The First Mom’s Night Out: Torture, Tears, and Store-Bought Baked Goods

The first Mom’s Night Out I ever attended was a potluck when Zoey was just a few months old. Let me pause while you take that in. POT. LUCK. As in everyone is supposed to bake something. As in here’s-some-extra-work-for-you-to-do-before-you-go-out. As in you’re-a-mom-so-you-must-bake. I brought these fancy cookies with jam and chocolate in them. From Kroger. I didn’t bother to hide the box. And, seeing as how it was potluck, I assumed it was casual. I showed up in cords and one of my ‘nice’ long sleeved t-shirts. Apparently, this was a fashion faux pas as the other moms entered the house (carrying their home made baked goods) in swishy skirts showing off tanned and shaved legs, sandals with pedicured toes, and tiny tank tops displaying lactating boobs and flat stomachs. Except for one woman.

One woman came in a sequenced dress, 6 inch heels, and an updo. I had to stifle a laugh while the other moms had to stifle their apparent jealousy. Ms. Sex-on-a-Stick even talked to me. She said, and I quote, “It looks like your loosing some of that pregnancy weight!” Um . . . a) I had never met her before and b) um, well, I HAVE NEVER BEEN PREGNANT. I responded, “We adopted so I never had any weight to lose. It’s great!” Ms. Sex, sequence glittering in the overhead track lighting, looked at me like I was an idiot and said, “No, I mean, it looks like you’ve lost weight from having the baby.” I tried to smile. I probably failed. “Yes, I know what you mean. But I’ve never been pregnant . We adopted.” Believe it or not, this conversation went on. And on. Until I said, “Yeah, I lost all my pregnancy weight”, stuffed my mouth with another Kroger cookie, feigned interest in a nearby wall painting, and walked away.
Dinner was torture. I sat, staring at Caesar salad and watery lasagna, while other moms talked about the “blissful” and “fulfilling” experience of motherhood. Granted, I was deep in the well of post-adoption depression at this point, but I would have been willing to dig deeper just to get away from these women. I sat contemplating how soon I could leave. I really wanted to fake an illness but, as I barely had the will to go on living amongst such perk and June Cleaver-ness, I sat. And sat. And then snuck out as dessert recipes were being exchanged. Then I sat some more. In my car. While I cried. I think the tears were from feeling so other. So not part of those women. Not part of how they dressed. What they baked. How they talked. And, painfully, not part of the blissfulness and fulfillment that was their experience of motherhood. I was so sad and so tired and so overwhelmed that I couldn’t see that their momness didn’t have to be mine. Now I do. And I have not been to a potluck since.
(Stay tuned for Mom’s Night Out Part II — that in which we Whip it, Whip It Good)

9 thoughts on “The First Mom’s Night Out: Torture, Tears, and Store-Bought Baked Goods

  1. Green

    >I think many women expect you to have the same experiences that they do – which is why you were invited in the first place. When you don't, they don't understand and you just feel bad -other. I've had this experience a lot in different ways. I'm sure it will happen with being a mom. I'm very different than other moms that I know – I'm having my daughter at 36. My husband and I have been married for 11 years. We have a very different idea of raising a child now then we did when we were first married.I think it's important to know that there are other ways of doing things out there and that no one way is the "right" way. There is just the right way for you.

  2. Dan and Alicia

    >Amen, Green. Every mom gets to choose. Find the shoe that fits and wear it. Stiletto, sneaker or barefoot. I never understood the appeal of assembling a posse of sameness. Don't get me wrong, I like a feeling of belonging and validation as much as the next person. I also like diversity and learning from those who see things differently. BTW, you really do look like you've lost ALL that baby weight. Must be that superhero running you do……

  3. Laura

    >This is what it's like for me with the twins club. I just feel like an outsider when I get together with them. I don't think any one else in the club co-slept with their babies, and nursing is not necessarily the default – both things that are important to me. At least that's how it was when the kids were little. Now that they are older, and we are more into school and soccer and birthday parties, I have found more common ground. You may too if Zoey gets older.

  4. SWMama

    >Your post reminds me of the first mother's group I went to. F was only 5 days old, and we showed up and all the other babies there were dressed in matching Ralph Lauren outfits, and F was in a pair of stained hand-me-down pajamas. (We won't even talk about what I was wearing.) They had super fancy strollers and big diamonds, and they were all punching away on their blackberries and talking about whether or not they were going to take their babies to NYC while their husbands were there on business. All I could think was, "Will I ever sleep again? How do you find time to shower? Am I the only one who hates nursing?" Needless to say, I never went back to that mother's group.I can't wait to read part 2 – I'm sure it kicked some ass!

  5. ErinM

    >Gack– I don't know if I know one single mom that would fit in with those people. Am I just uncool myself? If I'm uncool, I don't want to be cool. Joslyne, you go with your bad self. Stay away from those women!!!

  6. Niki

    >Man, I wish I had been at that dinner. I would have scooped you up and rescued you! As it so happened, I think I was supposed to go to that dinner and bailed because I just couldn't muster up the enthusiasm. We're having more fun without the mom's group, don't you think?!?!


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