Yes, these are very strong words, and no, I am not exaggerating.
A friend of mine and I took my son to see Sesame Street Live a few weekends ago. While it was not my ideal outing, my son L-O-V-E-D it! He hasn't put his new Elmo toy down since we left and he was very exited to tell his Daddy all about the show. That alone is reason enough for me to continue to do these things for him. The show itself was fine. It was amusing to me and my friend and it was just short enough that we didn't lose our minds. What was irritating about the whole event was the other mothers. I was standing in line for the bathroom with my son and my pregnant belly. Every mom that passed me on her way out gave me the whole body once-over complete with look of disgust. My appearance wasn't repulsive, I was clean and so were my clothes. I looked like your average pregnant lady. maybe not as pretty as I once was but still glowing. What disgusted these women is the fact that I am close to a decade younger than them. How could a woman as young as me possibly have a child? How could a woman as young as me possibly be a good mother? Well guess what, I do, and I am.
I have been dealing with these judgmental women for a long time now. When I was pregnant with my first son, a woman on the bus actually had the nerve to say to me, "Aren't you a little young to be having a child". I was very pregnant at this point, past my due date in fact, and I was irritated at the world in general. My response to this woman was, "Aren't you a little old to have an opinion?". The look of utter shock on her face was enough for me to feel slightly vindicated. I think it is ridiculous that moms especially pass so much judgment on other moms. You would think that we would all look at the mom at the grocery store in sweatpants letting her kid eat candy to keep him quiet and say, "I remember those days!". But no. Instead we sit around and point fingers and talk about how that lady's kids are going to have cavities and that lady's kids are going to have a bad self image, and that lady's kids are going to grow up and smoke pot. None of us can see that far into the future, and none of us is a perfect mom. Every one of us is going to find out about something our child did that makes us feel like a bad mom. It is a sacred club that we moms are in and we should just except the fact that we are all doing the best that we can.
What is humorous about this whole thing is that the moms at Sesame Street Live this weekend couldn't even see how alike we were. All they could see is the fact that I am young, and I'm not even that young! I get that I look younger than I am (I have been known to get carded to buy lottery tickets) but is that a curse? Don't think so. I am 25 years old, and married to the father of my children, what is so wrong with that? The fact that I am 25? Ok, so I was 21 (almost 22) when my son was born, but does that make me a bad mother? Did you know that there are only 4 other kids in my son's class that have parents that are still married? 4 out of 20-some-odd kids have divorced parents, but the kid with the super young mom isn't one of them. Did you know that kid with the super young mom is also smarter than most of the kids in his class? Did you know that the super young mom was at the same fucking place as you on Saturday? Doing that same damn thing for her son as you were doing for your kids? The only difference between me and the moms over 35 is that when my kids graduate college I won't be an AARP member. I'll be young enough to enjoy the rest of my life with my husband who is the father of my children. I'll be young enough to enjoy my grandchildren. I'll probably get to watch my great grandchildren grow up. I am not an idiot because I had children young. I am not a bad mother because I had children young. I am a mother. Young, old, in between, we are all just doing the best that we can. Let's focus less on my age and focus more on raising our children.