Monday, February 13, 2012

Mommy Mondays: A Reminder Why I Never Leave The House

"It's library day," my sister says when she calls. "Do you want to go?"
A quick glance at my disaster house and my tantrum-throwing almost two-year-old tells me, "Don't do it... You've begun a strict regimen of never leaving the house. Remember?"
But my voice says "Sure."

As we enter the storytime room I see myself in the myriad of women who surround me. But it's not the myself I am now. It's the old myself--the one who was cuter and spunkier and only had one child myself. It's the myself from nine years ago.

The ladies present are the myselves who still dress trendy and have baby equipment that doesn't appear to have come from a 1990s daycare center garage sale. They're the myselves with huge diaper bags containing granola bars and bottled water and other fancy lady stuff like medicine and a plastic changing pad and baby wipes.

***I mean if my kid has the gumption to go poop at the library he can handle the ten minute ride home in his dirty diaper. Those baby changing stations weren't made for mothers with lots of children. Mine run around the public bathroom saying "what's this?" while they stare at the condom dispenser and crawling on the diseased tile to go under a locked stall door.***

Those ladies are the myselves who are looking for friendship and camaraderie. They're the myselves who sidle up to other moms and say, "How old is your little one?" just to start a conversation about shots and potty training and oh-my-gosh-he-can-read?!!

If a cute young Mom sidles up to me and says "How old is your little one?" I might just say, "I'm 32. Don't waste your time here." I know 32 isn't old in today's mommy standards, but when faced with a barrage of first time mommies with skinny butts, all I can remember is how OLD I am.

And it's okay that they are that way. Like I say, I was too. I was the 23-year-old first time Mommy who took my youngest to a puppet show when she was two weeks old. I'm. Not. Kidding. We walked to the library EVERY SINGLE WEEK and I often used the "How old is your little one?" line like a schmoozy used car salesman. It was a happy time of life.

These gals are wonderful ladies and moms. So why does the jaded side of me want to say, "Guess what? I know something you don't know."

What would that "something" be? Who knows? Maybe that it's not all going to be easy. That they're not always going to be nice. That they're going to yell. That they're going to feel frumpy. That they're going to cry.

I would tell them it's going to be worth it--yes. It's going to be perfect at times--yes. But growing old and growing from the first-time Mom to the fourth-time Mom is also going to hurt like heck.

But of course they wouldn't want to hear that. I SURE WOULDN'T HAVE! The reality of what they should be told is this--Great job! You are doing an absolutely great job!

Anyway, back to the library: My baby threw a royal tantrum when the Tootie Fruities were dolled out for bracelets (and apparently a paper plate full of free snacks wasn't his idea of enough).

Needless to say, we didn't make any new friends at the library today. But hey, my two middles had a great time, so I suppose it was worth dragging my recently designated recluse self out of the house.


i'm erin. said...

Ha ha! I love that your kids went nuts in the library. Mine always do. I love the library, and I'm there right now.
I agree with the advice you would give. I don't think I would totally scare someone away, but positive reinforcement is always good.

Western Warmth said...

Oh, I hear ya! I feel a little jaded as a mom of four now, but I can't really put a finger on what has made me that way either....part of it might be that I just don't have the time or emotional availability to be a friend like those moms of one can and do (I did once too) I just figure why bother!

Rachel said...


Jessica R. Patch said...

YOU. CRACK. ME. UP! I can relate. When I'm at church working and the Mommy play-date group show up I laugh. I really do. It's exactly like you describe. Ha!

Emily R. King said...

Urgh. Don't talk to me about age. It's my birthday today, AGAIN. Sensitive subject.
But it's true, I'm more more laid back as a mom of four than I was as a mom of one. Wow, was I really that neurotic?
And as for the library: there's always next week. Ha!

Angela Cothran said...

I almost peed my pants reading this :) AMEN AMEN AMEN! I choose to look at it not as jaded, but as realistic. We just know that taking a one month old to story time at the library accomplishes nothing except annoyance. But I do wish I had my 24 year old butt :)

Kasey @ Mormon Mommy Writers said...

Yes, you hit the nail on the head with this post. I just kind of smile at the new moms and think that mommying isn't nearly as complicated as we all make it out to be when we first start. The diaper bag shrinks because you realize your keys work just as well as 5 different toys. An extra diaper or two and a pack of wipes will get you through most messy situations and a hungry kid will not faint from starvation before they get home. Kids are more resilient than we imagine, and once you get a few of them to the point where they're using the bathroom on their own, talking in complete sentences and rolling their eyes at you, you realize that if you, of all people, can keep them alive, healthy, and decently happy, then it's not as hard as you first thought.

That's what I've figured out anyway. And for all you new moms, it's not that we "old moms" don't care anymore- it's just that we care about the right things and let the rest go. :-)

Leigh Covington said...

Too funny. Mommy stories are great. I think we all need to know that "we're not the only one!" I do anyway. I usually avoid many of these activities until my kids are old enough to handle them. Or I'm able to handle them. I get so stressed out! But they are so fun too! *sigh* There is never a correct answer for me. Love this post. :)

Jolene Perry said...

I LOVE how true all of this is.

With your first you do everything carefully. Everything right. You dress cute before you leave the house. The brand of stroller matters, lol.

And then you realize that there's just a lot of stuff to do and a lot of life to live to be worried about all of that.

Age and children make SUCH a difference.

Robin said...

I was a little nervous to read when it started with my sister said. It was great though and so true. why do we compare?????

Rachael Renee Anderson said...

Love it! But for the record, I see you as this totally trendy young mom who does it all.

And you are all of those things. Even dressed in sweats. :)

DeAnne said...

I'm having a great mommy Monday myself today. 3:30pm and I still haven't managed to take a shower, even after my workout at the gym this morning at 8:30am. I'm tired and cranky, my 2 year old is bugging me. And I'm not in the mood to see all the cute posts people are talking about centered on what Valentine's Day is going to look like at their house. Oh, I know jaded and cynical all too well. But at least I got that workout in, dangit!

(I need to save your blog, I can't believe I haven't visited before this) I enjoyed your post :)

Peggy Eddleman said...

I loved this in a million different ways. So well written! I totally and completely relate.

Camille English said...

This sounds just like me! I love it.