Your young mom-life may be the only time in life when it’s easier to make friends than it was in your nose-picking preschool days. Childbirth gives us the confidence to approach randoms at the park and be like, “OMG I see you have a toddler. I have a toddler. Let’s get matching BFF necklaces.” And 90 percent of the time – those two women frolic into a monthly happy hour spent swapping potty training tales. It’s picturesque.
The other 10 percent of the time one of the moms break a cardinal rule of motherhood and gets avoided more intensely than a school infected with hand, foot and mouth. Don’t be one of those moms.
I’m being mildly dramatic. I’ve learned that from my 2.5-year-old. But hear me out:
The Babysitters Club
Share your babysitters. I’m sorry, but I don’t have time for women that hoard babysitters like it’s the apocalypse of child care. First, you’re doing a disservice to your prized possession by not giving them more opportunities to score some cash. And second, you’re an asshole. Just be a good person, pay well, and your sitter will still be loyal to you when you call.
Don’t judge a mother dealing with a child that’s acting out – whether it’s hitting, biting or good ole fashion pushing. Because one day, you’re going to pick up little Bobby from preschool and there’s going to be a note in his cubby about how he bit Cindy Lou Who over a broken crayon. You’re going to want to crawl into a hole and there will be no hole big enough to hide your shame.
I can’t even. I’m so super impressed that your child has never touched processed food and chooses kale chips over Cheetos, but like, just don’t come at me with that. In a perfect world, my kids would eat home-cooked meals and be virgins to the Golden Arches – but we have to choose our battles. Right now, McDonald’s chicken nuggets are the only thing my 10-month-old eats. And she’s in the 8th percentile when it comes to weight. So that girl gets ALL.THE.NUGGETS.
The Double F Word
On the flip side, I’m going to go ahead and park myself in permanent time-out for this one. Every Thursday Bauer does gymnastics. And every Thursday at the end of class she runs over to me beaming with pride about her somersaults. Naturally, my heart bursts into a million pieces and my gut instinct is to smother her in my greasy love by yelling, “LET’S GET FRENCH FRIES!” And every Thursday, I walk out of the building with my tail between my legs because I totally screwed the mom dishing out organic snack bars. Thank you Baby Jesus for not letting it slip that I’ll also give her a sip of my Coke if it gets her in her car seat without WW3 erupting.
This Blog Post is Better than Any Other Blog Post
The one-upper. Ok, everyone hates this person. Problem is, we are ALL this person. So let’s show a little grace in this area. We love our children so freakin’ much we’re all 100 percent positive that our kids are better than anyone else’s kids (But I truly know mine are).
My favorite thing about this one: In parenthood, we even brag about our kids being complete jerks. I spent a solid 10 minutes at a group dinner last night telling the table how my daughter smacks me across the face and then says, “ARE YOU LAUGHING, MOMMY?” Imagine how annoying I’ll be when she brings home one of those fugly “My Kid’s An Honor Roll Student” bumper stickers.
This might be a bit out there. But I’m contemplating marketing some sort of badge that moms wear around town when they are looking all perfect. For example, “Today is nanny day” or “My mother is in town helping with the kids” or my personal favorite, “I’m a vampire and never sleep so I shower and get dolled up at 3 a.m.”
Don’t get me wrong. I think you look FABULOUS. But no one is buying that you’re the sole caretaker of a family of four and walking the aisles of Target like it’s New York Fashion week. So just own up to it. And then go on with your bad self.
Let me know if I missed any unwritten mom rules.
Meanwhile, I’ll just be over here with the best kids in the world, eating french fries and braiding friendship bracelets – because it’s going to be 76 degrees and sunny tomorrow – which means mothers will be descending on all area parks.
Memories captured by Brooke Whitney Photography.