Commenters here and at TheNotMom on Twitter and Facebook often share insights that spark conversations because someone else, somewhere else, has had similar experiences they rarely speak about to others. Women under 40 talk of difficulty locating a physician to perform a requested tubal ligation. NotMom daughters, by chance and by choice alike, describe pain from their mothers’ desperation for grandkids.
This comment, about frustration with single-focued Momfriends, is sure to strike a chord:
“I never begrudge any woman for her reproductive choices, but I sometimes find that moms have virtually NOTHING to talk about other than their children. This is also true of women whose children are grown, married and with kids of their own. I truly enjoy talking to women about their kids. But it makes me sad when they seem to have no real lives of their own to discuss.”
I can SO relate to this.
Of course, I have no idea if constant kid-talk would still be annoying if I had my own children. I’d sure like to hope so. As it is, I tend to wonder why women can get so embroiled their child that they assume the rest of us are, too. Figuring out a cause doesn’t stop me from wishing I could be anywhere but within hearing distance of the third story about Billy’s daycare, but it helps, somehow. In my life, I’ve generally found that:
- Women who shared, or tried to share, every single, itty-bitty, detail of their pregnancy (especially the ones who grabbed my hand to feel their popped-out navels), don’t stop talking about the baby/child/teen once it’s here.
- Women who seem tone-deaf to their own babbling on every other subject will never realize they’ve been talking nonstop about their child, either.
- Stay-at-home Moms who spend most of their time with children and other Moms feel very comfortable talking about their children. Why wouldn’t they?
This summer I found myself pondering another group of Moms, women anxious about what to do with an empty nest. HubbyMine and I are friends with two couples, both with only children who are now in college. Woman A has used her newfound energies to get re-trained and open a business. Woman B, who used to update me on her daughter and move on, has gone the other way. Our conversations have become circular, touching on work or politics or pop culture for minutes before moving back to Katie at Duke.
I don’t know if empty nest-phobia is the reason Woman B went from Normal to Katie 24/7. I only know it’s not fun hanging with her anymore. Will I tell her that? Probably not. The relationship may be wearying, but the chance that anything I say will be perceived as anti-Katie seems high. No need to blow the relationship to hell. It’ll die, or live, on its own.