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Officially a Mom


Putting that Backfield in Motion since 2003

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Officially different

I know we have discussed the whole “what kind of mom blogger am I” and it has been decided, under very narrow terms, that there are hip moms, cute moms, and weird moms. I personally refuse to wear any of those labels because I don’t have interesting fun hair, I don’t stay at home and/or scrapbook, and while I may be a bit weird (after all, I do make it a point to do the running man at least once a day and videotape aforementioned running man), who isn’t weird? I mean, people are weird. Can you think of one person who doesn’t have one weird trait or habit? The husband, for instance, can’t stand to have his sternum touched. When he pisses me off, I like to give him a sharp poke in the sternum and he nearly doubles over because of the freakishly wrong sensation of having his sternum touched. The Gavinator can’t stand to turn left when we go on our walks. The mere mention of a left turn sends him in to a total meltdown that leaves him pleading “no left, no left, no left”. Even the Goosers is weird. She drinks her milk out of a boob.

(Okay, that last thing isn’t technically weird but the majority of Americans think that it is weird and at only 15 months, it is difficult to pinpoint the weird traits so I had to stretch it a bit.)

So while I may not know what type of mom or mom blogger I am, I know one thing: I’m different from other moms. I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing (and really, it is probably a neutral thing) and I’m not bothered in the least by feeling different but it is only becoming more and more apparent when I am in groups of other moms that one of these moms is not like the other ones.

Of course it should be said that I am not in groups of moms very often. Most of the mom friends I have were my friends before kids and while we may have very different personalities and methods of parenting, the friendships remain. Devolution (BBC screenname) is probably the only new friend in real life I have made since having kids but having spent almost a year over on the Feeding Choices Debate Board before meeting each other, it was really like getting together with an old friend the first time we met.

I generally don’t make friends with moms. They’re just so into mom stuff. I tend to be drawn to the younger, child-free crowd. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “but YOU’RE into mom stuff!! You’re so into mom stuff that you started a blog to talk about mom stuff!”

(oh, and the husband can tell you that another one of my weird traits is that I like to tell people what they are thinking. Or was that an annoying trait? Hmmmmm)

It’s true. I’m totally into being a mom. I love my kiddos and everything I do comes back to them. When I’m not at work, I am with my kids and I like it that way. I plan on taking time off of work to volunteer at Gavin’s school and I am all about his parent/instructor taught gymnastics class. I love to talk about my kids, show off pictures of my kids, I wear a ring engraved with their names and birthstones, and when it came time to do a project on integrity at work, I used pictures of my kids. They are in each and every facet of my life for those facets in which they are not directly involved, I incorporate them.

So it’s true, while I’m totally into being a mom, I’m not into “mom stuff” like the mommy wars or the hyper-competitiveness or the raging insecurities or just the seriousness of being a mom. There are so many moms who are my own age yet when I’m around them, I feel like a child hanging out with my own mom. I just shake my head and nod while they go on and on about mama drama and how “so and so brought homemade cupcakes when it was supposed to be store bought and can you believe what the little league uniforms look like and wouldn’t you know that her daughter still doesn’t have her handstand down and oh my gawwwwwd can you believe what she is wearing and did you know she didn’t even try to breastfeed and why can’t my daughter be like hers?”

I pretty much gave up on going to La Leche League a few months age and now that Gavin is in the Monday night class for gymnastics, I don’t know if I will ever make it back. I enjoyed going to LLL because it was nice to be around like-minded women and offer and get support with breastfeeding but I have breastfeeding down pat and I wasn’t really forming relationships with any of the women that would keep me interested in going. Towards the end I was only going to offer support and advice to the working/pumping moms as I was the only working mom nursing past a year. I tried to get to know the women more but aside from breastfeeding and similar views on parenting, we didn’t have much in common. It wasn’t even the whole “attachment parenting is the way, the truth and the light” or the “what would Dr. Sears do?” attitudes because I’m fairly into attachment parenting but rather that people who are so focused on their way being the highway just aren’t a lot of fun to be around. I may be a little crunchy around the edges when it comes to me parenting but I’m pure marshmallow fluff in many other areas and I just CANNOT take myself that seriously.

Then there are gymnastics moms. The class consists of Gavin, me, two girls and their moms, and the instructor. Usually it takes both me and the instructor to contain Gavin and keep him on task but overall he is doing very well and learning new skill every week. Of course, he continues to LOVE gymnastics and that is what is most important.

This week he got to get out on the floor and he ran and ran as fast as he could from corner to corner and would jump, do a front flip, stand with his arms up and then jump up and down and clap for himself.

I can’t really tell you that much about the moms because we are supposed to be a part of the class with our kids so I never really get the chance to stand around and talk. Gavin performs much better when I do it with him. He always says “mama do it, mama do it” and if I do, he’ll do it. This includes- but is not limited to- jumping and nearly peeing myself on the trampoline, doing flips on the trampoline, doing straddle jumps off the top of this big thingy onto a cushiony floor that is damn near impossible to get my 30 year old butt out of, and walking on the beam. I was exhausted last night after class.

The other two moms, on the other hand, stand around and talk most of the time. Their kids pretty much stay on task on their own (although one little girl shows a teeny wild streak) so they don’t have to be out there doing it all. I have to admit, though, even if Gavin stayed on task without me, I would still much rather play on all the gymnastics equipment and bounce around with my son and all the other kids than stand around and talk about what I’m making for dinner (not that I have ever actually made dinner). I feel like I have much more in common with the instructor (who is in her early 20’s) and even the teenage girls who came over to compliment me in my shirt (booyah) than I do with two moms!

I did walk out with the mother of the girl who has the teeny wild streak and she was going on and on about how good the other girl is and she told me she wished her daughter was as well behaved as the other girl. “Not me,” I told her. “I love how wild and crazy my Gavin is.” I just can’t imagine wishing your child was like another child and doing the whole mommy competitive thing. I didn’t really know what to say after that. I just want to walk out with someone and be like “dude, did you see how much fun our kids had? Didn’t my front flips rock? Let’s drop off the kids and go get a margarita!”

Anyone know any hyperactive, open-minded, crunchy yet fluffy mamas with a penchant for gymnastics and a thirst for liquor who would rather talk about farts than compare notes on our kids?

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8 Comments:

Blogger Wendy said...

You said, Fart. Teehee!! I think that is the funniest word. We never say it around Amber and I dont let her say it. She says, Toot. I think that is funny and so does she. She laughs everytime she does one and says it.

Sorry, what was the post about today.

6:32 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Seriously, this is why I have stayed away from the boards, lately. Do you know that there is a mommy war over strollers? I discovered this on the Products for Babies board. I couldnt believe how vicious some moms can get over the type of stroller you have. Whateverah.

I do enjoy watching the stupidness that is the mommy wars and hell I even like to stir it up. However, when that is all their is to talk about it gets boring.

I think this is why I dont get invited to many playdates or playgroups. Oh well, I sit at home and make from of the husband.

Sorry for 2 posts, I guess I wasnt finished.

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it goes back to the whole "girl" thing. Women, in general, are pretty cruel! Being a stay at home mom, I tried the play group thang and would try to paint a picture for my hubby about how it was.(They have no clue!) I seriously dreaded them but felt obligated bc at the time had not established any real friendship w/ other moms.
And the pressure to have Alex in a play group bc it might psychologically scar him if he wasn't in groups by 1yr!!!!(Insert sarcasm).
I also had envisioned that I would be a "cool mom." I wasn't the cool kid in school. I could never get into the,"you're my very very best friend!" one day, to "EWWW, get away from me," the next. I figured out the pattern: Jane at 6 won't play w/ you bc you don't have the right Barbie doll, at 13 it is the wrong pair of canvased Keds, at 24 she will drone on and on for 45 minutes about that diamond on her finger and at 30, Jane will be WARRIOR mommy ready to pounce you if you show up at the playdate w/ the wrong damn cookies!
I just could not keep in step w/ the tedious lists girls kept to determine who to oust. I would wonder who these girls would grow up to be...now i know!
Always on the fringe of every clich. In college I found my own kind. We were mostly ARt majors so "quircky" came w/ the application! I don't know how I measure up but I do know that my mommy friends ARE way cool and I hope by my mere association w/ these succulent, wild women that it may rub off on me...


Heather

9:07 PM  
Blogger Maria P. said...

Wow I could have written that! I know exactly how you feel.

Like Wendy that is why I left all but one message board group. I just don't feel like being criticized over my parenting choices.

I read a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt recently: "small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, great minds discuss ideas."

I have a hard time connecting or caring about the conversations that most other moms carry on about. Especially when I am in an environment where the parents are supposed to be involved but instead stand around and chat. Get in the mud people!

11:06 PM  
Blogger Alicia said...

Hmmm, you could move up north you know!

I'm lucky, I have some close pre-baby friends that do parent enough like me that they don't make my skin crawl. I've met a couple more through them, and like you I'm lucky in that I met someone through BBC that lives a few minutes away from me who's become a friend as well (hi Kelly!). Plus, the women I know professionally tend toward the cruncy side and I've made some good friends in the arts/foundation/higher ed playgroup a couple of my colleagues founded. Of course we haven't met in 6 months because we're all so dang busy.

So, yeah, it's still lonely. I don't live next door to any of these people, and getting together sometimes takes weeks of planning and schedule-juggling. We've made parenting into a lonely gig in this country and I think most people feel it, whether it looks that way or not.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Abby said...

ME! My daughter is almost 7. I have been doing the mom thing for a long time now and been at home. I think for the first couple of years I had Emmaline, I was that "other" mom. But as I got older and did it longer, I quit caring. I love being a mom too and I love my kids. My life pretty much revolves around them. BUT, if I am out wihtout them, I do not want to talk about them most times. I do not want to compare or anything.

My daughter was taking dance. She did not want to so the recital so I did not make her. I do not stay during class. I drop her off and go. The other moms did not like me. You could tell. But you know what? I am not going to be friends with people just because we are both mom's. Two of my closest friends do not even have kids.

I try to stay out of the mommy crap. I would walk out of gym class with you saying the same thing Amanda and I am ALWAYS up for a drink! We just live too far away......):

Abby

9:47 AM  
Blogger karrie said...

I'm kind of crunchy and can drink and fart with the best of them!

Seriously, I'm the first (and so far only) of my original, core group of friends to have kids. Most of the women have drifted, but oddly enough a few of the guys I used to hang with still keep in touch.

I do not have very many "mom" friends either, which is why I'm online so much instead of singing "Wheels on the Bus" and drinking coffee in someone's playroom.

I do have one close "mom" friend from my bb, of all places, and we talk about anything. Very much your "let's go grab margaritas" scenario. When we're out, there's a few minutes of kid-centric chat, bitching about husbands, and then anything goes.

I've never gotten the hang of "we're all moms,hence we're all best friends."

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

Amen, sister! If you didn't live across the country, I'd say we should go grab a beer and muse about how our kids have their own minds and ideas about how to do things their own damn way and how freakin' hilarious it is. I wouldn't have my daugther be any other way. Cookie cutter kids? No way!

Also, I feel the same way about having mom friends just because they're moms. I'm sorry but if that's the only thing I have in common with a person, it's just not enough.

7:18 PM  

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