being a mom

I Used To Judge The Boring Mom At The Pool. Now I Am One

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And now here we are. Here I am. When I thought I would never be like those moms, I didn’t have a clear vision of what my life would look like instead. I wanted to be a fiction writer. I wanted to live somewhere interesting — a large American or European city. Definitely not the suburbs. I would have said I wanted to have kids eventually, but I don’t know what I thought I would do with them. As it turns out, I live in the suburbs, on the edge of a large American city. I like it. As it turns out, I am a fiction writer. My younger self would be dismayed that I don’t have a book out, but good things are happening right now and I’m working on it, mostly during the school year.


In the summer, I shelve my professional ambitions and take my kids to the pond. It’s not exactly digging trenches, but at times it’s tedious and it’s always exhausting. The kids love it, and we have nothing else to do. The first day we went this summer, my younger son fell asleep in a grocery cart later that day and slept all the way through checkout. When my husband came home from work, he found the boys in front of the TV and me asleep in their room, the air conditioner blasting. I managed to unload the groceries and hang everything up to dry before I went down.

If I could go back to those moms who discussed their nipples while we all watched their kids swim, I know what I’d do. Instead of sitting on a bench waiting for my swim lesson group to convene, I’d offer to carry something — a chair, an umbrella, a rolling cooler, or maybe a toddler staging a sit-down. I’d quit twirling my whistle and help. I wish I could unburden the moms I see now, but my own hands are always full.

What I can do is watch two of my friend’s kids while she takes the third one to the bathroom. I am good at making sure kids don’t drown. I can tell her I like her swimsuit, because I do. I hope never to discuss our nipples, but I’m willing to report here that mine are doing just fine, and that my feet are tougher than ever.

(Image: getty images)

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