The Motherhood Co-Op

May! May is here! And I’m finally feeling that late spring city vibe where the flowers are cheap and the vitamin D is ample. It’s a haul for me every year to get through January-April (which is ridiculous because that’s 1/3 of the year). But beach days and pool trips are just beyond the horizon and I think we can all collectively sigh about that.

A few months ago, I joined a mom’s group. Like a legit group with a (minimal) fee. I’m still mildly embarrassed about it but I’m telling the internet so obvs not that embarrassed. The woman who started the group had young children at the time and worked as a freelancer. It was originally a coworking space that had childcare. This got too complicated to sustain legally, so it ended up just being a group with the option to share a bulk of time at the coworking space and the option to do childcare swaps throughout the week. Her kids are older now, so she doesn’t need the childcare, but she organizes all the weekly activities, brunches, happy hours, and day trips. (Which tbh is worth the fee alone. Half the time I just want to be told where to show up in this city with a trillion options.)

Joining this group has become probably one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself and my kid. Some call it a pre school co-op. Others call it a mom’s group. I’ve also heard it’s our village. But sometimes I think to myself, “This is just how it should be.”

Maybe it used to be this way with neighborhoods before the internet and what not. But I didn’t experience that with my daughter as a baby. So to have this group that meets weekly, sometimes even multiple times a week, where the kids grow to know each other and drop each other off at their houses for a day off feels so organic. Instead of paying absurdly high prices for toddler classes, we just get the kids together to play to interact and learn about human nature. No wait lists, no late fees, no clamoring to get the best seat. And it’s also nice to know there’s some structure behind it – someone is organizing and coordinating. Otherwise, we get pulled into our lives and forget to make the effort.

I recently heard someone say they would have no qualms about having kids if they lived in a commune. Rightly so. I’ve done the lonely motherhood thing. It’s hell. (Which came first the isolation or the Post-partum depression? You tell me.) So I find this group inspiring and exciting. We’re all just making it work. The city has a way of making people get creative to fulfill their needs.

So that’s what’s been filling our time these days. I am in a motherhood co-op. And it’s one of the best things to happen to me since moving to New York City. (Among many other things.)



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