Back when I was pregnant with our son I knew I wanted to find a playgroup not only for him, but for me to make "mommy friends", especially those with kids around the same age as our son. When we moved out to the east coast (when our son was just a few months old) that need became even more important. So, I searched around and found a playgroup that meets once a week and all the kids are really close to his age (only a few months difference, max). The moms are pretty cool too, and it's been a great way for me to make friends.
Back in Utah almost all our friends knew about DD, or practiced it themselves. When we moved out east, we had to make all new friends and since we've done that, very few know about DD. Not because we're necessarily shy about it (well, ok, maybe
I was finally feeling up to going to playgroup. Since my recent hospitalization, and surgeries, I have been trying to ease back into our normal lives. I was excited to go to playgroup, and so was our son. So, we went. It was great to see all our friends again. While our son and his playgroup friends were running around digging up plastic dinosaur bones at the new dinosaur exhibit at a nearby children's museum, the moms and I sat around talking about random things, one of those being marriage.
The opportunity was definitely there. One of the moms was struggling a little with an incident in her marriage. Another was suggesting the perfect solution was to just "go to the bar with the other girls tonight, forget your husband for a few hours and just let loose". They then invited me to that not so fun event. Politely, I declined. The "what? why?" statements came flying. Sure, I could have used the "I really don't feel good, just got out of the hospital" excuse. But I decided to use this opportunity to "come out" to a group of 8 women who I've gotten to know over the past few months about domestic discipline.
Was I nervous? Totally. Was my heart beating 1,000 times a minute? Probably. But do I believe it was the right thing to do? Absolutely.
I started by just saying "honestly, I don't feel comfortable going to bars without my husband." Which, by the way, is totally true. Then, the conversation grew, and grew, and eventually we got on the topic of why it's a "guideline" that I "don't drink without my husband present". Since I literally only drink maybe once a year anyway this is more of just a respect thing that my husband and I have and not necessarily a rule, but nonetheless I told them about it.
I'll save ya'll the long, drawn out, conversational details, but let's just say that after 20-30 minutes I had a group of 8 women stunned. They'd never heard of domestic discipline before. They were shocked and blown away. But, as one of them put it "so now we know why Chelsea has such an awesome marriage".
DD isn't the only reason I have a great marriage. But does it play a part? Absolutely. And I was happy others could see that. But then, once the initial shock wore off came the slew of questions. And, by slew, I mean like dozens upon dozens. Everything under the sun. The most common question was "Oh, is this like 50 Shades of Grey!?" Yeah. No.
This playgroup had suddenly turned from a 1 hour social gathering into a almost 3 hour question and answer session. My nerves eased away once everyone "backed off" a little bit, but I felt like my heart was still racing by time it was over.
I walked away from that playgroup feeling so relieved. I was still a little shocked, like "I can't even believe I just did that" feeling, but I was relieved that now, for future playgroups, I didn't have to hide anything. Sure, I might be the "talk of the playgroup" for like the next year (and I hate excessive amounts of attention, so trust me, that's really going to suck) but it will be worth it.
Within the week or so following playgroup I feel like my phone was blowing up with text messages. More questions, texts like "I actually talked this over with my husband" and even some people agreeing to try it! I was stunned. Happy, but stunned.
Playgroup in the future sure will be interesting. But, I'm well on the road to having all our friends here in our new state know about DD, just like in our previous state. :-)
To all my playgroup mommy friends who I'm sure will be reading this: thanks for your support, for your understanding, and to those of you who are giving it a try, know you have a whole DD community to back you up, support you, encourage you, and cheer you on.