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Mommy Parties: Sorority Rush, Part 2?

September 20th, 2012, posted by Aimee

Kindergarten is the inspiration for thousands of mommy bloggers out there who are writing heartfelt posts about the tears shed on that first day and sentimental insights on the passage of time and how it all “goes by so fast.”

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But for me, the most noteworthy part of T-man’s transition into the “school years” over the past few weeks has actually been my adjustment to an entirely new social scene with a brand new set of conventions, mores and unspoken rules. Suddenly, we are completely immersed in a world of room mothers, classroom volunteers, PTA functions, after-school playdates and even “Mommy Night Out” functions that involve copious amounts of alcohol and a tiny bit of strained conversation. Friends of mine with older children have warned me for a while of the “drama” and stress that can sometimes ensue with this new “mommy” scene, and I still think – given my strong aversion to and propensity for avoiding girl-on-girl drama – I will be able to skip most of this crap. But I am finding it amusing – and sometimes somewhat challenging – learning to adjust to some of the new moms-only socializing.

The first hint I had at my underestimation of this new “scene” came during the first week of school when I received an invitation to a moms-only event for the entire school’s mother population to meet and greet over margaritas on a Friday night. Not knowing what a big deal this party would be, I showed up on my beach cruiser with flip flops and slightly unflattering Target colored jeans. Um, let’s just say that even the other moms who rode bikes to the booze-filled event brought wedge sandals to dress up their white skinny jeans and sundresses upon arrival. To say I felt a bit frumpy and underdone is an understatement to say the least!

And then there was the fact I somehow never considered how nerve-wracking it would be to strike up a conversation with a crowd of total strangers … many of whom already knew each other. Getting up the courage to take a seat at a table full of women engrossed in their own chit-chat and introducing myself reminded me of early days at my dorm cafeteria in college. I knew exactly one other woman at the entire event and started to feel slightly pathetic as I clung to her side through the night. Maybe she doesn’t even like me, I thought. After five times into the bathroom to check my lipstick, I called my husband to pick me up for a ride home while the party was still raging on.

One week later, another invitation arrived via email for a “Mommy’s Wine Night” at another kindergarten mom’s home. This time, I at least knew the host a little bit, as well as one u mom with whom Tavish has played. But when it came time to leave for the party, I kept stalling. Should I get there 15 minutes late? 30 minutes? Or an hour? Or even 90 minutes? What should I bring? I hate Chardonnay, particularly La Crema, but decided that crowd-pleasing bottle was the right fit for the crowd. And what about my outfit? Last time, I was too casual, but this time was my outfit too flashy?

I realized that most of the time now in party situations I’m incredibly spoiled by having a husband – and an extremely sociable one at that – at my side to break the ice and lean on if I feel uncomfortable. These new social settings require me standing solo and breaking out of my comfort zone.

The good news is that I realized I can do it. I somehow survived the hell of sorority rush as an insecure 18-year-old and this is nowhere near as tough as that. And the payoff has been huge. Some of these women are fantastic – working, non-working, part-time-working and just cool overall moms – there are some great new friends out there. And they all seem to like wine as much as I do.

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