You know you’re the older mom when you have been at the school longer than some of the mothers have been moms. You catch yourself saying things like, “Back in the day, I used to actually slap the forehead of my baby to see if he had a fever. Never had this fancy schmancy ear thingamajig.”
You then recount days of counting fetal kicks, of dropping milk on the underneath of your wrist to check if the bottle was too hot, and actually using mobile phones to call people — and immediately cue eyeball rolling and looks of bewilderment. You kick yourself, thinking, “Oh crap, I think I just showed my age.”
We older moms do things the old-fashioned way that younger moms may think is as irrelevant as the iPhone 5, and they tend to file us under “O” for “outdated,” and treat us like outcasts — like an old favorite library book which is long past its due date and long since lost its charm.
But if you see an older mom at school, don’t be quick to dismiss her as a potential mom friend, because it is the older moms who have developed an “I clearly don’t give a shit” attitude when it comes to McJudgey moms. This is why older moms make the most fucking awesome mom friends.
1. We don’t give a shit if you had a natural birth or a Caesarian birth, because we know that your kid will ask you weird questions like, “How come you’re all furry down there?” in the public restroom in their full outside voice, just like ours did.
2. We don’t give a shit if you breastfed or bottle fed, because we know your child is just as weird as ours on the playground. Trust me, you will spend time explaining that “dirt, grass, twigs, or sand” is not a food group to the most stubborn ass 5-year-old, just like we did.
3. We don’t give a shit if you used cloth or used disposable diapers, because every single time, five minutes after leaving the house, your child will say he needs to poo or wee, just like ours did.
4. We don’t give a shit if you co-sleep, controlled sleep, or no sleep, because your child will poke you in the eyes at 5 a.m. every goddamn Saturday and Sunday morning, and ask for Frozen or Finding Dory or any Disney movie they are in love with and have watched like 5000 times, just like ours did.
5. We don’t give a shit if you practice spoon led or child-led weaning, because your child will only eat chicken nuggets for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, just like ours did.
6. We don’t give a shit if you give your kids juice or cake or chocolate, because your kid will try to lick every square inch of that public toilet stall, while you shout “NO!” like a wailing banshee, just like we did.
7. We don’t give a shit if your 5-year-old is still in diapers, because you will be screaming “Do not open that door!” to your child and you know you have two seconds to get your pants up before everyone in Target will know the color of your underpants, just like it happened to us.
8. We don’t give a shit if your house looks like a tip right now, because in another few years, you will not be even allowed to kiss your child who will now be a teenager too cool to be seen with Mom, just like it happened to us.
9. We don’t give a shit if your child can run/skip/hop/talk/dance/write a novel by 11 months old, because when that child becomes a teenager, you will not even be allowed to be Facebook friends with him or like any of his Facebook posts, just like ours.
10. We don’t give a shit if you didn’t shower, wear a bra, or wear the clothes from yesterday, because honey, that was us last week, last month, and last year too. And we know it is going to be us tomorrow, next week, and next year.
So come on over and say hello to the old mom the next time you see her at school. She may bore you with tales of surviving weaning without heat sensor spoons or changing nappies without wetness indicators, but she will never judge you.
She will never give a shit, because by now she knows that shit happens to everyone.
She will make the most fucking awesome mom friend, because underneath all that spit, vom, pee, poo and eye bags, she knows that there is a real person who is just trying very hard not to fuck up this mommy gig, just like she has been.
She knows it’s hard, she knows it’s difficult, and she knows not to judge, because she knows what’s it like to be up shit creek and instead of being given a paddle, given a useless judgment pole instead.
She will help you get that goddamn paddle. And if not, she will send wine and chocolate — lots of it.
Older mothers don’t judge other moms because at the end of it all, we know that the only thing that we should give a shit about is that these children of ours whom we’re trying to raise right will still want to call us when we’re 94 years old on a Sunday morning just to say “I love you, Mom.”
Because that’s the only kind of shit really worth worrying about.