Making friends with moms is not something that I’m very good at.
When I was in my third trimester, I thought it would be a good idea to sign up for a prenatal yoga class as a way to further prepare for the birth of my first child at 25. I also really wanted to meet other moms. Even if they were sort of snobbish moms with husbands, huge wedding rings, and Birkenstocks from Brooklyn Heights. Suddenly, the women I’d stood aside for to let pass with their strollers were the women I wanted to be. After we had our babies, we met up once or twice in Dumbo and Carol Gardens but the gulf of difference was so vast that it just didn’t make sense for me to continue.
So began a pattern of me always feeling different from other moms.
Motherhood, I’ve learned is a strange club anyway. Parenting of course is filled with dos and don’ts and a million warnings about how you could raise a narcissistic child, a dumb child, or a wimpish child. Advice is thrown at you from inception to breast feeding. I wanted someone to laugh at all this with. A friend who would have sat with me at a bar in Williamsburg and laughed at the sweaty men trying to buy us a drink. But, suddenly, I wasn’t drinking anymore.
I felt my identity bisect into twenty something girl and nurturing mom.
I don’t even feel like a cool mom because I worry too much. I worry if Willow is happy. I worry if I’m sending her to the wrong school. I worry if I am unconsciously passing along some horrible trait that I am blinded to but will hinder her in some significant way. I worry because she is an only child. But mostly I worry because I did whatever I had to do to make sure we survived and sometimes I worry that she will feel that.
I was at a birthday party of Willow’s peer on Saturday. The mothers gathered while the children did obscene things with glitter and paint to the sound track of Taylor Swift and Carlie Ray Jepson. I happened to be in the middle, I had on my point toe Chelsea boots with gator patches on the heel, high wasted jeans and bright cherry red matte lipstick. I wanted to look un-mom but still approachable. I said something generic about the kids’ school and they all laughed. Later, the mom of the birthday girl took me by the arm to the food table, “Have some food,” she invited cheerfully. Then she pointed to the two bottles at the end of the table, “and there’s the wine.” She smiled and I smiled back.