Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Country Club for New Moms

Line up all 20 women in Fifi's "Mommy & Me" gym class and I will be able to successfully identify the new mothers from the old (having mothered before) mothers.

How? Well for starters the (majority of) new mothers in affluent suburbs enrolled in "Mommy & Me" are manicured, stylish, and rested. Sadly I no longer belong in that mafia. They flocked to one another, perhaps by recognizing the smell of fancy organic baby lotion their perfect toddlers adorned. I looked down at my beautiful third child and licked off the crusty dried banana on her chin.

Of course these are generalizations. But I was amazed at how attractive people (in this case new mothers) really do migrate toward each other and instantaneously form a clique. "Oh. My. Gosh. Your child eats organic pureed Brussels sprouts too? Let's get together. We HAVE to do lunch." They squealed while swooning over each others toddler.

Further evidence that widens the gap between us, thus solidifying my alienation from any future play dates with the new mom mafia:

-- Their SUVs are spotless complete with car seat protectors that preserve the car's upholstery. My mini van is so filthy it once took me two weeks to find the package of missing ground beef.
-- Their manicured toddlers are able to sit soundly during circle time because they have been in an organized gym class and/or playgroup since birth. My toddler has had free reign of the house chasing after other four and six year olds thus convincing herself to believe she is also a four or six year old child.
-- Their children had been bathed, scrubbed and groomed before leaving the house. My child had breakfast dried in her hair, banana plastered over her chin and cheeks, and washable marker all over her forearms.
-- The new mothers looked rested because their relaxing morning just started and they showered while their only child ate organic puff cereal in front of a baby video teaching Mandarin. I was not showered, not relaxed, and tired. I dressed, fed, and sent off two children to school while my toddler ate bruised bananas in front of Tom and Jerry. And that isn't the name of my nannies nor the title of a Mandarin baby video.
-- The mothers were dressed in the latest fashionable threads for it had only been months since they left their job where they had real adult interactions. My adult interactions happen at the grocery store with the butcher and my fashion inspirations are from Target on quick diaper runs.
-- Their groomed toddlers cried during separation time holding onto their mother's legs. My toddler never sensed I was gone and started an impromptu game of chase with the gym teacher giving her a run for our money.

I was part of that new mom mafia not too long ago and remember how important "Mommy & Me" gym class was. It served as an outing for me to meet other moms like myself and a chance to let my child explore and play in a fun setting. It was a very good thing and many of the mothers I met are still friends of mine today. It served as the country club for new mothers and a place to make connections.

I became a drop-out when Lola was born and not since yesterday have I observed the new mom mafia in action on their own turf. It made me realize what a long strange trip it has been these last six years and how far I have traveled.

From: "Mommy & Me" The Country Club for New Mothers. Play, socialize, and make connections here.

To: "Mommy & Me & Me & Me" The Life of a Mother with Three. From organic cereal to boxed pop tarts, dirty van, and violent cartoons.

97classy comments:

LaskiGal said...

I can't even imagine . . .

Today J and I had an entire indoor play area to ourselves. Seems we had just missed the Mommy & Me group.

Maybe it was a blessing in disguise.

You are a seasoned pro . . . don't forget it.

CRigg said...

Hilarious! And you think you have it bad, it's even worse here is Southern California!!! Moms here get botox and tummy tucks immediately after. :) (not i, not i!) At least we can all chuckle at the neophytes and make a mental note that they too will join the dark side (meaning, letting things GO!) at some point.

Someone Being Me said...

Wow, I guess I am an underachiever. I am a first time mom and I do none of those things. We participate in no organized group activities. My car is not clean and my clothes are downright sloppy.

Natalie Jane said...

Well, just remember that you are actually famous in the blogosphere. How many of them can claim to be a household name?

I wonder if that mafia would like me? I tend to wear make up most days, but I don't have an SUV....

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

So funny! So accurate! Who'd ever have imagined that our badge of honor would be sweats and greasy hair?

Naomi said...

So close to home ... literally.

Great post, OHMommy!

Don Mills Diva said...

Pffft!

Don't worry - they're all going to be filty, exhausted hags in no time.

momof3crazykids-Val said...

This is too funny. Yes I remember those days. Though I was never like those first time moms. When I took my 2nd nd 3rd to Gym classes oh I noticed.

Kj said...

So true. What a great entry.

And Don Mills... tired, filfy hags? Hilarious.

Nap Warden said...

Yeah, I left the New Mommy Mafia long ago. Bring on the Pop tarts and cartoons!

krissy said...

Yeah, well the new mom's probably do not know how to pull a toy from a nose either (I do..I do!). Or how to travel across the ocean with 3 children. And they do not know how to change a diaper, make supper and do homework all at the same time.

I only have one child, but I am not in the mafia and never have been. But I also allowed my one child to also watch tom and jerry while eating breakfast.

You will be welcoming them all to your side of the tracks very, very soon.

Elaine A. said...

Oh this is too good... so funny!

Don't worry, their day will come when their hair (or their kids') WON'T be pefect and that ground beef will escape them too. That's what keeps me going anyway, the thought that yes, someday they will be just like us! ; )

Elaine A. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashlee said...

I was never part of the Mommy Mafia. But, you know, it is nice knowing that there are others that don't fit "the mold" either. :0) The majority of us are in the same boat as you and wouldn't have it any other way. :0)

Tena said...

yes, I was once one of "those" moms as well, when you have more than one, it's all about managing your time, and you find that a quick rub down with a baby wipe is almost as good as a bath, and that the dirty van will just have to wait, because that said baby wipe bath, only buys you a few extra hours, a day tops... and between the van and the kid... your kid trumps! Watch one day, you will run past one of those posh mom's, and she won't look so posh anymore, instead she will have two more kids.

beth said...

And here I thought my kids were the only ones still watching T & J. Good stuff.

Rachel said...

Wow. Now I'm second guessing my desire to find some type of mommy group. I would hate that kind of environment & those kind of moms -- totally intimidating. . . . . but it was funny to read about! I was rolling!

blissfullycaffeinated said...

Directed here by Velveteen Mind via Twitter. So glad because I love this post. I am not quite at your level of experience - only 2 kids - but I know exactly what you are talking about. Such a funny and true look at how mommyhood changes with each addition.

P.S. My husdand throws up when he gets into my car.

Mamafoodie said...

Never judge a book by it's cover.... These "perfect" Mommies, and "perfect" Toddlers have meltdowns too. It's called being human! :P

Kathryn said...

I was never part of that new mom mafia. Sounds kinda nice though. ;)

This morning as I walked Joey and Tommy to their classrooms I noticed Ben had dried saliva still stuck to his lips/chin/face from sucking his paci all night, and I was only a smidge embarrassed about it as I licked my fingers and scraped it off his face. Yep. I'm cool like that.

Marcy - The Glamorous Life! said...

"And that isn't the name of my nannies nor the title of a Mandarin baby video"

HA!

Excellently written.
I did a post on my MOMfia a little while ago. Sounds like you have met some of the members already.

just jamie said...

Dude, grab your spagettio's and corn dogs and meet me at Target!

You. Are. Amazing.

Cecily R said...

You. You're awesome. I think you might be my favorite after that post!

And we need to get our vans together. Mine hid eggs from me for two days once. In the Utah summer. Not pretty.

Rachel said...

LOL. Perfect OhMommy.

I have days where I am 'that' mommy and other days where I'm 'that doesn't have the time for it' mommy :-)

Love this. Love you. Thanks for the offer to come there to escape the hurricane!

XOXO

lattemommy said...

Showered? Clean children? Rested????

I think maybe I remember those days. If I tune out the screaming and fighting and think really, really hard...

Jenera said...

I was first time mom up until 7 months ago when I got preggo again. But alas I NEVER fit in with the 'IT' moms, ever. Even when I was brand spanking new to the mom club.

It was always glaringly apparent when we went to the park or other child oriented places. Oh and that one time I tried to join a playgroup? Not to so much. I didn't even last an hour.

DYSFUNCTIONAL MOM said...

I was just about to post what Jenera said above me. I never fit into that group! And ya know what, I am SO okay with that.

Kash said...

Huh...I wonder what kind of mommy I will be. Oh I know...the one that calls up OHMOMMY and screams for help!

Domestic Extraordinaire said...

don't worry about being one of those moms.

and tom and jerry is a classic, i am sure fifi is learning lots of things from it *wink*

Flea said...

Ahhh, motherhood. Poptarts and violent cartoons. You've nailed this one on the head.

I could really use a Poptart right now.

Hey, how are the plans coming along for selling and downsizing?

Megryansmom said...

You mention poptarts as if they are a bad thing...hmmmm

Kaci said...

YIKES!! I'm def not the norm I only have one child she's 4 and she still has dried on banana on her face and my husband just took her to preschool. :) LOL!

Very funny!! YOU ROCK!

THopgood said...

You just described the parents at my daughter's dance class. And I had the same thought...."that used to me".

P said...

You're being too hard on yourself. Just wait until you have a teenager and a little one! You're still a newbie!

Melissa said...

Just think of all the experience you have that the Mommooy Mafia doesn't!

In the end, I'd rather have experience.

Lisa said...

What a great post!

I am a Target fashionista as well, and seeing as I'm taking Lulu to her first music class of the season today I'll be on the look out for the new mommy mafia. Too bad we're not closer to each other OHMommy...we could hang out - banana crusts, dirty minivans and all!

Indy said...

I'm in your club. :) I saw a lady at preschool who has twins and her van was SPOTLESS on the inside. Mine was dirtier on the ride home from the dealership. I complimented her and she acted as I was from Mars. Who has a van and doesn't keep it spotless like mine?????

Smart A$$ Mom said...

I predict you will return to the well groomed Mom Mafia. When Fifi starts preschool you will have nothing else to do but spend 2 hours a day grooming yourself. And cleaning your house and detailing your car.

Jessica said...

I almost spit my coffee out onto my computer laughing reading your post. I too just had a similar experience :) And was thinking to myself that maybe I should consider showering before class next time.... but how do you accomplish such a feat and get the other to preschool? Or did anyone notice the huge zit on my chin as I gave up wearing makeup more or less the minute after my 1st was born? Hmmm...maybe we should let our kiddos run around in their jammies one week and see if we get stares and only respons with "well I needed to have time to coiff before class."

Maggie, Dammit said...

This is SO TRUE.

And, this?

"I looked down at my beautiful third child and licked off the crusty dried banana on her chin."

Is the best line ever.

I think I could almost stomach one of these meetings if I knew someone like you would be there. ;)

Courtney said...

I am somewhere in the middle. With two kids I've let some things slip away and yet managed to hold on to some. I probably wouldn't be liked by either group.

Kel said...

That makes me giggle - I cannot say I ever fit into that mafia, I do agree that with 2, 3, 4 or more...life changes and the kids ... um ... my kids get wilder.
~K

Crystal D said...

Oh OHmommy those moms went home and thought... "Did you see that other mom, she looked so confident and so relaxed? Do you think I will EVER feel like that? And her child was so confident too, how does she make it look so easy?"
I bet they didn't even notice the dried banana. LOL

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

Yeah.. I for the first 3 years of my son's life-- I lived in Suburbia. I know the Mama Mafia. Once the Mafia called the entire Mothers of Preschoolers group my son was in to report to the other mamas that my 2 year old BIT their child.

Then we moved north. To the country. Lots of land. Lots of grass. Lots of animals. A barn that is an 1.5 ACRES UNDER ROOF.
Tunnels in the haymow? Check! Dirt on their knees? Check!

I don't miss the mommy and me groups!

Kelly said...

That is so funny and so true. I can spot a first time mom from a mile away. I don't mean that in a mean way either, they are just too new and naive yet about parenthood. I was there once and I laugh at the things I used to think and do when I was a first time parent. Boy, have I changed my tune on a lot of things! LOL

A Whole Lot of Nothing said...

You're SO right on. Don't forget the sloppy mom-clothes on us multiple-kid moms.

renatamic said...

when i come visit, you, me and lola are betting manis!! fifi too!! my treat! no need to disguise your super-mommy-ness, but a girls gotta pamper herself every once in a while.

wait - maybe we should get massages...good stuff after boot camp!

carrie said...

I'd take Tom and Jerry over a Mandarin baby video any day.

Any day.

Give those mommies a few years, and they'll be just like us!

LceeL said...

Somewhere along the way, you (and thank the GODDESS for this) became OHmommy. And there isn't a single one of THEM that can say THAT. We all LOVE OHmommy. Dried bananas and all.

Licked them off (the dried bananas)? I thought I was the only person that actually licked the children. My sons always HATED that.

Krystyn said...

That's pretty funny. But, I'm a mom of only one, and I don't think I would ever fit into the country club for new moms. I guess you also have to be a SAHM? That's the only way I might have time for all of that stuff.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Maybe it's because I went back to work after my first (how I would have LOVED to be part of the new mom mafia back then...) - but I have always been kind of a disaster. But I was really good about keeping his face clean before the twins came along... Now we're all a disaster. And I ABSOLUTELY seek out the most disheveled mother at the playground - immediately sensing a soulmate. So your theory works both ways.

Kim said...

I tried the mommy and me classes when my first was born.. and I was never ever apart of that new mom mafia.. I was always tired and weathered looking.. and I once could not find chicken in my car for a week.. true.. so very true.

Jogging In Circles

aleciaragland said...

I once was a manicured mom with a manicured baby, that is until #2 came, now like yourself I rarely have adult interaction, my car is only clean maybe once every two months. I missed the country club for new moms.

The Daily Stroll said...

Love this post! Too funny! I'll admit I am "that mommy" right now but I have a feeling since baby #2 is on the way my days of club membership are about to expire ;)

Rhea said...

new mom mafia. hehe So true.

enthalpymama said...

Ah, refreshing as usual. I fed my third child a Fiber One bar on the way home from preschool dropoff. Not because he needs the fiber, but because I need him to stay AWAKE long enough to get him in bed so I can write this comment. Oh, okay, it wasn't a real Fiber One bar, it is the knockoff Target brand. You know I'm an experienced mom because I give him the peanut butter instead of the chocolate, because I find peanut butter stains easier to ignore when they don't come out of the laundry. Allergies? Uh, well, he ate his sister's peanut butter sandwich before he turned one, so I think we are covered.

Sabrina said...

Oh, my, I totally identify with you about the crusty banana and not worrying anymore about organic, etc. but I'm just mom to one. I can't imagine how much I'll let go by the time we get to the next one!!! Great post! Had me laughing out loud!!!

Allison said...

funny, sad, accurate

13 years and four children later, I can look at those first Mommy & Me type outings where a mother tried to induce vomiting in her child because the grape he ate was not organic, and laugh rather than cry.

I remember one mom lecturing me on how to use a toothpick to polish my newborn's toenails so they would be cute through the little plastic sandals the BabyGap was selling that summer.

Immoral Matriarch said...

Sadly, this is all very true. You can't escape the cliques.

Stephanie said...

You don't give yourself enough credit, woman! Always remember that they will be part of your group soon, too. Their cute little cars will turn into dirty vans, their hair will get greasy, makeup something you do at each red light on the way to mommy and me and their children will be little adults soon, too. But don't sell yourself short. There are things to be learned from dirty mini-vans (I own one, too as a mother of three). There's a time to clean, a time to shower and a time think about all the things you've given up to be a mother.

Try to remember that being a stay at home mom is the best gift for your children. It's the best thing for you. You won't have regrets raising your children the way you want them to be, you WOULD have regrets letting someone else raise them in a daycare. All the other stuff will resurface (showers, clean vans, etc.) when the kids are older. We'll never get back these days with our kids, we can always get back the things we've lost for ourselves.

My Semblance of Sanity said...

From one mom of three to another...we have a better grasp of reality...even if our reality is filled with out own shrieking!

Tara R. said...

They will learn soon enough and come crawling to you seeking your wise counsel. You are one rawking mama.

the planet of janet said...

*standing up and applauding wildly*

and those caboose children are stronger for it, too.

Lisa @ Take90West said...

I loved this post! It is all so true...I remember being that new mom, and it feels like forever ago. Now, at 34, I take my youngest to her last year of preschool and I'm the oldest mom there. Old, unshowered, and unaccessorized, that is!
And it's not that I've let myself go, because I still care when I'm going places, but mornings are early and busy around here and I've learned it's not the end of the world if we are all not looking like a photo shoot from Parenting magazine!

3 Peanuts said...

Oh can I relate to this----I am now the "old" (and not just mothered before but OLD) Mommy now). Will is 11 and Kate is 2! I used to be that cute, young, well dressed Mommy. Now, I am the "older Mommy" (I do still try to dress cut though). I SO relate to this. It is a little isolating. Tis the circle of mothering.

Alpaca Farmgirl said...

Absolutely! My first child watched educational tv, went to Mommy & me from 5 months on, and could say the alphabet before she was 2. My 3rd and 4th are twins and they only watched Tom and Jerry, and Chowder. They don't know their ABC's and they're in kindergarten. I know they will be okay and learn them...When I did take the twins to KinderMusic, one cried the whole time and they went in two different directions. It was impossible. Yea, I've kinda outgrown that mommy mafia stage too.

Hooray for the dirty van girls!

Kara said...

Ooo so true. It's funny how you don't notice these things when you only have one but when you have more than one your sooo over it and can spot a new mama a mile away.

Great post.

amy turn sharp of doobleh-vay said...

yes yes! :) so funny

the MomBabe said...

Ahhh, to be so young and energetic.

ThatGirl said...

Also? They have new boobs, while mine are making the Phyllis Diller circuit.

crunchiemummy said...

Oh you are so on with this! I love it when they try and offer me advice before they realise that I do indeed have THREE children! Hey, maybe that means I have that new mom look you described? Methinks, not! LOL

DCD said...

I'm not sure how I ended up here - followed from a comment you left somewhere!

My oldest just started Kindergarten and boy do I feel like a fish out of water with that group of Mommy Mafia. We never did the Mommy & Me or anything like that so I'm a total newcomer. Yikers. Plus, I'm a newcomer w/sloppy kids and a car that is perpetually trashed. Sooo, can I join you instead?

MommyTime said...

I love this post. Even when my first was little, and I tried to go to these playgroup classes, I was the outsider because my shoes weren't expensive enough and my jeans weren't skinny enough. The RADAR that these mommies have to sense who is an "outsider" can be pretty unpleasant. I'm actually happier now that I have found friends who are not so manicured. Though I'm sure you are much classier than I am on a regular basis, I get the sense that you are much more genuine and kind than these mommies -- so hug your self for that. Your children will ultimately have a much better role model in you as a result. :)

mommynotes said...

I love this. I have felt this way too when I went to a mommy and me gymnastics class recently. All the moms with their perfect and quiet toddlers and my wild girl was running around trying out all the new equipment. I would not trade her for the world though.

I love going to Starbucks or Kroger and talking to the cashiers because that is my only adult interaction. I would not trade it for the world either.

I gave my two year old an organic cereal bar this morning so we could get out of the house before it rained.

Tracey said...

Oh yes. I often reminisce about how things have changed in my parenting role. 9 years ago, I had all the time in the world to worry about how my kid matched and what-not. Tonight? I brought Corinne to Justin's class in fancy shoes, red pants, a white shirt with pink apples and carrot juice stains, and a floppy red bow. She was looking gorgeous, especially with the green pacifier and Dora accessories....

Mr Lady said...

I've never once in 10 years taken any sort of class/playgroup like that, so I cannot relate. I do, however, thank you for confirming what I imagined.

Also, I love you. This rocks.

Also also, our girls would be BFF's.

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

A perfect post!

Blessings From Above said...

That is such a good assessment! I was the same way with my first child. Now...not so much.

You have to admit though - I bet you and Fifi had more fun than anyone else in class. I imagine the new mom's were quite envious of how relaxed you were.

CC said...

Oh man (cries one spit on puked on jammied up mother!!).

Elizabeth said...

you are too funny!

I am so the "new mom" when it comes to trying to find others "like me". I'm not as manicured as your new mom mafia ladies...but I wish I were. hehehe

rebyoung said...

How perfect!!! This sounds like an observation of my life these days!

anti-supermom said...

It made me laugh out loud, but I really still have a hard time believing that you couldn't find ground beef for two weeks - that's insane.

We love you more for it though~

Karen MEG said...

I loved this post!!! I'm sure your stiletto collection would give any of theirs a run for their money ;)

I like what Kelly (DMD) said -snort!

I was lucky, I made a really good new friend at the Mommy & Me class with little G (her daughter is my girl's BFF now) - I think we clicked because we're both seasoned moms with older boys. Well, me with a bit more seasoning (ie. years - cough ..)...we're talking at least a decade older than most of the other moms.

I was never too manicured or a yoga mom to begin with, so I guess I was in trouble from the get- go LOL!

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

yeah, I'e noticed that. And if you have 4, they just look at you like you're insane (or maybe they look at you that way because your shoes are scuffed, hair in a ponytail (AGAIN) and your jeans are covered in mystery substance!)
Great post!

Tiaras & Tantrums said...

I have to tell you - this was running through my head yesterday when I dropped off two oldest to school and took baby girl to her first momma and me class. All the little ones are scared in their momma laps, not interacting. My baby girl walks right and and rightup in the Kid Rock instructors face. And he says, well, we knows who is not the shy one! Yes, indeed!! She ran all over the class - so funny! I was not showered - but I was wearing my shirt from Target! Baby was super clean though - nary a drop of syrup on her!!
Funny Post!

April said...

One of my bosses at work is a member. She was cooing about how sweet her baby looks while the nanny is feeding him. The only time I watched either of my babies being fed by someone else is when my 4 year old tried to feed my 1 year old.

kittyconcerto.com said...

Just give them a couple of more kids and a few more years and they won't be nearly as classy and put together as you. Even if you forgot that today.

And the car thing....lmao! My car could give your mini van a run for it's money, and I have NO excuse like cute toddlers or anything.

Amy said...

So you don't even want to know how it was when I started Mommy and Me with the fourth!

Chelle said...

You crack me up!

Isabella doesn't go to organized activities. I am finally getting my hair done on Sat (it's been a little too long since my last one). My pedi? Needs some refreshing.

As much as it sounds like their world is perfect, I am just a teensy bit grateful for my chaotic, hectic life. Oh yes--and with my one child :)

Love your blog--just added you to my reader!

Zoeyjane said...

From what you're describing, I'm obviously missing my other kids. Cuz that new mom mafia? I didn't even look like that before Isobel!

* TONYA * said...

Let's form our own mafia. If my kids leave the house dressed and without breakfast stains all over their clothes, we are doing well ... same goes for me.

Allison Says said...

Man do I feel like I have missed out ;)

I have never and will never be "that" mom. I'm so excited when I get to blow dry my hair and put on makeup, but I still have never managed to get out of the house with both me and my (ONLY!) son looking perfect.

Kirsten said...

Thank you, thank you for making me feel better about the sorry state of my mommy life. You are sooo my hero. Until I read your post, I had been feeling especially guilty for letting my toddler continue to eat her hot dog today after repeatedly dropping it on the floor in the Target cafe area (hotdogs and Icees at Target are our fancy lunch out these days!)

Michelle said...

I just stumbled on this, and wow, so true. My toddler is lucky to have shoes on when we go to the grocery store. I will never fit in that group, and it's nice to know that I am hardly alone. Thank you!

Marmarbug said...

Oh lord. I don;t think I was EVER a part of the new mommy club.
I am just me. Take it or leave it.
Ya know?

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

I missed it because I never did look like "that" new mom. After having worked for the last 8 yers before kids, I was excited for jeans and sweats and dressing down.

KEEP BELIEVING

Octamom said...

Hee hee! Seeing as how I birthed my # 7&8 (b/g twins) last year, I shudder to think how my breed would be identified in the wilds of Mommy and Me class!

Great post!
Blessings!

 

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