Monday, July 7, 2008

The Mom Club

To quote my friend Elizabeth (who is full of great baby advice), " soon as you're pregnant, you feel like you joined an exclusive club. Suddenly, you have things in common with people that you never talked to before ... and if you have a c-section, that is a club within a club like The More Than One Child Club."

Another sub-club is the People Who Were Pregnant At The Same Time Club. People in your PWWPATSTC can be neighbors, people in line at the grocery store, people clustered around the 13th green at a tournament, celebrities, or even friends you just haven't talked to in a while. The group of girls in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants were friends because their moms were in the same prenatal exercise class. And now there is a man in my PWWPATSTC.

I've observed the Mom Club from the outside for years, but nobody had ever acknowledged it before (from the inside) and I think it's interesting. Once you're in, kids seem to be a social catalyst (like dogs) and parents like to swap stories with other parents when they're in the throes of child-rearing. In my experience there is a glass wall surrounding the Mom Club, creating a social barrier between them and the kidless people outside. Why? I'm not sure. Maybe different schedules, priorities, and life experience. The wall may be a little thinner in front of family members, those I knew before kids came along, or women with whom I have something else in common (like making jewelry), but the wall is still there. I've even seen moms who deny their club membership, who don't want to give up any part of their pre-kid lives; that's okay with me as long as the kids don't get the feeling that they're unimportant or a burden.

All I'm saying is that the Mom Club thing is interesting, not necessarily bad. I'm not saying that parenthood makes people boring or snobby, and I'm not trying make people feel bad about how they are now compared to before they had kids. I do think it's okay to be close with people for just a few chapters in life; relationships change when you begin any new chapter like graduating, moving, changing jobs, or getting married.

But as I'm being transported to the other side of the Mom wall, I don't want to alienate my current kidless friends. I don't want to be in mixed groups where just the moms talk and it's about nothing but feeding & nap schedules. When I have lunch with a friend I want to ask her more than, "How is work?" before launching into how my darling child is learning to count.

I hope I never forget what it is like to be on the outside of the Mom Club.


Elizabeth said...

Wow...I made it to your blog. I feel like a celebrity! :-) And we're in at least one sub-club together so far. :-)

Interesting how it works the other way too and kidless friends drop YOU on purpose when you join the Mom Club...

Brian said...

And you, my (mother), there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.