When my son was born, I stayed at home with him. I was a new mother, I knew zero moms with babies, we had no family in town and my husband worked so it was just me and my little boy.
And I was fine. I really was. I enjoyed being with him, watching him grow and change every day and I considered myself fortunate to be able to stay in comfy clothes all day even if they had various baby stains on them. I loved every minute of it.
I was content. Until I wasn’t.
After several months, I started listening to everyone else - friends, family, commercials, magazine articles - whatever - that indicated that my son and I needed to get out, socialize, and have play dates.
So I looked and one of the first places I found was KinderMusic. It was a good fit for my son and my introverted self. We loved music and it was only for an hour or so once a week.
It was enough.
But then it wasn’t enough and I started listening to ALL the others again. I began questioning what was in my son’s best interest. Even though he was hitting all his development marks and the pediatrician said he was in the healthy percentile range, I thought maybe I wasn’t giving him enough.
Then there was a neighbor across the street who had daughters older than my son by a few years. I’d seen her around but never introduced myself. So one day this lady knocked on my front door. She had one daughter on her hip and the other one had her arms around her leg.
She invited my son and I to come over and have a play date and we could get to know each other. I was shy and uncomfortable and feeling weird about all of it but I thought God was answering my prayers to do the right thing and socialize my son.
A few days later, my son and I showed up at her home and I brought chocolate chip cookies because...well, kids love cookies and I’m Southern and you’re not supposed to show up empty handed.
The kids played on her living room floor, ate a few cookies and we chatted. It wasn’t completely awful and we got through it. My son seemed to interact well with the girls and I did my best to help move along the awkward get-to-know you conversation. We survived and I was grateful I had the chance to do something good for my son.
I thanked her for her hospitality and left with promises to “do it again real soon.”
The next day, she knocked on my door.
She handed me the container of uneaten cookies that I had taken as a hostess gift and snack for the kids. She said. “You left these.”
I was stunned and embarrassed and feeling so weird about having a gift returned that I didn’t say anything except “oh, okay...thank you.” She smiled and said let’s get together Saturday okay?
We didn’t get together that Saturday or any other time. My son and I found other groups and activities and he developed exactly as the Good Lord intended. It wasn’t that she returned the cookies, or that the kids didn’t play well...it just didn’t feel like a good fit.
Not every opportunity to connect is the right one and trusting your intuition about what works for you and your family is paramount. I didn’t want to feel obligated to the convenience just because it was a play date across the street.
Follow your inner voice, listen to those whispers. It may tell you to keep seeking out others and encourage you to make new friends...or sometimes mama...it may show you that you’re doing just fine because you’re content.