First off, this story does have a positive outcome and is meant to be observational rather than completely jumping to conclusions. It was just a weird experience, and I wanted to write about it.
Let’s rewind for a minute. So in previous posts I mentioned really ‘putting myself out there,’ shamelessly messaging anyone interested in meeting up with babies. One such thread popped up on Facebook – a woman with a 4 month old looking for some mamas and playmates in the Kreuzberg area. Hmm, I thought – I’m a Mama, I have a baby and I live in Kreuzberg. I commented on the thread (as had some other women), okay .. I commented twice (hey, I’m keen), and was subsequently added to a Facebook message thread with 4 others.
This was the opening message (my name has been blurred out):
My first thoughts:
1) This doesn’t sound very welcoming … I thought there was like a Mamas sisterhood in Berlin and everyone was super friendly?
2) I didn’t realise there were age requirements to go to a coffee morning ..
3) Should I still push this?
As it happens, I couldn’t attend the first meet up because LG had his third check-up. I endeavoured to attend the next rendezvous. Pictures were posted of the first meet up, and arrangements were excitedly made for the next catch up at Brammibals in Kreuzberg. No one addressed me in the thread, so I asked again if I could attend, despite the seemingly (just my feeling) unsuitability of LG’s age (6 weeks this Friday). My reply was read by all, and one piped up saying I was welcome.
The morning came and I dragged (okay, slight exaggeration) myself and LG up to Kreuzkölln. It was a 10.30am gathering in a place I knew wasn’t child friendly, so I had LH in a wrap, and swapped the bassinet for a maxi cosy in the pram, and pushed that one handed. Pushing a pram one handed from Heinrich Heine U-Bahn to Maybachufer is tiring. In the end I met two (and briefly, a third) nice Mamas, and had some nice chats about babies and motherhood. LG was on top form. It didn’t have quite the easy going nature of my home-grown Tuesday meet up, but I’m still glad I went. I’ll try another fortnight or so, and see what happens.
Even though I had a nice enough time today, I still can’t shake the cliquey feeling from the first message. It has only now dawned on me that many women have specific goals about the other mothers they want to meet. I have always gone into this open minded, happy to meet anyone. Of course it’ll be more convenient down the line if LG is playing with children of a similar age, but hey, I’m a while away from that. Was I right to be a little taken aback? Or should I get with the programme and realise that socialising norms doesn’t totally change with having children, rules apply and groups are formed?
Mama M x