I may tackle the subject of the pressure that kids feel to fit in with their peers but today ain’t the day. Instead I would like to focus on moms. Moms have a lot of pressure to fit in as well. I have been at both spectrums of being a very young mom and being a not so young mom and it does not get any easier.
When I had #1 at 18 I had people come up and ask me if she was my sister or even if I was babysitting. As the OG5 entered school I was still one of the youngest moms at functions. When #1 played Tball for one glorious summer, the other moms were not friendly. They all seemed so put together. They wore clothes that matched and didn’t have a baby riding on their hip. #3 was only a couple of months old when #1 played softball and #2 was sitting next to me in the bleachers trying to call out all of the plays. I didn’t bring a nifty little cooler full of healthy juice and water and snacks. I had a diaper bag full of candy and soda because I needed a boost. I did not fit in. And I was okay with it. I cheered on #1 and ignored the fact that no one sat beside me on the bleachers or invited me to kiddy functions. I chalked it up to the fact that they were not ready for the glory that was me or my kids.
When I was pregnant with #6 I was 37. I was considered an “elderly” obstetric patient. That sucked. By the way, the cut off from “normal” expectant mom to “elderly” expectant mom is 35. Thirty freaking five. I think that needs reviewed and post haste. I noticed that this pregnancy was harder. I didn’t have the energy I had with the OG5 in my twenties. I was put on bed rest. With #7 I was 40. I felt like one of those Hollywood stars who decide to have children late in life. I embraced the fact that I was on bed rest for the last 3 months of my pregnancy. I got huuuuge.
#6 entered kindergarten this year and for the first time, I was the median age of all the other moms in the school. I was determined I would not be one of those unfriendly bitches that looked down on the few young moms I saw. But I still didn’t fit in. Other parents were talking about this being their first time being without their precious dumplings. This was my 6th rodeo. They wore heels and skinny jeans and had fabulous hair and I drop #6 off wearing yoga pants and my husbands hoody.
I wanted to be so like those put together moms when I was a young mom. I wanted to have a tan and go to the salon and drink fancy bottled water sitting in camp chairs that were monogrammed with my initials. Now that I am the same age as those moms, I don’t tan unless going outside and burning my gingery skin counts. I get my hair cut when I can no longer clip it up because there’s too much of it. I drink bottled water that is on sell because we go through a lot of it. I have camp chairs, they are mismatched and some have chewed up arms from our dog. And I am okay with it.
I have embraced my own fabulousness. Would every mom at the school appreciate my sense of humor? Maybe not. But I wouldn’t know unless I actually talked to them. Because while I would smile and talk with the younger moms who look bewildered and just out of high school, I never really tried to talk with moms my own age. Guess what? For the most part, they are just as nice and just as confused as I am. They seem put together but they still struggle with raising kids and still feel like failures at it somedays.
I preach about not judging a book by its cover but just because a book looks exactly like all the other books, doesn’t mean there isn’t some great content waiting to be discovered there. It’s okay if you fit in and it’s really okay if you don’t. I have extra camp chairs and some pop tarts in my purse if you want to sit and chat.