Our Time Out Mothers’ Group
Kristin Wright: Our Time Out member since 1999
I got into the group because I was in the infant program with SCOE, Sacramento County Office of Education and at the time we were doing a lot of parent training and trying to connect as parents in the infant program. I met a woman who decided that she had a great idea that she was going to start this group of parents who could come together in a positive way versus…it wasn’t going to be a place where you come and complain, but you try to look at the positives. You just had a time out and you got away from your other life and you just were a person having dinner and talking to other people that understood your journey. I don’t necessarily view it as a support group, I guess…is why I participated in it because I think if I viewed it as a support group it would annoy me and I don’t think I would necessarily want to go to something that I thought was a support group. Maybe earlier on I did, but the nature of getting support from people without having to label it a support group was beneficial just because I didn’t want to go and talk about my feelings but I wanted to go and hang out with people who understood where I was. I think there’s a difference so I think for people who I’ve talked to…who I’ve even invited to this group, have said, “you know what, I’m tired of talking about how I feel about everything, and I’m sad, and I thought I was getting on a plane, and all that stuff” but they didn’t want to come because they didn’t want to talk about their feelings. I said we don’t really talk about feelings. We talk about something good that happened and then we just talk. Sometimes we talk about things with special ed and sometimes we don’t. It’s just a lot of different things going on, but it is a place to share ideas and find out information. That’s not the purpose, but it is the purpose and so it’s all wrapped up in just having dinner with people. You don’t ever have to go and so it’s one of those things that you choose to do and I think with so many things that you don’t choose, it’s nice to know that you have the choice to do that if you want to. That’s one of the reasons that I go, because I don’t want anyone telling me what I have to do. So if I choose to go, then I do.
I guess I’m just seeking similarities and I’m looking for people that I don’t have to explain things to. It’s also a place, because the people have been coming for a really long time, so we’ve sort of all watched each others kids grow up, so it’s kind of a check in. It’s kind of a “where are you at now?” “Oh this is a new thing, has anyone heard of this?” So I go to check in with some people who are just filtered out in the community that I have this commonality with also to just go have dinner and hang out and not be around kids for a little while. I guess it’s more about the people and who I perceive as going to the group and what my attraction to the group would be, that they’re in a constant state of movement in terms of what they are trying to learn, what they are trying to absorb and what they’re trying to do for their kids and so I guess I have a lot of respect for all of them.
I would tell other parents about coming to the group that if you wanted to go somewhere where you could feel like you could get hope, it would be somewhere you could go to get hope.