Oh my goodness, did I just seriously say that? I have a story to tell you.
The other day, I was out on one of my new and exciting dates. I sort of made a New Years Resolution to take myself out on a date a couple of times a month. Just me, my Kindle, some sushi, and my mighty good eavesdropping ears. I LOVE to eavesdrop. There is nothing more interesting than other people’s conversations. I have finally trained Mr. Lindstrom in my eavesdropping ways, and we now have a catch phrase that we say when we want the other to be quiet so we can eavesdrop. “Did you hear about the Monk?”
I was on a date with myself, and I was listening to a conversation happening at the table next to me. Two women who clearly had been friends for some time. It quickly became clear that one of them was a mom, and the other was not. Even more specific, the one who was a mom was a very very new mom. So, her side of the conversation included such fascinating topics as the frequency and consistency of her son’s bowel movements, the length and frequency of her son’s naps, the noises that her son makes, the faces her son makes, and really a general overview of her son’s development and how far above par he is. So… I’m a mom, and I was bored to death. As you can imagine, her friend was desperate to talk about anything else. She brought up movies, vacations, shopping, exercise, and as a last ditch desperate effort, she even brought up her yoga studio “which has a yoga class for moms.” Still, the mom was obsessed with talking about her son’s clothes, his daycare, his car seat, his weight… and on and on and on. I wanted to buy the non-mom a drink, and give her a hug. She probably would have loved the drink, and thought the hug was a little overboard… but really...
I realized: Moms are annoying. I am annoying. See, I’ve so been guilty of this. It is the right of the mom to think that her kids are fascinating to everyone. They are not. They just aren’t. Sorry.
Parenting is such a special and difficult vacuum. New moms love to talk about their children. They are just in the phase of seeing this journey with new eyes and realizing how hard it is and what real exhaustion and true love is. Seasoned moms love to tell new moms about what’s ahead. They have the advantage of hindsight and the confidence that can only be gained with experience. It’s a rite of passage. It’s part of the joy of parenting. It’s part of owning our roles. That said, when I talk like that, to people who obviously don’t care… I annoy myself. I find myself thinking to myself (in real time), “Goodness gracious, I need a hobby.” But like an addiction, I cannot stop myself. Is it that we are so immersed (and rightly so) in this adventure of parenting that we have little else to focus on? Is it that we want to be accepted into the community of parents? Is it that we want to prove to the world that we love our kids? I don’t know, but I do know this: I need a hobby.
I don't mean that moms shouldn't talk about their kids. I think it's necessary for moms to connect on that level. I just mean that we should a) know our audience and b) know when enough is enough both for ourselves, and our conversation partners. So, just for fun. Just for a little challenge. I am going to try to go 24 hours without talking about my children to anyone besides my husband, my kid’s grandparents, and my kid’s teachers (read: people who care). I’m also going to have to find a hobby, a really really interesting one. Is there a catalogue for that?