One Mom, Two Moms, Young Moms, Blue Moms – By Tracy Beckerman
That moment came for me during my youngest child’s last year of grade school. To avoid the usual minivan congestion, I had gotten into the routine of dropping off and picking up my daughter at the on the corner by the school. Because of this, I hadn’t actually interacted with any of the other moms for a while. But one adventurous day I decided to walk to the school, and as I waited on the playground for dismissal, I couldn’t help but notice all the new, dewy-faced mommies around me.
They all pushed double and even triple strollers, with some of the seats occupied and one empty chair waiting for the child about to be dismissed. They looked tired, for sure, because who isn’t when you have two or three kids under the age of 6. But they still looked young enough that they didn’t yet feel the need for fillers or Botox to turn the clock back like those of us who’d been parenting for a decade or more.
Still, if the lack of frozen foreheads didn’t give them away, the conversation I overheard sealed it:
Mom 1: Hey isn’t your birthday next week?
Mom 2: Ugh. Don’t remind me.
Mom 1: Is it a big one?
Mom 2: Yes! The big 3-0!! I can see the wrinkles starting!
I sighed. 30? Seriously? I had underwear older than that.
I thought back to myself at 30. I had been at the top of my work game, living in New York City and in the early stages of considering having a baby. At 30, I also had smoother skin, a firmer butt and a nice, tight belly. It seemed like a bazillion years ago. I remember thinking at the time that 30 was serious. 30 was a grown up. 30 was time to own something and stop renting. It was a time to start popping out babies, and time, for sure, to return my overdue library books from when I was 16.
I thought I had it all figured out at 30. But then we bought the house in suburbia, had the babies and returned the library books. I realized still how much more there was to know.
As I listened to the younger moms, I smiled in recognition at the feelings of being overwhelmed, the insecurity of being a new mom, and the need to find a new identity. But then it struck me; these feelings are not limited to young moms. They are feelings we as mothers probably experience no matter what age we are when we become parents. When you give up the familiar – the career, the lifestyle, the cool clothes – to have kids, there is a whole lot of change to adapt to and that is a tough transition for any woman, at any age.
Although we were more than a decade apart, I felt a connection with these young moms and realized that despite the differences in our ages and our foreheads, we weren’t really all that dissimilar inside.
I’ll try to remember that the next time I hear one of them complain about their wrinkles.
Tracy Beckerman writes the nationally syndicated column Lost in Suburbia and is the author of the book, Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir. How I got pregnant, lost myself, and got my cool back in the New Jersey Suburbs.