You know the one I am talking about. You join it the moment you get pregnant. Other members of the club, who were formerly strangers come and touch you, give you advice, ask ridiculously personal questions, and tell you their detailed birth stories. You don’t completely understand this club until you actually give birth and then everything clicks.
I went up to an acquaintance last night at the ball game who I knew was due to give birth and asked her how dilated and effaced she was. Who does that? I am asking someone I vaguely know about the condition of her cervix. I would have never done this before having children, but now I can because of the mommy club.
The other time this comes in handy is when your kids are doing something inappropriate or obnoxious and a mom either shoots a look that says, “I feel your pain” or actually comes to your aid. Today I was trying to dress my screaming, wiggling baby in the gym dressing room after swimming in the pool. An older mom (she had no kids with her, but she had to be in the mommy club) saw my struggle and began to distract my 1 year old with cute little rhymes and gestures. It was almost like a secret handshake in a sorority that says, “I am one of you.”
Sometimes we mommies forget the rules of this club and instead of the look that says “I feel your pain”, we shoot the look that says, “Why can’t you get your act together and get your children under control. See… look at my angel children sitting here quietly hanging on my every word and obediently following my every command. Maybe if I glare at you long enough some of my super mommy powers will come your way.” Frankly those mommies need to be blacklisted from the club, but I digress.
Sometimes we mommies also scare the future members of the club away by forgetting that not everyone finds it adorable to hear endlessly about the cute things are kids say (I don’t really understand how that is possible). One of my close friends, the very first time I met her had recently given birth, and I asked her how that was seeing as I had no children yet. She looked at me and said, “No one told me you pooped all over the table when you give birth.” No one had ever told me that either, but she seemed to wear this like some sort of mommy badge. I knew I could be good friends with someone who was willing to speak about her bodily functions so freely, but I didn’t know this is commonplace in the mommy club.
I say all of this because I was encouraged today by the mommy who made my life a little easier. I was also reminded to keep my evil judging eye to myself. I had the kind of day with my kids that made me wish I had not taken them out in public and thankfully I avoided the nasty stare (or I was too busy struggling with my children to notice). So let us wear our mommy badge with pride, mommy tattoo optional.