Today, a friend who is single (but dating) and who has no kids sent me a text thanking me for not being “that mom.” She said she went to an event when all the women talked about their children for two hours. “I wanted to stab my hand with a fork, ” she wrote in her text! I was flattered and in fact, she was the fourth friend of mine to tell me essentially the same thing but years ago.
What’s The secret?
It all reminded me of a blog post from 2012 about this very topic and I thought I’d re-share the nexus of it again tonight. Enjoy!
When you are a first time mom, you love your kid and want to share every new discovery, milestone and new curl on your kid’s head with anyone within earshot who would listen, but when you do that all the time and can’t seem to discuss anything else but your kid, you quickly become “that mom.”
Some don’t mind being “that mom” and others simply cannot help it. Over time, friends who don’t have kids will not want to hang with you because they may get frustrated with you gushing about your kid non stop all the time. Talking about your kid(s) is cool occasionally or briefly, but not incessantly.
I didn’t consciously avoid being that mom; I just knew when I was away in an adult setting, I wanted to hear about what’s going on in my friends’ lives too and to share what else besides my kid was new with me. I also quickly realized that not everyone is that interested in my kid as much as I am. You know when people stop listening to you. They get that glazed blank stare look and nod subconsciously while they let you blab on and on and on until they are able to make an excuse to get away from you.
And when you lose your single friends, a scary scary thing will happen. You will start hanging around friends with kids who will spend their time comparing their children to yours, boasting about their kids’ accomplishments and making you feel bad about not being mom enough. Remember Amy Tan’s “The Joy Luck Club” and movie and the scenes when the moms were constantly comparing their kids? Yup, scary huh?
There’s no need to feel guilty, but in fact that is the trap that many women fall in after having children — putting their children and everyone else first ahead of their own needs, even the very important need of being childless and carefree even for one evening. They feel bad for leaving the kid in the first place and then perhaps fill that void by yapping about them all evening.
You have your entire life to worry about your kid.
One thing certainly does happen when you become a parent and I have told this to many friends: you will never ever be able to live your life care-freely without worrying about your children — EVER -that is if you have natural parental instincts (not all parents do). I mean even when your kids are adults and married and living on their own, you will always be concerned for their safety and well being and have some part of your mind on them. It comes with the parenting territory.
But thinking about your kids doesn’t require you sharing your thoughts about them to others who are around you and just trying to unwind and have a good time in an adult setting with no kids.
Just a word to the wise for moms-to-be as they prepare to embark on this wonderful journey that is called motherhood!