Have you ever been in a situation that you are uncomfortable and yet, you don’t know why?
When I started to go to Mommy groups, I never thought I would make friends, didn’t care actually. I saw the various drop-ins as an excuse to shower, and get out of the house. The first couple of times were kind of uncomfortable, but as I started to really analyse the situation, I noticed the little tics that each Mother had, including my own.
Since I have always primarily worked with all men, and have never had a massive social circle that was outside of work (when you work 16 hour days, who has time), I wasn’t sure about hanging out with all women and babies, frankly, it was intimidating.
Now that the experience isn’t so fresh, and I have put my professional hat back on, I can now safely say, that sometimes women revert back to their highschool personas in these Mommy groups. From an outsider, and a woman who really didn’t interact with that many women in work life, I was able to analyse body language and facial expressions, sometimes these groups were like stepping into the twilight zone.
I had forgotten how different work was from Mommy groups, these are the things I noticed:
1. The woman who bats her eyes about 100 times a minute more than is necessary. At work, this meant you were completely unsure of yourself and what you were saying,. In these groups this was thought of as cute, I guess it gives off an air of innocence and naivety.
2. The hair flick, I noticed a lot of women doing this, most of it was out of nerves and lack of sleep, at work, touching your hair was considered rude and vain – you think I am kidding, but I kid you not.
3. The leader – I befriended 2 other ladies, or at least, so i thought. I walked into the drop in and they all wanted to “sit together”, they even requested that I move from one circle to another after I started chatting to another mother. I was so tired, that I obliged, then realized how horrible that looked, and would have never contemplating that in my regular life, or even now. I still regret that gesture as it was definitely not in my nature to do so. At work, inclusion builds team work, you never leave out anyone and a great leader is one that acknowledges all work and takes no credit.
4. Turning your back on one person to have a conversation with another. This is just all around rude, when you are sitting in a group, whatever conversation you are having in public, is a public conversation, be open, let others be a part of the conversation. In these Mommy groups it was considered fine, at work, you would be immediately corrected.
4. The control freak – you know the one, she wants to have everything perfect, and the one that wants to set up criteria for everything. This is the Mother that in her work environment usually works all employees to the bone on details that makes no sense. You know, the one who focuses on colour coordination, and laying out the cupcakes properly. In the Mother hood circle, these mother’s are revered – sounds crazy, but I will tell you a story about this one tomorrow.
5. Then there is the one that sits with their arms crossed the whole time you are talking to them. At work, this means negotiations are never going to happen. In a social circle, this screamed to me “I am unhappy, having a rough time and want to shelter myself from everything”. These are the moms I just want to hug.
I did meet some incredible women, and I learned a lot, plus I also have some hilarious stories to go along with my experience which I will share at a later time.
Have you ever thought about your facial expressions and your body language? Do you have a story? Any thoughts?