Once upon a time, there was a woman who lived with her husband and children in The Big City. The woman belonged to a large neighborhood mom's group and while she didn't always agree with the politics of the group, she enjoyed the company of her son's age-bracketed play group enough to stick with the larger group. She and her son met their friends at the park, swim lessons and each other's houses for some regular chit-chat and play time. All were happy.
As the woman's family grew, she and her husband decided to leave The Big City for another, more affordable community called The Land of Fruit. Upon their arrival in The Land of Fruit, the woman looked for a mom's group similar to the one she left behind.
The first one she encountered was only for mothers of home-schooled children. As the woman was preparing to send her eldest child to a public kindergarten, she knew that she would not fit into this group so she moved on.
The second one she encountered was only for mothers of children with disabilities. While thankful that her children were able bodied, the woman wondered if she'd ever find a group to join.
The third group she encountered sounded more promising as it was for stay-at-home moms. However, upon closer inspection, she noticed that the fine print stated, "FOR STAY-AT-HOME MOMS ONLY. All of our activities are scheduled for during the day and would not be suitable for working moms." While the woman fit the criteria for the group, she didn't want to be a part of a group that was so arrogantly exclusive.
The woman put her search for a mom's group on hold for a while. She and her children went about their daily routines for many months until one day, a flyer appeared in her son's Mother's Day Out cubby:
"Are you a mom looking for some adult conversation and playmates for your children? Join the Mom's Group of The Land of Fruit. Contact Mommy X for more information."
A ha! the woman thought. Finally, a group just for me and my little ones.
So the woman contacted Mommy X for more details. Liking what she read in their monthly newsletter and excited about finding some playmates for her sons, the woman decided to join the Mom's Group of The Land of Fruit. She printed out the membership form and was prepared to write a check for the group's annual dues when she received this e-mail from Mommy X:
"I noticed from the address you gave me that you live on the west end of The Land of Fruit. Unfortunately, this group is for families who live on the east end of The Land of Fruit. Sorry. There are play groups on your side of town that I'm sure would love to have you."
The woman was stunned. Surely she wasn't rejected because of where she lived! What's next? she thought. Play group rejection based on the size of one's house or the occupation of one's husband?
Disheartened and unsure if her ego could take yet another blow, the woman decided to give up the search for a mom's group until her self esteem recovered.
To be continued.......