I thought I had joined the ranks of MOTHERHOOD, so I hoped I could be part of a gang. My friends who had kids, had them years ago and were back at work. They hadn’t spent years trying to get knocked up. They had nannies,daycare or able-bodied parents.
This is where I would suggest finding a mother’s group to hang out with on occasion. I lived downtown and the only other person I knew with a young child had her in daycare because she was producing a movie. I had occasional get togethers with another blogger adoptive mum but she didn’t live anywhere near me. I felt reluctant to join a so called “mother’s group”. One day I ran into a young mother who had an infant and she suggested I join the baby activity/music group she led at the community centre. She was so kind and so encouraging and so I joined. I learned a lot about infant socialization and I learned about the language of new mothers. Oddly, maybe it was because of my maturity, I’m not sure, but I also became aware of the so called cult of motherhood; the competitiveness and the little tribes that women formed around their children and how they chose to raise them. But that’s for another time, another place, I think.
These structured music/play groups are a great place to find about resources in the community that you may not be aware of. I.e. doctors, nutrition, music classes. You will find yourself spending time with women you might not ordinarily talk to because your children will be fond of one another. Also, they are the only ones who can take the endless talk about child development or poo.Women are great at sharing their knowledge about these type of things.
If there are adoption support/playgroups in your area, I would go to those as well. Same benefits but with an added layer of understanding about birth parents, home studies and social workers. It’s such an amazing feeling to be able to really connect with people on that level. It’s also where you get to share the assinine comments that people make and learn witty comebacks. For example, one man asked my husband, “Where did you get your kid?”. My husband: “My wife.” Further to that, you can read more stuff on NOT what to say to an adoptive parent here and here.
You may also want to let your friends or co-workers know to not keep referring to your child as your “adopted” child to everybody they know, like it’s a permanent prefix. Also I get the impression that some people think adoption is something “trendy” or incredibly altruistic to do, like building a house for the less fortunate. If you don’t nip it in the bud, they will do it in front of your child when they are old enough to know what they are saying and/or whispering. Or you will have people you don’t even know telling you horrible anecdotes. Trust me on this one.
I’d like to open the floor to anyone who has questions at this point.