Like many first-time parents, I was quick to sign up for a Mommy and Me class soon after my babies were born. But, I guess I didn't think I was busy enough juggling two babies and my part-time writing gigs, so I went ahead and signed myself up for a twins group as well ... like a Mommy and Me and Me ... or a Mommy and Us. Oh, I don't know. Point being, I'm now taking two, yes, two different classes, loading up on information about everything from bonding to sleep to baby development.
But, there's another reason I joined these classes -- to make me some Mommy friends. There, I said it. Yep, I never thought I'd be the girl who wanted to talk about tummy time and sleep cues this much, but I'm digging it and now on the prowl for some new Moms to talk baby tushy with. The thing is, making new friends in my mid-30s kind of feels like my teen years all over again, complete with the self-consciousness and "uch, why did I say that?" second-guessing that I thought I had grown out of.
Alas, I feel young again, only my body is nowhere near as banging, my knees creak when I stand up, and I now say things like, "Who is this Nicki Minang, Minaj, Mawhatsit and what is she wearing?" Okay, so nothing about me is really all that youthful, but these Mommy and Me classes are taking me back to that time where I worried about saying the wrong thing, sucked up to my teachers, and was afraid to stand out. Yep, here's why I think Mommy and Me is kind of like high school ...
1. I put a lot of thought into my outfit. And that's saying a lot because I barely get out of my sweatpants most days and yet, on class days, I go so far as to put on mascara. Plus, I have my two little guys to dress as well, so rather than their typical onesies and stretchy pants, I might pull out the hoodie and camo pants.
2. I worry about whether or not the teacher likes me. Not sure why, it's not like I'm being graded. But, I was that kid in high school who always did the extra credit assignments. (Of course, I imagine if I was still so ambitious, I probably wouldn't own so many sweatpants.) It turns out the grown-up me is equally as annoying and says things in class like, "Oh yes, we have a bedtime routine," or emails the group leader on weekends to let her know I'm practicing the "soothing hierarchy" she suggested. And when she told me that I'm "doing a great job," I called my Mom AND my Grandma to gloat.
3. I skip out on important things to hang out with the cool kids. I would never miss a pediatrician appointment, but I'll admit, I did reschedule my most recent ob-gyn appointment so that I'd be able to grab lunch after class the other day. What? My hoo-ha can wait, but baby-care talk over salads? No, that had to happen or else I'd be the only girl in class not going to lunch and then all the other girls would make fun of me and then I couldn't ever show my face in class again ever. Oh my God, why are you so mean and I hate you!
4. People always talk during class. Yes, we're all adults and should know better, but it seems there are often a lot of side conversations going on while the teacher is talking. Of course, it's distracting, so the group leader will often say something like, "Do you want to share with the class what it is you're talking about?" Only now, it's followed by, "... because it could be relevant and valuable to other Moms in the class who may be going through something similar, so please do share." Imagine if I was like, "Oh, the topic is would Ryan Gosling date me if I were single and didn't have this belly pooch. Discuss."
5. I'm always late for class. Back in high school, I was always running late, despite the fact that I lived five minutes away. Usually, I'd just whip out the old "it's that time of the month" excuse, especially with male teachers who would squirm uncomfortably and never question why a teenage girl seemed to always have her period. In Mommy and Me class though, I don't have to come up with an excuse! The two babies in their cute, coordinated outfits are all the explanation I need.
6. I'm afraid of standing out. In my twins class, we're all sort of accustomed to the chaos of screeching babies times two, no apologies necessary. And since we're all master jugglers now, we have no problem rocking one baby for another Mommy while she nurses the other. But, I have yet to bring both babies to my regular Mommy and Me class because I don't really want it to become a side show. Sure, first it'll start off all like, "OMG, twins, so cute." But then, I'm afraid that one of my babies will inevitably get all pissed off about something, get his brother all indignant and pissed off as well, and then everyone in class will be looking at me with both annoyance and pity on their faces, thinking something like, "OMG, so NOT cute."
7. I worry about whether or not people will like me. At 34, I've pretty much just been me for awhile now, and really haven't given two shites whether someone likes me or not -- I ams, who I ams, my friends are my friends, end of story. In Mommy and Me class though, I want to be one of the girls. Forget the fact that I barely know them or that the only thing we may have in common are babies the same age -- I want to make a good impression! Which leads me to my next point ...
8. There's a lot of ass kissing going on. As any smart woman knows, the best way to make a good first impression is to tell someone that they're pretty much the most amazing person on the planet. And a new Mom not only wants to hear what a great parent she is, but how remarkable her 3-month-old is too. Of course, there's little to go on at this point, but in the last few weeks, I've heard a lot of, "She's sleeping through the night? You're so lucky that she's such a good baby!" and "What a big, healthy guy! What percentile is he in?" and "O-M-G, where did you get those pink leopard jeggings? I must have them!"
9. We've all got team spirit. Sure, in high school there were the cliques and the mean girls and the gossip. And yes, I've heard there is a fair share of that in the Mommy world as well. But, for now, we new Moms are still in the honeymoon phase and therefore, super supportive of each other's parenting triumphs and struggles. As a cynic, I'm pretty sure it won't last, but for now, it sure feels good to bond with other women who are all on the same team.
Did you take Mommy and Me classes? Were your experiences mostly positive?
Image via Beth Nazario/Flickr