I’mmmmmmm BAAAAAAACK and I have a commondrum (that’s obviously what a conundrum is called on a Monday – even though it’s Tuesday, we’ll just pretend).
Over the weekend I went on my first real ma-cation (i.e., mom vacation) and I’m still recovering. We went to Nashville where 3 out of 5 of us had never been – ironically, the three of us who hadn’t were also the three moms on the trip. This was my first real trip as a mom with other moms my age and, for me, it was nothing short of amazing. But while I thought it was awesome, I got the vibe my non-mom, college best friend did not. Not that the trip wasn’t overall awesome, but that maybe being surrounded by moms her age wasn’t – and by “got the vibe” I mean she repeatedly indicated her annoyance:
“I cannot handle anymore ‘mom talk.'”
“If I hear the word ‘mom’ on more time, I am going to lose it.”
“We’re not ALL on macations!”
Had I not known her, I probably would have been insulted by her insistence that I shut up about my kids. But I do know her and I know she loves my boys so much more than I could ever expect her to. In fact, just before our trip she texted me and said she had been stalking my Instagrams and felt like she needed to come see the boys again – she was just here in February (how lucky am I?!)! I also know Matty was equally as excited to see her face as he was mine every time I Facetimed home (thanks, Marty). BUT with all of that said, even though I do know and love Jen, I could see how it could easily come off as offensive and inconsiderate. I came home thinking about what it meant to be a mom and how much of my life has become defined by that.
But more so than the ‘mom talk’, I wondered what constitutes as ‘kid-free’ talk? And whatever it is, can you have too much of that?
I mean, it sort of feels like telling a group of moms to stop talking about their kids or sharing pregnancy horror stories or their every day parenting struggles would be like me sitting amongst a group of career-driven, single woman and asking them to stop talking about their work, their struggles to climb to the top, their future goals and their hook-ups. It would be like me asking them to stop talking about their lives. Right?! But, at the same time, I get it. It hasn’t been that long since I was them. Those women’s lives aren’t run by a tiny human who gives zero fucks about their plans – they control their lives, they don’t have to consider someone else’s well-being with every decision they make. They get to go do what they want whenever they want and they don’t know how life-altering it is to become a mom. And in my experience they rarely have the emotional or empathetic desire to put themselves in my shoes. And I don’t expect them to – it’s not vital to their success or their happiness. But as a mom, that’s what we do every day – we are constantly thinking about how things might affect our children, we are constantly putting our plans on the back burner and we’re constantly trying to hide it because there’s nothing exciting about ‘mom talk’. And, trust me, we know that.
So, maybe the question isn’t necessarily what is the opposite of ‘mom talk’? or how much mom-talk is acceptable? but rather why is there so much push back on ‘mom talk’? and why do I bite my tongue when I’m reminded of a mom story?? I still know how to have fun and I can still cut loose but that doesn’t change the fact that I’m a mom and that in the back of my mind I’m always thinking about my boys. And talking about them more frequently than others might like doesn’t mean I’m obsessed with my kids – it means I love them. It means I spend most of my time at home with them. It means I’m involved. And because I ask about other people’s pregnancy and indulge in that conversation doesn’t mean I want more kids – it means I know how tough it is. It means I’m here if you need me.
“Mom talk” might not be exciting or glamorous or fun but, to some of us, that’s our real life talk and maybe we’re still getting used to our boundaries or maybe we’re just excited to have another mom to talk about things with and your kid-free presence is unfortunate – for you, of course – because we still love vicariously living through younger, kid-free versions of ourselves. We’re not THAT lame!
P.S. Unfortunately for my bff, she’s stuck with my ‘mom talk’ for the foreseeable future. 💓 Also, because I’m not an asshole, she 100% approved all of this ‘mom talk’ with grace. xoxoxo