When I was 39.5 weeks pregnant with my first baby, I took the week off to “get ready” (lets all collectively laugh at how absurd this was/is…. baaaaahaaaaaa…..). I was far from ready. No amount of organizing and prep would have actually
made me ready. I was just very pregnant. And distracted. I digress.
As an additional digression, I will tell you that I was in the VETERINARIAN’S OFFICE with my 100+ pound golden retriever ON MY DUE DATE when I went into labor. What about this errand (and an “errand” it was) was about getting ready to be a mother? Nothing.
Anyway, the POINT of this story is this — among the very many things I did not know in that week leading up to being a mother, one of the great surprises that awaited me on the other side was the “Superhero Mom Club”. This is a club with few (any?) admission requirements, perhaps other than “Mean People Need Not Apply”. But what’s amazing is this: it’s totally real. It’s not fiction, fantasy, illusion. If you (important point coming) choose to participate it has meaningful qualities.
Let me explain. Membership benefits vary over time.
For example, when I was a young mother, I was part of a mom’s group that — among other things– organized meal deliveries to the new moms in the group. Like, FREE, anonymous meal deliveries. I didn’t get meals (too late to the show), but I made glorious, farmers-market-inspired meals, and delivered them to neighbors/total strangers that lived within a 2 miles radius. I know, I know… I was living in a part of LA that essentially functions as a commune, so these things were possible. We TRUSTED that anonymous meals were just a gift from the universe. But walk with me for a few more moments.
As time marched on, however, and particularly in the years as my children entered school, the fact that I was even in a club started to dawn on me… I just started to get it. The Great Sisterhood. Real membership looks like this: your kid’s best friend’s mom has the stomach flu, texts you that she has been barfing and sweating for 3 days, and essentially begs you to have her child over for a sleepover so she can just sleep. The proposal is fraught with risk… like, you and your WHOLE FAMILY could end up barfing too… but you become a member when you say “Sure. I got it. Get some sleep.”
On the flip side of things, I was so humbled and deeply grateful this week when a friend stepped in to SAVE ME when a car breakdown left my 3 kids, and our nanny, stranded in 3 different parts of the city yesterday. When I was literally in the middle of a meeting that I could not leave. Like, friends, this friend picked up my kids, picked up my nanny, delivered everyone home. No. Big. Deal. It was the biggest of deals to me.
This comes up in less dramatic parts of literally almost every day of parenting. My littlest guy feels left out these days if his older siblings have playdates… and the moms in the club get it when I text them asking them if my kiddo can come to their house for a playdate (this happens when, for example, I’m otherwise hosting 5+ friends of one of my older kids!).
Also, the club isn’t persnickity about contact. Two winters ago we had snow-maggedon here in Atlanta, such that I sat in traffic for 6 hours to go less than 3 miles until I realized I was NOT going to get my kids. So I deployed a Plan B, which included texting another school mom (we are friends, but not in regular contact) to BEG HER to put a carseat in her front yard so my little guy could travel safe. She did it. Of course. It was no big deal to her, but knowing that my little guy would be safe(ish) made me cry.
Here is the deal: examples abound. Pretty much every mom I know has a good, working understanding of the community aspects of what I’m describing. Honestly, it’s humbling to be included. I always feel so deeply grateful when one of the other moms just swoops in and saves the day. But I know I do my part too – well, I hope so.
Superhero capes for all involved!