere, regardless of finances.  On the other hand, you might meet some kindred spirits.  You might find just what you need.

 

If you don't want to do that, though, have you thought about starting your own playgroup by putting up a flyer in the library, or using meetup.com or some similar tool?

 

If it was me... I would probably put on some makeup and earrings, strap my baby to my back, and hike down the mountain into town to see what was good.  :)  At least once.  Call it your "suburban nature walk."  ROTFLMAO.gif

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#7 of 18 Old 12-06-2010, 08:06 PM
 
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I would give it a try. If you feel uncomfortable, you can just leave and you'll never have to see those people again.....or, you may make a friend or at the very least be able to get out and have adult conversation with some other moms. Like a pp said, you may inspire another mom who is "on the fence".  Good Luck!

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#8 of 18 Old 12-06-2010, 08:11 PM
 
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I would give it a try too.  They don't need to know your situation, just that you make different choices.  You might meet someone really great :)


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#9 of 18 Old 12-06-2010, 08:17 PM
 
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Yes, absolutely go. You are worried about them judging you on your financial standing, but you are doing exactly that right now to them. You don't really know the circumstances of their finances. While some may have big houses, they may be hugely in debt, for example. Who knows? That said, I know what you mean. I had my first when I was really young & really poor (like on welfare poor). I went to several LLL meetings, and always felt too young, poor & single to be there. All those women and their houses and husbands. I did give it a go though, and in retrospect, the person who had the biggest problem with my age, financial and marital status was me. You may also find some other resources from the group which may resonate a little more with you. It's got to start somewhere. Good luck!

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#10 of 18 Old 12-06-2010, 09:04 PM
 
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Try the neighboring town of Truckee.  There is a very mixed group of people there.  You will find the extremely wealthy out of towners that have their 3rd million dollar home there to the crunchiest of crunchy.  Living in the Lake Tahoe area can be hard especially when you feel like you don't fit in.  I was in similar shoes 7 years ago.  We moved across the country for my husband at-the-time.  I had no job, no friends and nothing to do.  I found it extremely difficult to make friends.  I did not have any children though but it was still difficult.  The only way I was able to make friends was by joining volunteer organizations and then I got a job where I was able to meet a lot of people.

I feel for you. 

 

Here is the info for LLL in SLT

 

La Leche League of South Lake Tahoe, California

Meeting Times

When: 11:30 - 12:30 on the last Thursday of each month
Where: Tahoe Tot Spot · 800 Emerald Bay Road, next to 7-11 · (530) 541-5994 · Map it
Details: Bring your kids!

All women interested in breastfeeding are encouraged to attend group meetings regardless of membership status. Babies are always welcome.

The La Leche League of Northern California and Hawaii's website contains more information on what to expect at a group meeting.

Leader Information

Allison
(530) 318-9939

La Leche League Leaders are experienced mothers who have breastfed their own babies and who have been trained and accredited by La Leche League International to help mothers and mothers-to-be with all aspects of breastfeeding. If you would like breastfeeding help, please contact a La Leche League leader in your community.

Membership Information

For information on becoming a member please visit the membership page.

To become a member of La Leche League please bring a check to a meeting.


logo

The local contact for this group webpage is alileach@hotmail.com.


Becky, homebirth.jpg momma to Rafe 8/2/2011,  wife to Sky & mom to our  dog2.gif   dog2.gifcorgis. 

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#11 of 18 Old 12-06-2010, 10:01 PM
 
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I say go ahead and give it a try, what's the worst that could happen?

 

Though, from what you say about the group emails, I wouldn't get my hopes up too high. For over a year (I just quit in July) I worked at a specialty foods grocery store...we had a fair amount of crunchy people and the occasional "mainstream, normal, middle-to-lower class" people but we had a LOT of wealthy customers. What I found out was that, while a lot of them did live up to the stereotype, some of them were just AMAZING. I actually just added one on my Facebook...tall, thin, blonde woman who definitely has a lot of money, but she's as crunchy and sweet as they come! So, who knows, you may find someone you click with! But the emails would definitely make me cautious...I would think that any of the non-typical wealthy mamas probably wouldn't stay in a group for very long if there was little discussion of actual parenting. But I still say you should try it out anyway, if you want.


- Emy . Single mom to DS nut.gif Ezra (15.12.05), angel2.gif Thames (reincarnated 18.04.08) and DD rainbow1284.gif babyf.gif Allora (11.02.11) and dog2.gif Hoppylactivist.gif  novaxnocirc.gif  waterbirth.jpg fambedsingle2.gif bfinfant.giffemalesling.GIFcd.gif

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#12 of 18 Old 12-07-2010, 07:21 AM
 
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.tall, thin, blonde woman who definitely has a lot of money, but she's as crunchy and sweet as they come!

 

I think you met my boss' wife. (Well, she's not tall, but she is the rest.)  They have millions of dollars. Just crazy money.  She's a total sweetheart. The whole family is vegan and she deeply involved in our local humane society/animal rescue. She's awesome and as down to earth and crunchy as you can get.

 

 

OP, don't be intimidated. People with money are just people. With money. You might like some and not like others, but that's pretty much it for any group. Some of them might like you and some of them might not, but that's pretty much it for any group.  I' m sure that some of them grew up without a ton of money and remember being broke, and won't think a thing about the fact that you are a little broke.

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#13 of 18 Old 12-07-2010, 07:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by smeep View Post

I say go ahead and give it a try, what's the worst that could happen?

 

Though, from what you say about the group emails, I wouldn't get my hopes up too high. For over a year (I just quit in July) I worked at a specialty foods grocery store...we had a fair amount of crunchy people and the occasional "mainstream, normal, middle-to-lower class" people but we had a LOT of wealthy customers. What I found out was that, while a lot of them did live up to the stereotype, some of them were just AMAZING. I actually just added one on my Facebook...tall, thin, blonde woman who definitely has a lot of money, but she's as crunchy and sweet as they come! So, who knows, you may find someone you click with! But the emails would definitely make me cautious...I would think that any of the non-typical wealthy mamas probably wouldn't stay in a group for very long if there was little discussion of actual parenting. But I still say you should try it out anyway, if you want.

And sometimes it works the other way. There's an organic, heath food store where I live. It's the only place I can buy certain items, so I do shop there. But the people they hire? They're all these thin, crunchy looking women between about 18 - 35, and snobbish like you wouldn't believe. Every time I go in there, I feel like I'm really bothering them, interrupting their conversations and their reveries so that they can take my money, gawd! So yeah, people are people. Some are nice, some aren't. It has nothing to do with money.
 

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#14 of 18 Old 12-07-2010, 11:40 AM
 
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I agree that it's worth a shot! If nothing else, it'll be good for people-watching and you'll come away with some good stories! But with a group so large and well-organized, I bet you'll find at least one other mom you can relate to.

Also, check your local library, bookstores, JCC - they all tend to have playgroups that are pretty informal. And LLL meetings are a safe bet too.
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#15 of 18 Old 12-07-2010, 11:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverTam View Post

.tall, thin, blonde woman who definitely has a lot of money, but she's as crunchy and sweet as they come!

 

I think you met my boss' wife. (Well, she's not tall, but she is the rest.)  They have millions of dollars. Just crazy money.  She's a total sweetheart. The whole family is vegan and she deeply involved in our local humane society/animal rescue. She's awesome and as down to earth and crunchy as you can get.



lol.gif It's amazing, huh? Just goes to show that someone's outward appearance or financial situation doesn't always say anything about who they are inside. I had another amazing customer at that store who is a lawyer (so of course you want to think, ugh, UAV with lots of money to hoard, haha) and he is seriously one of the sweetest people I've ever met. To the point that when he found out about my electricity situation (outrageous bills - "smart meter" issue - and my electricity got shut off) he offered to pay for it. I had already gotten it worked out, but it was very sweet. And, while I would normally be nervous about a guy offering to pay my bills, I wasn't about him...he honestly was just very good hearted. I still keep in touch with him as well. 

 

Oh, and then there was the woman who also just exuded "money" just by looking at her and she was absolutely amazing. I love, love, LOVE her and so did everyone else who worked there. 

 

And then there were at least three times that I met wealthy, older women (50-75 years old) who said they nursed their babies between 2 and 4 years!!! orngbiggrin.gif

 

Point is, you really never know. Amazing people come from all kinds of places, just as UAVs come from all kinds of places. 


- Emy . Single mom to DS nut.gif Ezra (15.12.05), angel2.gif Thames (reincarnated 18.04.08) and DD rainbow1284.gif babyf.gif Allora (11.02.11) and dog2.gif Hoppylactivist.gif  novaxnocirc.gif  waterbirth.jpg fambedsingle2.gif bfinfant.giffemalesling.GIFcd.gif

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#16 of 18 Old 12-09-2010, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, so apparently I AM a wuss lol.gif Well, today is the weekly playgroup date but it is cold & raining outside so no walk into town for us. However, I promise everyone that I will try for next week's meeting and report back how it went. 

 

I have to be honest though, I'm not going to get my hopes up. DD and I went grocery shopping yesterday and I had to change her diaper, so we went to the ladies' room and I was in mid-dipe change when another mom with a LO about 2 or so walked in. She stared in absolute horror as I put DD's dirty cloth diaper (poop, no less) into a wet bag - you could tell by the look on her face that she wanted to say something but was tongue-tied! I smiled and said hello and she mumbled a "hi" back to us as she ushered her LO as quickly as possible into a stall and shut the door.

 

So.....I guess we'll see! You know, when we found out we were moving here, I was actually excited about the prospect of finding more crunchy folks like us in such a beautiful, natural environment. I don't know where they're all hiding though!


~ Sarah ~ Living the mountain life with DH Dan hug.gif & DD Lillian 1.6.10 energy.gifand DS Jack 10.22.11 babyboy.gif Trying to find time to sewmachine.gif!!

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#17 of 18 Old 12-09-2010, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, and I just realized that I completely forgot to mention my other hang-up about joining: part of the membership requirements is that you have to host the playgroup at your house at least once a year. Our home is very clean, simple and neat, but small. I seriously don't know where everyone would even sit!! Also, the whole of DD's toys fits in a basket in the living room. I don't know what all the kids would play with either! Maybe I am spazzing about all this too much, but I know I would be a wreck if a dozen moms + babes showed up at our house and there was no where for them to sit, nothing to play with, and not even any TV to watch.


~ Sarah ~ Living the mountain life with DH Dan hug.gif & DD Lillian 1.6.10 energy.gifand DS Jack 10.22.11 babyboy.gif Trying to find time to sewmachine.gif!!

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#18 of 18 Old 12-09-2010, 03:51 PM
 
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As gently as I can, I really think you are thinking way too hard about this.  Try just approaching this one foot at a time. 

 

1.  Go and see if you like anyone.  You might get along great with everyone!  You might not, but you might. 

 

2.  You really need to remember that people "with money" are as diverse as people "without money".  (I belonged to a playgroup where the women "HAD" to have an SUV.  They would literally complain about the price of gas and how awful it was the whole time the group was going on.  But it would never occur to them to own anything else.  In that very same play group there was a family that wasn't very well off but 10% of their paycheck went to organizations to help people worse off than them.  Because they believed that having a roof over your head and food in your belly made you rich.)

 

3.  Try not to think of them has having more than you do.  (I know it's really hard in our society.)  My kids will always say we are rich in love.  (We really are.)  You have to remember, you have just as much to offer the world as these people do.  I mean, you walk places, so your carbon footprint is lower than driving.  Now, they may not agree with you, but it only matters if you know it and believe it. 

 

4.  Don't even think about the rule about hosting once a year.  If you start going and really get along with these people, nobody is going to care that you don't host in your house.  You could even offer to bring food and drink one time during the year, you just need to "borrow" someone's house.  In our playgroup we had someone who literally lived in a postage stamp.  But boy was she a nice person.  We never went to her house, but she was an asset to our group.  Worse comes to worse, offer to host during the summer and everyone play out in the backyard. 

 

One step at a time.  (I know!  I know!  Easier said than done.)

 

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