Standing on the outer banks of the Mommy sisterhood

I was working remotely from a Panera near my home on a recent Friday morning when I experienced what is now a semi-regular occurrence.

Near my table, there was a gathering of about eight 30- and 40-something women, sipping hot drinks and chatting about the start of school, their kids’ fashion choices and recent adventures, home repair issues, etc.

In this moment, I felt both an intense desire to walk up, introduce myself, and gently weave my way into this warm, cozy community of mothers; and a profound sense of relief that I was not a part of this gathering, for fear that I’d inevitably obsess over my own approach to motherhood while listening to others’ accounts.

I’ve been afflicted with this push-pull duality since Lily arrived in our lives, and I’m not exactly sure what to make of it. When I read an acquaintance’s book about her first months as a mother – Vicki Glembocki‘s funny, fabulous, brutally honest memoir, “The Second Nine Months” – I was struck by a detail she included about practically mowing down other new or soon-to-be mothers who were out and about in public places, so anxious was she to find “mommy friends.” But I had done the opposite, nearly sprinting from a place when I saw a line-up of strollers. Continue reading