Of course I care if you are having some out-of-the ordinary problems or you have something you really need to get off your chest. But I’m a work-at-home mom who also writes about parenting. The last thing I want to talk about on my downtime is kids; mine or anyone else’s.
I thought about this today because I saw this photo essay in Vulture of Girls star Jemima Kirke being her fabulous, young, Brooklyn-mom self. Along with her photos, are some random quotes:
I don’t have, like, a mommy group, God forbid, where we talk about our kids. That’s a little bit of my nightmare.
But I do have friends in the neighborhood who have kids who are just good women. We talk about other things.
My editor sent them to me with a note that said, “Jemima Kirke mommy shames parents who talk about their kids.” My immediate response was, She’s damn right! Her words speak to me, they really do. Because I write about parenting all day – and when I get out with the kids it’s usually some place like Gymboree or the park and I can’t just walk up to these other moms and say something like, “Hey. Did you see the previews for next week’s Real Housewives of Atlanta? Kenya and Apollo are scandalous!”
Not that talking about the Real Housewives of Atlanta is the most engaging conversation in the world or anything, but it’s not about my kids or anyone else’s and that’s refreshing. Sometimes, when I finally get a friend on the phone I haven’t spoken to in a really long time and I’m forced to do the expected catch-up-with-what’s-going-on-with-the-kids-thing – I get really impatient and say something like, “Everything is the same. He’s just not peeing in his diaper as much. Now about you…”
I think when I finally work outside the home again, or if I ever make some friends in this new city, I won’t feel as pressed to soak up every ounce of non-kid conversation I can get. But right now, the kiddie small talk is killing me. Since I’m always with my children, even when I’m outside the home, it’s kind of hard to avoid. The point is, don’t always assume that a mom wants to talk about her kids. And not wanting to talk about your kids for five minutes doesn’t make you a bad mom – it just makes you a person who has interests that don’t include the beautiful things that came from your womb.