Moms share an unspoken bond. You see it in the sympathetic look at your tantruming child in the middle of the store or the smile across the room at a restaurant. I’m a mom, you’re a mom; there’s something oddly comforting about simply having other mothers nearby, even when they’re complete strangers.
I experienced this connection this week while out to lunch with my daughter. We had taken our seats first and were well into our lunch when Madeline and her mother Jennifer chose to sit down right behind us. We were eating at an off hour, not during the usual lunch rush, and there were several empty tables throughout the restaurant, yet Jennifer and Madeline chose to sit down next to us.
How do I know this pair’s name? We didn’t come there together. I wasn’t meeting up with a friend for lunch. After our kids showed interest in each other, as young kids do, Madeline’s mom simply turned to me and said, “Hi, I’m Jennifer.” And just like that, we were members of the Mom Club.
The girls played freely in the half empty restaurant while Jennifer and I just chatted like old friends. There was an immediate connection because we were both moms to daughters. We had an endless list of topics to discuss between bites of food, and I was truly enjoying my conversation with this woman. I discovered that she was a single mom who worked in the theater department at the University of Michigan. She had pulled off the highway for lunch on her way from visiting friends in D.C. up to her parents’ place in Vermont. I was never going to talk to this woman again and it didn’t matter. We bonded instantly over mothering. I was even so comfortable with this stranger and her daughter that our girls shared some mac and cheese with the same fork. Some people may think I’m nuts to let my child share a utensil and food with someone I’ve just met but I can’t describe the connection I felt with this woman…it was as if we had known each other forever and I just felt so at ease in her company.
By the time we left, the girls had tired themselves out playing, Jennifer and I bonded over mom stories, and I was even able to send her off with a handful of baby wipes for her trip after she ran out while we were there. Then our mom club meeting adjourned, and as quickly as this pair came into our lives, we just as quickly went our separate ways. I left feeling understood and supported – in the way that motherhood can truly be a sisterhood.
When at times it feels all too easy to slip into the mommy wars and buy into this ploy that wants to pit mother against mother, isn’t it a great feeling when we actually let ourselves connect?