If I have not said it fifty-eleven times, I became a mother rather late in life. I am really enjoying being a Mom to my son…but it is not everything I thought it would be. You see, I thought there was some kind of a unity, some unspoken bond, some kinship among mothers. I always look for that from other mothers. I mean, isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?
Yesterday, I was driving home with my 10 year old in the backseat. It had been a long workday for me and I had navigated rush hour traffic in the rain to pick him up from aftercare and make it home. He was upset because we stopped at the grocery store but we didn’t stop at the game store. In the store parking lot, I calmly explained to him that we really needed to eat dinner but could certainly survive for a few more days without the latest electronic game. Well that was not the response he wanted so he became pouty and annoying. (Yes, I said it! My kid was being annoying. Does that make me a bad mom?)
So after a few minutes, I was more than a little frustrated. I mean, there was the traffic and I was really tired. My kid was whiny and I still had to get home, cook dinner, and help with homework. What a day! We had a dog at home that needed to be walked, a load of laundry waiting for me and, on top of that, this was my husband’s lodge meeting night.
Finally, I was at the corner waiting to turn out of the parking lot into the street. This corner is notorious in that it takes forever to turn during rush hour. So here I am sitting at corner trying to ease my way into nonstop traffic. I was at a standstill.
And then, there she was! Another mother stopped at the traffic light wearing a pinstripe suit in her blue–gray minivan. I could see car seats in the back and little heads bobbing around. Then, she turned around and mouthed some words. I don’t know what she said, but I could tell by the look on her face and the tension in her neck that those kids understood every word.
For a brief second as she turned back to the front, we exchanged a weary glance. I thought, Oh thank goodness! She is going to let me into the lane. She understands!
I waited a few moments for some sign of recognition from her… didn’t see it. I thought okay, maybe she is distracted. So I kind of eased my mini-SUV forward just a few inches, just to grab her attention. Again, she looked over my way with a glum expression and then turned her head away from me. I thought, Oh, okay is that some kind of mom code that I don’t recognize?
I waited for a couple of moments as traffic was still at a standstill but I knew that any time now the light was going to change. I waited a couple of moments and then inched forward another couple of inches. I tapped my horn very lightly to get her attention and kind of smiled like Can I get in?
After couple seconds, I realized she was ignoring me. What kind of stuff is that, I thought? Why would she not want to help out another mother struggling with the same issues that she is struggling with? I mean, obviously there we were, career women in our career women’s suits in a car with a whiny kid(s) with obviously other duties waiting for us at home.
I realized that she was not going to let me into the lane. As soon as traffic began to move forward, she drove right on past me as if she’d never seen me.
In a light degree of shock, I waited a few moments and lo and behold, a young guy in a Jeep beckoned and allowed me to get in through the traffic. How kind, I thought. And he’s not even in the Mommy Club! Or maybe he’s got one of those wife/mommies waiting for him at home and understands how frustrating it is to be in traffic with the kids in the backseat and dinner to be cooked.
I made it home that day not the worse for wear but I realized that I could not count on a bond between Mommies, at least not in rush hour traffic. Maybe I just imagined that there was a Mommy Club. Maybe I made it up in my head during all those years when I daydreamed that being a Mom was all Mother’s Day cards and hugs. Is there really no such thing?