Saturday Musings: Why I’ll Never Be Mommy Club Material

I was 20 when I had my first child. The pregnancy was fairly easy. I weighed about 110 lbs going into the pregnancy and near 125-130 toward the end. I actually developed some hips and breasts to go along with it. I maintained near 115-120 lbs until I had my twins. My doctor told me I needed to gain a lot of weight to safely carry them. I did. I went up to 170 lbs. As soon as they were born, though, I lost all of the weight and still stayed around 120 lbs.So most of you are already hating me. When my first son was about 5 days old, my husband and I had him into the grocery store. We were just shopping along when an elderly lady stopped us to swoon over my beautiful baby. She asks all the pertinent questions like age, weight, etc. Then she looks me up and down, looks at my husband, and then back at me. “Who’s baby is it?” she asked politely. A little confused I said, “He’s ours.” She looked at me and said with a very serious, angry face, “No, he’s not. There’s no way you just had a baby five days ago.” After arguing that he was indeed our child and leaving her to seethe in her anger, I was hurt and confused. Why would anyone not think he was my child? He looked just like me!

My husband, being the wise person he is, simply said, “You look too good to have had a baby recently.” Oh, so THAT was it. I was too skinny. I faced this with my twins as well. After my fourth child, I retained some weight, but not much. By the time my fifth came along, well, let’s just say THAT baby played havoc on my body. But I was also 30 by that time and my metabolism had slowed considerably. I quit getting so many hateful stares, though!

We’ve all probably been to the place in our lives at one point or another where we felt like we needed group encouragement. With my son, we were living on an island in Florida. We had one vehicle that sometimes ran and when it did my husband took it to work. One kid, one bicycle, and a few miles of island with sidewalks, boardwalks, and a library! No need for a group.

After my twins were born, though, I felt I needed some encouragement and strength from a group. So I joined a “Moms of Twins” group local to my area. I went to the first meeting and we did introductions. I listened politely to all of the other moms, some having multiple children and some only having their first sets. When it was my turn I did the same, telling them I had 3 children, a 3 yo son and 3 month old twin girls. There was no, “Welcome!” or smiles or anything. I sat back down wondering what I’d done wrong.

During that meeting they’d set it up so that there was a hairstylist, a manicurist, and a couple of other things on hand for a “Mom’s Night Out.” No one would talk to me. Not one. Single. Person. Did I smell bad? Was there something in my teeth? Had I grown a second head? Nope. I never went back.

Later on I found a lot of exclusion directed my way while my son attended elementary school. I was young, skinny, and had a 6 yo and two 4 year olds. I would pick him up from school at the doors and listen to the other moms sitting around chatting with each other, having a great time, and acting like I didn’t exist. If I tried to join a conversation, it usually caused a hush to fall over the group until someone else started it back up, excluding me, of course. It seemed a general mindset that whatever was wrong with me, everyone knew about it, except me.

Feeling that maybe it was just me and I wasn’t being friendly enough, I tried out another moms group. This one directed at moms with toddlers. We went in for the first session and we were running a little late. I had trouble finding the building we were supposed to be in. I had also asked about what to bring, because they were making painted tee shirts. I was told, “Don’t worry about it. Just bring a couple of tees for your girls and there will probably be enough paints there for you to use.” Lies. By the time we got there painting was underway and no one was sharing. Finally someone let us use their paints. I spilled a little and said, “Sh**” under my breath. Of course, I was in hearing distance of Dragon Mommy. You know, the one that has slitted eyes, smoke billowing from her heaving nostrils, and a desire to burn me alive on the spot. Well, I got the “I can’t BELIEVE you said that!” stare and she stalked away, henceforth directing evil looks my way and refusing to speak to me in any fashion.

Ok, so with that screwed up I then thought I’d give it one more shot. Just one. The next meeting I went to everyone was interviewing a partner sitting next to them. Likes, dislikes, you know the drill. I asked my partner what she watched on t.v. Perky Mommy (the one that always wears a plastic smile, has the perfect kids, the perfect husband, a gigantic SUV, and NEVER, EVER makes a mistake) says, “Oh, I usually just get to watch Caillou and Barney because the television is on for my perfect little child.” I smiled and said jokingly, “Doesn’t that Caillou get irritating after a while? That song they do just bugs me to death!” Perky Mommy first looks shocked, then indignant. “No. I can’t say that it does.”

Interview over.

This was a repeating factor throughout my entire child-rearing life! I don’t participate in groups and clubs any longer, instead relishing the fact that I’m NOT one of those uber-Perky, dragon moms. I am human. I like things that don’t involve kids and my life revolving around them. I’m 5’2″ tall and weigh less than 140 lbs. That’s me. That’s how I’ve always been! I have a baby belly that just hasn’t gone away, but I don’t care, either. So I’m not really on the running circuit or meeting other moms down in the gym. I do my own thing at home.

I also have a tendency to like what I like and not care what others think. I’m not much into clothes, hair, or makeup. I don’t watch Desperate Housewives, any of the M.D. dramas, reality t.v., or Sex in the City. I can’t stand Downtown Abbey. As far as t.v. goes, you’ll find me watching Supernatural and Top Gear on BBC America. My favorite movies are Fast and the Furious 1 & 4-6, Lord of the Rings, and Pirates of the Caribbean (all). I’d rather watch Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham and action movies than see anything with Channing Tatum. Love stories bore me to death! And yes, Caillou and Barney irritate me. But I don’t make my kids change the channel or anything. I just choose to be irritated about it internally. I’m being honest here. Those shows are ANNOYING!

So why won’t I ever be mommy club material?

I don’t fit into their molds. I’m not superficial. I don’t like the things that they like and don’t want the things that they want. I find it interesting that I’ve experienced a form of bigotry that seems to revolve around my weight and previously my looks. Trust me, it’s not something reserved only for overweight people. If I ever post ANYTHING on Facebook about wanting to lose weight, I get the, “You’re already so skinny,” and “Like you need to” comments. I don’t get a rally of people behind me, supporting me.

Perhaps it’s my independence and difference from everyone else? Maybe it’s because I’d do better as “one of the guys” than one of the girls? Maybe I do have something hanging out of my nose everywhere I go and have yet to discover it? I still haven’t figured it out completely.

This is not to say that I don’t have some really good, close friends, that I love dearly. But they’re not of the “norm” in most cases either. To see us all together would be an eclectic grouping to put it mildly. But they are all genuine and beautiful women in their own ways.

I’m also not saying that ALL women in the “Mommy Clubs” are disingenuous or lacking in personality and concepts of self image. Not ALL of them are facades of friendship that turn out to be little more than group competitions and snarky comments. There are probably some good clubs out there. And, I know, a lot of good mommies.

To say I’m lacking in social graces is probably a good guess. My dad kept a pretty secure thumb on me and I think I stayed the night at a friend’s house a total of two times. I wasn’t allowed to go to dances, meet friends somewhere after school, or usually have any over. So that pretty much messed me up too. But I think I’m pretty friendly. I’m quick with a smile and can carry on a conversation. Loser? Yeah, probably. But that’s ok too. I’ve learned to like me.


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