The Mother Test


Sometimes, when I go out alone, I like to pretend that I am young and single. Not to pick up strange men or anything, just kind of like a test. A test to see if the word “mom” is invisibly blazoned on my forehead. A test to see if I could possibly pass for young and unattached. A test, just for fun.

Last May, I got to try it out, on one rare day that I took for myself. I got a pedicure, went to the mall and did some shopping, just for me for a change. As I paid for my purchases, the cashier at the Gap wished me a Happy Mother’s Day. Defeated, I left in a bit of a huff. What about me so obviously spelled mother? Could he see the stretch marks underneath my clothes? Was my muffin top a dead giveaway? My wrinkles? The patch of white hair I sport? What the hell was it?! Mission: failed.

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It took until I was back at home for me to realize that I was wearing a hand-painted macaroni and yarn necklace around my neck.

But I don’t give up that easily.

So, last week, I was in New York recording the audio version of my book. Just me, a producer and a hot sound tech in his twenties. Again, the opportunity presented itself to not talk about diarrhea, strep throat or the high cost of preventative orthodontics and I was all over it. You know, to be a woman and not just a mother. I pretended to be Carrie Bradshaw circa 2000, and he pretended to be somewhat interested in my book. I was making progress!

And, then, I had to start reading.

“When I finally grunted Lily out, along did come a little something else, but it wasn’t even a blip on the radar at the moment. Actually, being able to piss and shit openly was oddly liberating. Kind of relaxing, even.”

“Mothers think nothing of using saliva to clean our little ones’ faces or openly smelling their bottoms to determine whether they’ve indeed defecated.”

“My midsection looks like a crime scene, purple spiders crawl up my legs, and my once bouncy hair is an undecided mess between curly and wavy… I don’t even want to think about what my vagina would look like after pushing another kid out…”

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I think it’s safe to say I failed that test, too.


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  1. 1

    Life with Kaishon says

    Oh my gosh! This made me laugh so hard Jill : )
    I miss those spit finger face cleaning days…
    it flies by too quickly, doesn’t it?

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  2. 2

    Sili says

    I love it! Yes, it’s hard to pass that test. One only has to read some of my Tweets (today, about having to clean shit out of the kid’s panties and it making me not want to cook) to realize I’ve totally failed this test you speak of.

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  3. 4

    Chrissy says

    OMG! I absoloutely thought this was hilarious. I have to admit, I am the same! Anytime i actually get a chance to go out without kids… I do my sexy walk, smile just a little bigger, and flirt a whole lot more. Not to bring home a random creepy guy, but to bring home an up in my confidence level- Not to mention the fact that I wanted to feel sexy again!

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  4. 5

    Stephanie says

    So, that makes you a milf, right? ;-)

    Just think, you’ve probably helped this guy be really, really religious about birth control for the next ten years or so. Think of it as a public service.

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  5. 7

    Brittany says

    Everyone always knows that I am a mom. And I have no idea what the dead giveaway is. Maybe it’s because I’m not all dressed up for work but really I probably just have some kind of food or paint on me somewhere. Let’s go out on the town together and pretend we have no kids. We shall make those who assume we are moms feel bad and we can giggle about it over a glass of wine!

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  6. 9

    regina says

    I like to pretend I’m not a mom sometimes. Then people see what I have in my cart and it usually gives it away. Or my kids find me in the grocery store and burp and fart, scream and whine. I feel your pain I do.

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  7. 11

    DarleneMAM says

    That Mommy blaze stays with us for many years…until one day POOF it’s replaced by a coat of invisibility called being a middle-aged woman. I’m rockin’ that coat, women!

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