Being a new mom is a little like being in middle school. You have bad hair days all the time, you hate your body and are nervous that you won’t “fit in.”  For me, the fact that I work part-time exacerbates this situation. I need to be proactive about my “mom” days off; otherwise my work alter-ego will haunt me all day. I need to fill my day with mommy-baby classes and play dates for me and my son. Otherwise conference calls and the blackberry will rule the day. I will not fulfill my mom role. I will be but a wallflower at the school dance of new moms. I need to plan to have new mom friends (NMF).  

This need to plan and program myself to do “mom” things on my days off is reminding me of what I was like as a young teen: insecure and needing to be busy every minute so I don’t sit around feeling sorry for myself that I won’t get asked to the 8th grade dance. So being the new mom that I am, last week, I contacted (one by email and one by phone) two of my NMFs. (No, I didn’t pick them up in a store.) I asked if they wanted to meet my son and I in the park. We all agreed 3:45ish (nap time unpredictability expected) would work.  Of course, being the anal mom I am, I whisk my son out of his crib as soon as he makes a peep, feed him and we’re out the door at 3:50.  I’m doing great. I have 2 NMFs to meet in the park, the sun is out, my kid’s fed, had a nap. Couldn’t ask for more.

I put my son in the swing and I’m ready to face the world. 15 minutes go by. Then 25. I talk to another mom in the park who tells me her kids are 362 days apart (Britney anyone??).  We push the babies on the swing. 30 minutes. My son has clearly had enough swing time. Where are my NMFs!?? And here’s the kicker about having an NMF- you’re good enough friends to call and MAKE the plans, but the follow up if they don’t show up on time? No no. I don’t want to be a stalker. so I never follow up on a new mom friend if she’s late. Kids are unpredictable, and NMFs even more so. 40 minutes. I put my son back in the stroller. I’m ready to leave. Just then, NMF #1 shows up.

NMF#1: “Oh, are you guys leaving?”
Me: “Oh no, no, we’re just taking a break.” [put son back in swing]
NMF#1: “Great! He’s so cute.”
Me: “So’s yours. Isn’t this great?” [my son gives me the evil eye.]

Then 5 minutes later, NMF#2 shows up.
NMF#2: “Ugh, she wouldn’t nap.”
NMF#1: “Don’t you hate that?”

Ten minutes later I have to leave; clearly, the 50 minutes my son has spent in the swing is getting to him and I’ve officially crossed the line of being a good, “proactive” mom with making my son unhappy. And it’s then that I realize that being a new mom is nothing like being in middle school. Because now it doesn’t matter how bad my hair looks or how ugly I feel in my body. Now I have something bigger and better to be concerned about- even if it means I never get asked to the dance.