September 9, 2010

Mom Friends

Holy cow. It's already time for another writing assignment from Mama Kat! Perhaps it was the long holiday weekend, but the week has flown by. Or maybe it's just that Mama Kat gives out too much homework because I swear I just turned one of these in and it cannot possibly have been a week.

This time I chose prompt #2: "A list of things you no longer have in common with your married/child bearing friends…and why you love them anyways."

First of all, I hate to complain, but I just can't use the word anyways in a sentence. I want to make it clear that I don't blame Mama Kat. Who was the first person to decide a perfectly good word like anyway needed an 's' tacked onto the end? I'm sure it's a regional thing. I can say "y'all" 'til the cows come home, but anyways isn't a word that has ever come out of my mouth and its very presence made it difficult for me to choose this prompt.

I forced myself to overlook my issues with that word so I could tell you that the older you get, the fewer differences you find with your married "mom" friends. I'm not going to call them childbearing, because this side of 50 they'd be freaks of nature if they were still spittin' out babies on a regular basis. (I know that sounds like an anatomically impossible thing to do, but now that I've already used "y'all" in this post, "spittin'" seemed like the only appropriate word.)

At this point, while a few still have one or two kids at home, most of my mom friends have kids who are at least college-aged. They have discovered that they can do things they could never do before, like meet for dinner without having to schedule it months in advance, only to cancel and reschedule two or three times. And when you get together, the conversation is totally different. When their kids were younger, they would tell hysterical stories about the kids that were always fun to hear, but there wasn't much else to talk about. Now, while I still love to hear what their kids are up to, they've learned that they can talk about a wide range of other topics, too. Because they have time to think outside of the bathroom for the first time in decades, most of them start to rediscover themselves which is a joy to watch. And they're not tired all the time, so they don't start looking at you with a glazed expression 5 minutes after they sit down to dinner.

Honestly, most of the differences that were still so apparent just 5 years ago have faded away. There is, however, one major difference that has only become evident over the last couple of years. We're part of that Heli/Velcro parent generation. You've heard about them, I'm sure. These are the parents who have a hard time letting go and do thing like stalking visiting their kids at college practically every other weekend. While most of that doesn't affect our relationship, there is the issue of the cell phone that still divides us. They're so afraid of missing a call or text from their kids that you would swear their cell phones are surgically attached to their wrists. That would be fine, except that if they need to contact me, they assume my cell phone is attached to me, as well.

For the record, it's not. My cell phone lives in my purse, pretty much around the clock. Once in awhile, it comes out when I need it for a phone call. It's more likely to come out because it needs to be charged. Once it's on the charger, there's a fairly good chance it will make it back into my purse, but occasionally it spends the whole day on the charger, while I - imagine this, if you can - leave the house without a phone. As long as my phone holds out, I won't upgrade it because it will force me onto a more expensive plan and I'm already paying for way more than I use. Honestly, the only reason I have a cell phone is for emergencies, and free long distance.

Not only do my mom friends not understand that I don't walk around with my phone in my hand 24/7, they think I text. I don't know why they would think this, since most have never received a text from me at all, and those who have, have only received random texts with words completely spelled out and sentences correctly punctuated. Is that the behavior of a person who texts? No, I don't think so.

So they'll call me on my cell phone, and if they're lucky, I have it on me, it's fully charged, and I can get to it. Then I'm greeted with, "Did you get my text?"

"Huh? Text? What?"

"Did you get the text I sent last night?"

"You mean when I was home and you could have picked up the phone and called me if you had something to say to me?"

"Well, it was just easier to send a text."

Okay, people, is it really easier if I'm not going to see it until you call me 12 hours later to tell me you sent it?

Alright, take a deep breath. This, too, shall pass, and when it does, all the differences will be gone. That or I'm going to have to break down and drink the texting Koolaid.

Don't get me wrong. I do love my mom friends anyways and I always have. But now when we get together and communicate in person, we can laugh and talk about all kinds of things. And the only curfew left is the one we impose on ourselves because there's no homework to check or lunches to make. The older we get, the more we have we have in common...again.

Until next time,

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching." ~ Hebrews 10:25


  1. Oh Margaret - you hit the nail on the head! I hate "anyways," too. Also get annoyed with the need to be constantly in touch with the kids - come on,people - have you ever heard of "free range"? It's ok if you miss a call now and then. That's why there are answering machines. Also, it's too true - moms are completely tied up with potty talk for far too long in a child's life. Isn't it great when dinner conversation can finally evolve from Junior making poops in the potty to Junior making the Dean's List, or something?

  2. Getting past the potty talk is wonderful! I'm still interested in what's going on in the lives of my friends' children, but nobody wants to hear every detail from birth on. ;-)

  3. Great post. Being an empty nester now and on the outside looking in, I understand what you mean. And yes, I keep my cell phone practically attached to my body. What if my GROWN adult children NEED me? LOL I guess sometimes it feels good to be needed again.

    Anyways... stopping by from Mama Kat's, ya'll. (Sorry, couldn't resist that)

  4. I'm with y'all...I actually went back and added the "s" to stay in line with the prompt, but I naturally typed "anyway" at first. I guess I should have let the teacher thing rule and left it that way, rather than let the conformity thing rule and try to make it "match." Glad to find your blog. :-)

  5. Margaret, I enjoyed your post! I have to admit I am a horrible texter, but having a 14 year old daughter I have had to adapt if I ever want to interact with her! I am JUST starting to come out of that "constant supervision" mode - my kids are 11 and 14. Hopefully I can start dredging up a wider array of interesting topics with which to find commonality (again) with my single friends!

  6. Margaret I really enjoyed this post! I'm not a typical mom so I totally relate to what you said. I love my daughter, and love to share fun stories about her, but if I'm out with friends I want to talk about adult things...

    Oh, and I still don't understand people who carry on whole conversations in text speak. If things can be mis-read while using whole sentences in e-mail, I can imagine the misunderstandings texts can create.

  7. You're not alone Margaret - texting is not part of my modus operandi - I prefer the cell phone. :)

    You're right about the differences diminishing later in life between friends that have/haven't had kids.

    I think there is a certain mellowing that takes place on both sides.

  8. i feel the same as you about my cell phone. it is
    not necessary and frequently gets left in my car,
    'anyways.' isn't that where it was intended to be?
    it used to be called a car phone.

    can you imagine our moms being at the end of a
    cell phone leash? never.

  9. Oh my goodness! I have my cell on me most of the time.

    On occasion though, I do like to leave it at home so that people don't bother me (mostly when I'm out with Jorge)

    Would you believe that some of my friends actually get upset with me for not answering my phone? I've heard people complain "but that's what cell phones are for... so you can always be in touch... so PICK IT UP!"

    One time I was at lunch with one friend and got a call from a second friend. I told the friend on the phone "sorry, I'm at lunch with a friend. I'll call you in half an hour, ok?" and she was very annoyed. Oh well haha next time I'll just turn the sound off and not pick up :)

    What's the world coming to these days?

  10. I just really enjoyed this post. And I look to it for a glimpse of my future where I'm not a boring glazed eye having mom who is obsessed with the toilet. I try not to be that now ... but I'm sure I am!!! And I personally forget my cell phone all the time ... it drives my husband nuts.

    Anyways, loved this post. (hee hee hee)

  11. I'm glad to know so many of you are with me on the cell phone issue, from texting to expecting you to always be available for a chat, even when you're with other people. Good grief.

    Thanks to all of you, and to the moms in particular, for being so gracious. =)

  12. I can see how all of this would be very challenging. I have no single friends (except for you) so I need you to keep me informed. Of course, your friends may be liberated now and not talking incessantly about their children, but the grands will be coming and, trust me, no gal can stop talking about the grands. Maybe you'd like to adopt a few? Grands that is?