Monday 20 June 2011


Here is the thing about the first year of motherhood, in the very beginning you go in search for other women in your newfound situation like a dog looking for a tree stump. Sorry, in the first few months, it is that crude and indiscriminate. ‘Anyone will do, hell, there's a post, you're almost like a tree stump! Screw it, how about a fence.’ In short, you are starved for individuals in your exact predicament (for lack of a better word) and you are simply not picky - and moreover, you're sick of trying to explain to your partner/husband why you're so tired. If the Mother has a living, breathing child in her possession, you figure she can commiserate with you in some fashion and confirm that you are not alone on baby island. 

But thankfully as time goes by, the discernment factor in finding likeminded friends does start to take hold as you quickly realize that after all the baby talk subsides, you can only talk about the weather for so long. “Lovely day..horrible day. Lovely day- oh wait, I said that already.” So you go in search of Mothers that seem relatively normal and are hopefully ‘your’ people so to speak. In short, you find yourself asking, "could I be friends with you if you did not have a child attached to your breast?" If the answer is in the ballpark of yes, you’re on the right track.

Often a friendship can begin based on their childrearing techniques as you quickly realize this is a huge divisive factor amongst women. Whether they let their kids cry it out, sleep in the parental bed, wean early, late, wear pretentious clothes, the scope is enormous. Trust me, I sent a mother into a white-knuckle panic the other day when I told her that I sleep trained my child. I swear I saw her dial social services. Her disdain was more palpable than the King’s need to defy me – and trust me, at 11 months, that’s all he wants to do these days. So, after my little revelation, I realized that our friendship would only go so far, I was one of ‘those’ mothers, and you could see her gently back away from me and move towards the more 'mother earth' mothers standing in the corner of the room.

Another deciding factor of finding a new mother friend is if the kids like one another. There are some babies that the King could care less about and he literally steam rolls over them as if they’re road kill; and then there are others that inspire a smile, a grab, a pinch, a hair pull. These are all apparently good signs that he is at least interested in their existence. The King is also an excellent barometer on the mothers themselves. If they inspire shameful flirting from him – he’s a master of the seductive smile even at his young age - then I figure they have passed his test and are pretty good people.

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