Life often traps us in middle school. Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World, explains that the social struggles that plague girls today linger long after high school is over.
Like maybe even, years later, when they follow us to the park with a newborn.
Fear of acceptance or rejection.
The need to appear indifferent and resilient.
The desire to sit at the best lunch table with the trendy kids. Turns out motherhood can dish up the same drama. Sure, we are older and supposedly wiser, but have you ever found yourself nervous about approaching another mom for conversation? Ever hesitated to host a playdate in your disorganized house or to drive the carpool in your messy van where chicken nuggets have established small villages under the seats?
As women, our culture has us locked into eternal competition at very young ages. From America's Next Top Model to Martha Stewart, underlying mantras of perfection garnish our days. And can we all agree that June Cleaver threw us under the bus?
Motherhood, rather than calming our fears, launches us into an entirely new arena of competition. One of the mentor moms at my MOPS group (in her 50s) once said to me, "I feel sorry for you girls these days—not only do you have all the old baggage of keeping up that we once did, you have to still look hot too."
How do I measure up?
Even though I am a mom, do I look too mom-ish? Is my child keeping up?1