Friday, February 17, 2012


The other day I was reminded of some friends we had when we were newly married.

They were some of our first "couple friends."

They had their first baby just 4 months before we had ours.

In those 4 months, I got a thorough education.

I was not yet familiar with mom-with-baby culture.

Especially when it came to realizing that when a mother repeatedly brings up how HUGE her baby was/is, it is because that is supposed to be a backdoor brag about how awesome she is for birthing such a behemoth.

I was too naive to realize that I was supposed to feel inferior. That this was a contest.

Instead, I just wondered why ON EARTH anyone would find the abnormal largeness of their offspring a point of pride/a relevant side note to any and all topics of discussion.

I also began to, I will never understand it. Scratch that. I began to realize that whether or not you breastfeed, women will try to make you feel bad about it.

Same thing happens if you deliver by c-section or not.

Or if you have an epidural.

Or if you don't have an epidural.

Or if you send your child to preschool. Or not.

And on and on.

I looked forward to the day I could emerge from mom-with-baby culture and take a deep breath of fresh, respectful, "real" woman culture. A culture, I imagined, where women don't  unsolicitously talk about their birth stories. Or use shared maternal experiences as weapons to ensure no other woman feels completely comfortable about her choices or instincts.

A culture where grown women eagerly engage in thought-provoking conversation that would never be tangented with some "annoying" (actually super awesome, but no one wants to be overtly braggy) thing little Jr. said/did yesterday.

But that hasn't happened yet.

And sometimes the prospect that perhaps it never will, and perhaps women compete with each other over stupid crap until they DIE...?

Well, it just depresses the tar out of me.

Luckily, there's you. YOU, reader, are more than likely one of the few acquaintances I've made who I can stand to have a conversation with (and who reads my ramblings without admonishing me for lack of proper sentence structure or word-making-up...right?).

So thank you for keeping the tar in where it belongs.

Disclaimer: I am not in any way opposed to talking about mom things. They are usually relevant. Even helpful. Just, can't we pretend every once in a while that there is more on our minds than Earth-shattering issues like cloth diapers and superiority/low-self esteem? I think we can. Because we are women.


Kimi Lou said...

Fallon did the CUTEST thing the other day! She....
(OK. You already know you can always count on my kids and I NOT to make you feel inferior.)
I love you!
We missed you at Mom and Dad's yesterday!

Michelle said...

If it is not one thing it is another. The non-mommy-culture is just as competitive about dumb things. How much they work, how well known they are in their field of work, how superior their field of work is to yours, how much money is donated, how much time is donated, how many committees/boards/task force's you sit on. It's exhausting.

Then non-mommies have to deal with the mommies judgement against the non-mommies. Mommies are convinced we do not "get" the life if we haven't had a child.

Then there is this weird segment of mommies who think non-mommies judge them for staying home. The mommies appear to feel as though they need to talk up all of their successes prior to child birth. For the record, mommies, I admire you (moms) for staying home in this darn women's liberated society!

I just don't get it. I guess I better have a kid.

Yup - still grouchy!

This is the point were I need to write a disclaimer for those who don't know me. Here it is: Readers don't be offended.

Michelle said...

PS I am not trying to be competitive with the mommy vs non-mommy stuff :o)