Noah was just 2 months old when I joined our local Gymboree Play & Music. Some may think I am slightly crazy for enrolling my newborn baby in an extracurricular activity, but hands down, it was one of the best decisions I made in my first year as a mom.
When you go from being a career-driven business owner to a stay-at-home mama at the same time you are bringing new life into this world, you are completely knocked upside down. I had no idea what to actually DO with my days anymore. Of course, there is feeding and changing and pumping and bottle washing to accomplish. And sleeping while the baby sleeps. But what else was a new mama to do all day?! I needed an excuse to get out of the house, and there are only so many times you can frequent Target in a given week, right?! I didn’t need to just find another store to walk around in. I needed to meet other moms. So, I started researching. I stumbled upon Gymboree Play & Music classes, and immediately signed up for a trial class. In case you aren’t familiar with Gymboree Play & Learn classes, they are “mommy & me” classes that encourage development through age-appropriate play.
The day of our trial class arrived. Believe it or not, that morning I actually thought about not even going. I was so nervous to step outside of my comfort zone. What if the other moms don’t talk to me? What if they don’t like me? What if they don’t like what I’m wearing? All these thoughts and more swirled through my head. But, I put those negative thoughts aside and put on my shoes, grabbed the diaper bag, and Noah and I were headed to our first Play & Learn class.
The minute we walked in we were greeted with smiling faces. I felt instantly better. I ended up meeting another mom whose baby was born just 1 day later than Noah in the same exact hospital. Talk about small world! That mom and I ended up becoming good friends, and our little boys would even end up in the same 2 year old preschool class together.
Ironically enough, we ended up meeting several more moms with sweet baby boys all born within 4 months of each other. Outside of our Play & Learn class, we formed a little playgroup and took turns hosting play dates once a month. As the boys got older, we ventured out together for trips to the zoo and local children’s museum. The months went on, and soon we were all celebrating our babies’ birthdays together. Our boys formed such a sweet little bond, and we, as moms, were able to share our hearts with each other. Some of my favorite memories of Noah’s first year took place with this little group of ours.
This all took place in Pennsylvania, and sadly, we have since moved out of state, but I still keep in touch with these ladies almost 4 years later. I miss our little Gymboree group every day, but I’m SO thankful I didn’t back out on that trial class that day.
My point to this story? Get out of the house and meet fellow moms. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone. I promise, good things will happen. Chances are there is a room full of other mamas who have the same exact insecurities as you, and will welcome you with open arms.