You’ve probably seen us at the park on a play-date.
We’re the “stroller brigade” walking at the mall, taking up the whole aisle.
We meet up at the zoo, pack tons of snacks, take lots of breaks, and go home before nap time.
We go to Ikea and drink all the coffee and consider walking around the store wearing a baby great exercise.
We go to farms and pick apples and pet goats.
We nurse in public.
We change diapers anywhere and everywhere.
Maybe you don’t have kids and you think we’re a little awkward.
Maybe you’re a little grossed out by our kids’ messy faces and grimy hands.
Maybe we’re living up to our mommy stereotypes, whatever those are.
Maybe you don’t have kids and you feel judged or rejected by us.
Maybe you feel like we’re a club or a clique where you must have a baby on your hip for entrance.
Maybe you’re a little hurt because you can’t have kids or aren’t called to have kids.
Can I be honest with you?
That’s never our intention.
While I can’t speak for everyone everywhere, my version of the Mommy Club is an outcome of loneliness.
I definitely don’t want to pigeonhole all mommies into categories, but I want to share my personal thoughts on the matter.
We’re not trying to be exclusive.
We’re simply overcoming the main problem of being a stay-at-home (or mostly stay-at-home) parent: the need to connect with other adults.
The main reason we gravitate toward other moms is because few others are home during the day!
It’s not personal.
Daytime is playtime. Nights are hard because kids go to bed early, and weekends are special and fill up very fast.
Other reasons we gravitate toward other moms:
We get it. Kids are awesome but they’re distracting. We’re not scatterbrained, but we’re trying to listen and kid-wrangle at the same time. Other moms are used to this and won’t take it as being disengaged.
We’re flexible and give each other grace. We rarely set times to be most places. It’s usually a “text when you’re on your way” kind of thing because life with littles is unpredictable.
We know that just getting out of the house and dressed can be a huge accomplishment.
We’re going through the same life phases.
We can relate to the sleep-deprivation, meal planning, and home managing.
We can bounce ideas off each other and give suggestions without sounding judgmental because we’re all in the same boat.
We all know it’s rough at times and rewarding at others.
We have similar needs.
We’re mostly early risers (not necessarily by choice!) who can’t go out in the afternoon due to nap times.
We share a love of caffeine and discussions about things other than parenting.
We love doing things for cheap or for free so we know all the kid-related things to do for free in the city.
We go to each other’s homes regularly because it’s cheaper and easier than meeting at a coffee shop and expecting the babies to sit there quietly like little angels.
We thrive on social interaction and will talk your ear off when we do get together.
We love to see our kids form friendships and become lifelong buddies.
We’d love for those without kids to join us, but we don’t know how to extend an invite.
Some days I would love to go somewhere with a kid-less friend or single gal because it’s a little less complicated and I’d have a hand with my kiddos…but everyone I can think of is working or lives an hour away!
It’s not personal.
If we don’t reach out to you, it might just be that we’re struggling with just living our day-to-day chores and activities.
Most of us would love it if you reached out to us! Invite yourself over, in the morning if possible. Offer to hold the baby so we can eat and shower uninterrupted. Then we can share our hearts while folding laundry and drinking tea. You’re more than welcome. It’s just a different world sometimes.
I’m lucky enough to have good friends with and without kids, so I’ve heard both sides at different times.
The only rule for being my close friend isn’t whether or not you have kiddos, but that you accept my identity as a mother. I’m not my kids, but they do come with me often. They’re part of who I am now. They’ve changed me a lot. I’m not going to apologize for that.
My non-parent friends are like aunts and uncles! They are a valuable part of my kiddos’ lives.
To moms who are in the Mommy Club:
I ask that you at least be aware that this is how we come across.
Do your best to break the stereotype.
Go out of your way to invite single folks into your home and life. Just because they don’t have kids doesn’t mean they don’t want to talk about kids and learn from those that do. (And just because we have kids doesn’t mean we aren’t sometimes dying to talk about other things!)
I’m honored to be the one that many single friends -men as well as women- ask about pregnancy and childbirth. Being able to shed a little light on this mysterious and marvelous process is so special to me!
I also appreciate hearing the points of view my single and non-parent friends have on issues. They perceive things differently because their stage of life is different. There’s so much value in having friends who aren’t just like us!
I’d like to personally apologize if you’ve ever felt excluded or left out because you weren’t a mother. I believe there’s a lot we can learn from each other and I think we should make an effort to overcome this invisible boundary.
I hope this helps shed a little light on the matter. I’d love to hear feedback from both parents and non-parents about how we can better understand and appreciate one another!