stalker alert

by humanmama on December 9, 2006

Okay, I’m stalking moms. It’s true. I go to the malls, to Payless Shoes, to Panera in search of them. The best thing about this new hobby is that I can spot a new mom a mile away–there is no camouflage for her. I can recognize her first by the sight of her diaper bag flailing in the wind, open, wipes falling out. She’s usually pushing a stroller which is empty because her baby doesn’t want to be strapped down, her arms full of said baby and maybe a coffee to detract from the 4-hours-at-a-time sleep she’s surely getting, perhaps even something that can be eaten quickly and with one hand (think donut, protein bar, fruit-roll-up, apple, cookie, burrito…). It’s easy.

What’s hard comes next: I actually talk to her. Yes, it’s true. First she will seem either confused (by the lack of baby noises coming from my mouth, especially if she is a stay-at-home mom) or taken aback–people usually talk to new moms via the baby, i.e. (my favorite) the question to baby which doesn’t acknowledge mom as a person, just the chauffeur. Often times as a new mom I will hear, directed to baby Helena, “Ooooh! You’re SOOO cute! How OLD are youuu?” And I, good naturedly, will say, “Oh, she’s ___ months old,” and they reply (to the baby) “Ohhh! ___ months already! You’re such a biiiig girl, aren’t youuu?” Or, worse, especially when she is wearing a blue dress, “Ohh, you’re such a Biiiig Boyyy!” To which I often reply, “Yep, daddy doesn’t really like when I put him in these pink tights.”

So the mom that I am stalking at this time is amazed that I am talking directly to her, and not about the baby. It’s stunning to us moms when you do that. I usually have some kind of mom-pick-up line (picture all of us mommies at a bar trying to make friends), like, “I can spot a new mom a mile away!” or “haha, how old is she?” or “COME ON DOWN TO AJ’s HOUSE OF MOMMY FRIENDS!” Okay, that last one usually doesn’t work. I ask her her name, her baby’s name. We talk, and we exchange phone numbers.

I have made TWO (count ’em! TWO!) actual mom friends this way. I have also met and talked with a whole lot more than two, even got a few numbers (not on backs of matchbooks either). It’s funny because while we’re all apprehensive about some weirdo (read: me) coming up to us at the mall or wherever to say hello, we’re also all so lonely. Actually not always lonely. Just alone. What I mean is that even if a mom has tons of support in her life and with her kids, a great partner and a true sense of self-worth, we’re still doing a hell of a lot of things and not for us. The stuff that we’re doing is for others. And that makes us feel sometimes like we’re the only one in the world with these problems, or issues, or feelings, or whatever you want to call it today.

And maybe it’s not only mommies. I know a lot of women who are doing so much to please so many people–bosses, partners in life, parents, siblings, children, etc. etc. etc. that they often forget entirely about themselves. It’s not entirely wrong or bad that women can multitask and take care of others so much, it’s just that sometimes we don’t remember that ancient rule that “If Mommy’s unhappy, ain’t nobody happy.”

So maybe this time of year when you are out getting Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/ et al gifts for everyone on your list, get yourself a little something too. It doesn’t have to cost anything, even–maybe just a bath or a little walk alone or with just your friends. Maybe even just take a second to feel yourself in your own skin, and breathe, and remember that life is worth living for yourself, not only for everyone who is counting on you. And while you’re doing that, don’t forget to write down your phone number for me. Maybe I’ll stalk you, too.

Post to Twitter

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: