I’m just going to be straight with you.
I am one of *those* moms.
Let me clarify, because “*those* moms” come in many different varieties. The Helicopter Moms. The Tiger Moms. The Stuck Up Moms. The Granola Moms. The Moms That Want to be Your Best Friend Forever Based Solely on the Fact that You’ve Both Harvested Some Womb Fruit.
I’m not any of those.
What I am, however, is the “One and Done Mom.”
Picture this: you’re at the park wrangling your multiple children, and maybe some of your friends’ children, and possibly even some children you’ve never seen before today. Not to worry; you’ve got the situation under control. Handled. It’s hard work, but make no mistake, you’re getting it done. And you’re doing it all with a stoic smile, nerves of steel, and just a few dainty beads of sweat dotting your pretty forehead.
That’s when you see me.
Yep. There I am. Just standing there. Over by the swing set, smart phone in hand. I’ve probably got a look of boredom and distraction on my face as I watch my kid.
My. One. Single. Kid.
You approach me, and we make our introductions. Idle chatter as is standard park fare. Your eyes are darting everywhere, trying to keep track of all your charges, but you are still managing to focus on the conversation at hand. You inquire as to my son’s age. I inquire as to the ages of the kids in your brood. We exchange details about school and church. We act concerned as one of our children face plants in the mulch, then chuckle about it behind our hands.
And that’s when it happens. That’s when I become one of *those* moms.
I start complaining.
“My son just never stops talking. Seriously. He just talk talk talks all day long. Even after we put him to bed, he talks. It’s just CONSTANT NOISE! Well… I’m sure *you* know what I mean.”
“I am always SO exhausted. I don’t know how you moms with more than one kid DO IT! I get home at the end of the day and it’s all I can do to keep my eyes open. I feel like such a lazy bum.”
“Getting him ready for school in the morning borders on the impossible. He drags his feet, won’t get dressed, takes a thousand hours to eat breakfast. It’s just such a drama.”
“I feel like all I do is laundry. The minute I finish a load, there are three more just waiting there. Well, I guess it’s a blessing in disguise because that’s the only time I manage to get any exercise, am I right?”
Oh, and don’t even get me started on sex with my husband. Ever since my son was born we’re lucky if we have sex two or three times a we— hey! Where are you going?”
Where are you going? Away. That’s where you’re going.
You round up your kids with a sharp “WE’RE LEAVING.” You muscle them into the car with almost superhuman strength. You buckle them into their seats with a speed and agility you have never before possessed and will never possess again. You plan to get as far away as you can go, as fast as your battered minivan can take you there. Because constant noise? Uh, yeah. You’re familiar. Exhaustion? Please–you haven’t had four straight hours of sleep in ten years. Laundry? For real. And don’t even start about getting the kids ready for school. There’s more order and timeliness in a god damn race riot.
And sex? What’s sex? A new brand of diaper?
You jam your key into the ignition and screeeeeeeeeee out of the parking lot like nothing less than an undead horde has crested the hill behind you. A forgotten diaper bag sails off of the roof and into the wind, but you glance back in your rearview mirror with complete and utter detachment. Your flinty eyes say “I’m not coming back for you, diaper bag. Best to just forget me.”
And me? I’m already dead to you. A One and Done Mom may be entitled to her complaints, but the time, the place, and the context have got to be right. I chose an overwhelmed mother of many, at a crowded park in the middle of the day, and didn’t have the decency to offer her a Martini from my plastic playground set.
I chose poorly.