As I was nursing a Memorial Day hangover this weekend, and utilizing the free babysitting services of PBS while surfing the interwebs, I came across an article about the lifestyle of the rich Mommies of New York's Upper East Side. Last week I posted a companion piece over on the Misadventures Facebook page about the "wife bonuses" these women receive, but the feature in Sunday's NY Post goes into further, more disturbing, detail about the lives of these rich and bored women. I don't know how true all the stories are, since the articles are timed around the publication of the book Primates of Park Avenue, and that details the "extreme" parenting among the upper echelons of New York society, but let's give the Author the benefit of the doubt and assume she's telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Despite my vodka-induced headache, it got me thinking about life as a Mommy here in the City of Angels. You all know that I'm no huge fan of Los Angeles, and that I've had my ups and downs with the various Mommy groups I've attended over the course of my two and a half years of Motherhood. While I've never actually been accosted by a Birkin Bag-weilding Mommy terrorist, I have been given the cold shoulder from Mommies with designer diaper bags and nicer cars. Lest you think that only rich women are exclusive, I'd like to point out that I've also been shunned by the "we live off of the grid and have a compost toilet and I would never be caught dead wearing makeup" mommies, so the exclusion crosses all races, creeds, religions and bank balances.
In the past year, however, I've been welcomed into a group of Moms who are totally my people. I've been blessed with incredible women friends through all the stages of my life - heck, I'm still close to my kindergarten bestie - but after struggling through that first year with the Muffin Man and the Mommy and Me group from Hell, I began to despair of ever having close Mom friends. You don't realize until you actually have a kid just how important it is to your sanity to have a group of friends with whom you can discuss not only the color and consistency of your children's poop, but other more pressing issues, like where to get the best eyelash extensions, and why my Husband still doesn't know how to load our dishwasher after five years.
The thing about motherhood, especially if you're a stay-at-home Mom, is that it can be incredibly isolating. Finding a group of Moms with whom you fit in, and who share similar experiences, is life changing. Double points if they happen to live in your neighborhood so that you're almost guaranteed to run into at least one of your ladies at the local playground, which means that if you forget diapers/snacks/wipes/sand toys, your Mom friend will not assume you are a shitty mother but will, instead, graciously lend you the required item. The sisterhood that exists is almost intrinsic to survival in the cutthroat world of parenting. The world at large, and possibly even your immediate family, is totally going to judge your for your parenting choices, whatever they may be. Your true Mom friends, on the other hand, accept that we're all just doing the best we can to survive the day.
I guess, in a way, having a tight group of Mommy friends is kind of like being in a gang: you know there's always somebody who has your back. Sure, the only weapons we roll with are diapers, snacks, and plenty of sunscreen, but we are not afraid to come after you and your rogue Birkin with a sand shovel. And trust me, you do not want to know what kind of diseases are on that thing.