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mother and baby groups - a confession

Mother and baby groups. Honestly, the very thought of it scares the shit out of me.

Sometimes I think to myself "Oh wouldn't it be lovely, I could take Mikey to play and then I could meet new people." I even sometimes mention it to my husband, who will generally smile knowingly and say something like "Yes dear".

Then realisation sets in, I hate meeting new people. A shudder of fear goes through my body. "Yes Dear" indeed.

I hate meeting new people even more now that I have a kid. What must other mothers think of my clothes, piercings, my "I'm too cool to speak to you, asshole" demeanor? They probably don't give a shit, but they do in my mind. In my mind I'm TheWorstMotherEver™ and everyone can see me for what I am. And honestly, I hate the "Ohh look what my kid can do" mothers, who are on top of their kids every second, micromanaging (and of course looking around to check everyone can see what a great mother they are). Sure it's great and all that your kid can do this awesome stuff and admittedly I'm a little jealous, but being able to read, walk and talk as soon as you exit the womb isn't really that important in the scheme of things is it? Plus my kid knows how to turn on the Xbox controller, that's a skill right?

If I wanted to stay and play with my kid I would do it at home where I didn't have to deal with other people. I want somewhere I can leave my kid and not have to stay. I want to go and do something alone (like I don't know, pee alone without a child hanging from my leg?).

Should I do it for him? Am I mean for not taking him to playgroup because I don't want to go? I don't think so, he couldn't care less if there were other kids nearby when he's playing. When he's old enough to walk I'll take him to the park, he can play with other kids to his hearts content while I sit and finally have peace to read a book.

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I am a 24 year old British stay at home mother to a two year old boy. Married to a U.S. soldier and currently living in Germany.

I have seen the Vatican from the very top of St Peter's Basilica, the mud in the World War I trenches outside Ypres. I have walked through Montmartre side streets bustling with people in the evening, gotten lost in the streets of Greenwich Village NYC, run through cornfields on the Welsh border and sat outside with a cup of tea watching fireflies in the fields of the outer Chicago suburbs.

I have held the hands of others through addiction, fear, suicide, despair and come out the other side. I have left everything behind to begin anew.
I have fought mental illness and walked through snow in the mountains of the lake district, England. I have explored the morgue in the bowels of an abandoned hospital on a summer evening, climbed to the top of scaffolding on the outside of a five floor warehouse to look at the city lights of Nottingham at night and I have watched the sun setting on the Texas horizon.

I have held my son's tiny hand through the plastic window on an isolette in the NICU ward. Walked, speaking only in whispers, through the catacombs beneath the ground on the outskirts of Rome and seen the fireworks over Heidelberg castle.