Reader Contribution by Maryann
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My husband and I both used to work for a local health insurance company and, though it has since been acquired by the corporate giant, it was smaller for most of the time we were there. Since it was smaller everyone worked together closely to get things done, and we had a small network of friends there. Some were still there, some like us moved on to take positions elsewhere, but we all still kept in touch occasionally. Every time we talked we would say “we have to get together but with kids, family outings, and crazy schedules we could never manage to pick a date that worked.

After our daughter was born I lost my job and so assumed the role of stay-at-home mom. It was never my intention not to work but with no daycare to look for a job and no job to pay for daycare we decided that I would just stay home. Most people you’ll hear tell you they love being home with the baby. Honestly, I hated it. I hated the isolation of it most of all. After five years, I still haven’t fully adjusted to it but I do realize it is what is best for our daughter so I do it even though, to sound selfish, I miss being me.

When I ran in to an old friend from a previous job she was telling me how a group of them would pick a restaurant every month or so and go out to eat. That got me thinking. Being home I missed the people, conversation and socializing with adults most of all. Everyone we were friends with has kids also so going out to dinner was probably not going to work, between the cost of the meal and babysitters it would get too pricey. Instead I sent everyone an email and proposed a monthly ‘potluck’. I wasn’t sure how everyone would react but it was received very positively and so ‘Potluck’ began.

That was at least three years ago now, maybe even four, I’ve lost track. We host it at our house every month on the second Saturday, usually. The week before I’ll send out an email to everyone to see who can make it and we decide on a menu ‘theme’. Everyone brings a dish along and the fun begins. The kids range from kindergarten to high school, but they all get along great and have just as much fun as the adults. We’ve had some of the best meals and memories over the years and hopefully the fun will continue for many more to come.

Photo: iStockphoto.com/AlesHostnik

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