Motherhood propels you into a whole new social world. Suddenly you have things in common with women you might not ever otherwise. Diaper bags are like badges of honor that grant you membership into this secret society where things not spoken of in the real world are common fodder for conversation. Where else will you hear someone tell in detail the affect their newborn has on their sex life right after describing to you the contents of their daughter’s last dirty diaper? Their is never a lull in the conversation because someone is always dealing with 3 a.m. feedings, the first day of kindergarten or potty-training.
A mom-to-be is almost a member of the club. The veteran mothers ask her questions and seem supportive, giving pieces of advice, but they don’t tell all. There is a common belief among seasoned mothers that new moms should learn the hard way. Napping when your baby naps, loosing the baby weight by breast-feeding and never letting your child eat sweets are nothing but ideals at best. It’s not with maliciousness intent that they don’t try to tell her. It’s because they know she, like them, won’t believe it until she’s experienced it for herself. They will listen to her answers about using environmentally friendly cloth diapers, not taking drugs offered at the hospital and never, ever resorting to feeding formula. Then the group will give each other knowing smiles, and shake their heads as if some silent signal has passed between them. In a few months this new mother will join their ranks, and she too will understand the unspoken code.
Sometime between their children leaving the nest and becoming parents themselves, mothers forget most of the information they once so eagerly discussed amongst themselves. They will trade up for a card in the grandparent club. Suddenly it’s a whole new world of ice cream just before bedtime, if there is a bedtime, and spoiling with gifts of things they never bought for their own kids. This new club is all about passing around cute pictures and telling stories that make your grand kids seem smarter than everyone elses’.
To those of you who don’t have children yet, don’t despair. You too will most likely belong to exclusive clubs one day. For now enjoy your club whose membership allows sleeping in, seeing movies when they’re still in theaters and eating out somewhere other than McDonald’s.