Back in school I used to be totally in love with the Sweet Valley Twins books and no matter how much one identified with Elizabeth, it was always Jessica one secretly wanted to be like. The devil-may-care attitude, the popularity, the exclusive Unicorns club. Inspired by them, we had formed a club too. At 11, we had no agenda really, just a bunch of things we had in common- like favourite colour and books and of course the plain excitement of wanting to be part of a club. We had passwords for our meetings, (always held during the second break in school), we took turns getting snacks and we planned lots of things- parties, magazines, news columns, camping trips, of course all inspired by our heriones du jour.
The mommy club is a funny one- some days you totally belong and other days you can rack and rack your brain but the password just doesn’t come ot you. I think my initial excitement stemmed from the fact that I hoped to find other women who are moms like me, moms who haven’t given into the whole I AM A MOTHER NOW syndrome. Perhaps because I don’t always want to have an extensive discussion about the best preschools or the colour and consistency of poop or how much pampers cost or what a genius my child is because he can say 37 words by his 21st month, I think I am different. Perhaps because I like leaving my child sometimes to just go be another me. I wanted to find women who are thrilled to have children but whose souls have not been taken over. I wanted to meet women with plans, agendas and ideas that surpass that of creative lunch snacks, obsessive child plans and possessive child conversations. I guess I needed to know that being part of this club did not mean that I would have to become like so many women I had seen, whose ability to be interested in other things seemed to wither away after having kids, unable to hold a conversation or contribute to one, unless it was about kids.
So far other than my immediate circle of mom friends, I find the mom world a bit daunting. Rather than actually picking up tricks from each others different personalityes and solutions, so many mothers out there seems to be on a mission to outmother the other. Each one needs to be better, more there, more available, more supportive, more caring, more disciplined, more organized, better dressed, more together, more super than the last. Of course in theory that’s amazing because damn lucky kids to have moms who are so into being the best- but it makes for very a very competitive club. And quite an unreal one. Because real moms mess up. All the time. The key is to pick up and move right on, jotting down notes on what not to do next time. And for me to be honestly part of a club where I feel like I belong, I need to know my mess ups are not judged, that my individual techniques are appreciated, my baby milestones cheered on and I can actually be just myself, opinions , mistakes, victories and all.