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.

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…”

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


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  1. 22

    Jen says

    I’ve got it all wrong. I drop hints, to anyone that will listen, that I’m a mom. I like to see the look on their face when I shock them with the truth…I am not young or single, just a MILF. ;)

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  2. 26

    tracy@sellabitmum says

    HA! So funny. One time I was out by myself and acting all cool and single and trying to flirt with the cute 18 year old drive-thru guy at Starbucks..and then I realized I was driving a fucking minivan and the gig was up…as usual. xo

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  3. 27

    Liana says

    We have a tradition with my girlfriend to take a few days and hit Miami South Beach every year. We’ve been doing it ever since we were single and decided to keep the tradition after having kids. I have to say – I can’t pass that test any more. I still love clubs and bars, but I feel like such a mom when I am there that it makes me sick. I keep thinking to myself – who am I kidding, what am I doing here, I’ve got 2 kids and a husband at home. I guess parenting is not the kind of job you can just take a vacation from.

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  4. 28

    Shanan says

    So damn sad isn’t it! A guy tripped because he was looking at me but then I realised that he was looking at the car next to me. I will not give up hope that it isn’t the muffin top that gives me away!

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  5. 30

    Lynn from For Love or Funny says

    Mental note to self: don’t read the birth section of Jill’s book out loud to hot guys when I’m pretending NOT to be a mom.

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  6. 32

    Cassie says

    So funny! This past weekend, we went on vacation with three other couples and their kids. On Saturday, us ladies left the kids at home and tried to do the same thing. The problem is, the whole time we were at lunch the conversation was about our kids. Then we tried shopping, which was a disaster. Instead of shopping for ourselves like we planned, we spent hours in the Carter’s store and in the kid section of Nike. Mission Failed!

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  7. 33

    Arnebya says

    I was in CVS with a guy who kept smiling at me in every aisle I went in. To test whether he was following me or not, I went by the feminine hygiene products. There he was. He WAS following me. Because I am smokin’ hot! And then this bastard shows me he’s holding two different kinds of diapers wondering which are best. “How the hell should I know, do you see me with kids?” “Well, I figured you might have some since you have a banana sticker on your forehead.” Fuck you, Chiquita.

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  8. 34

    Motherhood on the Rocks says

    I do that too! It’s nice sometimes to just be about among adults and “pretend” you don’t have to go home to clean up toys and wipe butts.

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  9. 35

    Kate Coveny Hood says

    Ha! Totally reminds me of when I found myself talking about my c-section with the super hot 19 year old life guard at our community pool. 20 years later, and I STILL don’t know how to talk to teenage boys….

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  10. 37

    Sarah says

    Love it. Hilarious. And all true. Except, I want the Outside World to know I am a mommy at all times, at least as an explanation for my dark undereye circles and raggedy hair. Otherwise I just look like a bag lady.

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