Friday, May 4, 2012


othermomaphobia: def-- The fear of meeting, talking to, seeking out or otherwise interacting with other moms.

On various occasion I have sat in my car on my way to a 'meetup' with other moms in the midst of a panic attack over meeting new mothers.. Running through all the possible scenarios in my head..

Will I be the frumpy mom? Will I be the weirdo mom? Will I be the too much of a leftist mom? Will they hate my because my daughter who I think is amazing, just recently started to 'adore' the word 'MINE!' and I haven't quite figured out how to deal with it yet? Will she ask to nurse in front of these women, leaving me stammering about my relentless and up-until recently failed attempts to wean her? Will I be scrutinized and begin to relive my no-so-happy elementary playground days of being a outcast, and having other girls chase me and throw sand in my hair?

As all of these thoughts are running through my head  and my heart is beating double-time, I convince myself that I am going to this meet up/library program/play date for my daughter. It's not about me, it's about her.. She needs friends. She needs playmates to learn from and play with. Just get out of the car. I decide if I need a quick close-friend pep talk, or am I OK today, and I can get passed the fear and walk into the building.  And it's not like I haven't been there before, I have met up with and still am very close to a few women from another mommy group (see prior post on Peace, Love and Mommyhood). Why should this be any different?

So the next step is going in and not making people think I am 'bitchy' mom by not immediately introducing myself to everyone in there, but often times I find it completely intimidating walking into a room of other moms who already know each other, and the names and birth dates of each others family members, and whether or not their kids like the crusts cut off their soy nut and organic blueberry jelly sandwiches.

No wonder I feel the way I do, these women are awful! All judgy and glaring eyes,  driving their BMW hatchbacks and wearing their J.crew sweaters and drinking their Starbucks lattes, while carrying their neatly groomed children's lunches in the cutest of reusable lunch totes, while chit-chatting with the other perfectly dressed moms and texting their CEO hubby's from their new I-phones..

Wait.. Whose being judgy? I haven't even walked in and I have pegged all of these moms as horrible, blood thirsty, mom-pires ready to suck any ounce of confidence and pride I take in my abilities as a good mom right out of my body.  Again, I tell myself to stop being awful and will myself into the building.

Needless to say, I have never been bitten by another mom. I can actually say, I have never been bitten by anyone at a play date before. And as time goes on, I realize that much like many phobias, spiders, heights, the sight of blood and needles, othermomaphobia is pretty real, but also completely able to be overcome. I have even met some amazing, non-judgmental, non-J.crew clad women who understand that kids are kids, and they don't hold it against me that my daughter might lash out at a child she feels is going to take something from her, or that the terrible twos are worse than normal that day. The fact is, I am pretty sure most moms feel the same anxiousness when walking into a scenario that might be unusual, strange or otherwise intimidating... And I get it. We aren't all going to get along. We aren't all going to parent the same way,  we all don't breastfeed, co sleep, or even like our kids (ha ha, just kidding) but we all have one thing in common, we are moms looking to do the best for our children.

I'll just remember to leave my soy latte in the car. :-)