The club meets every Tuesday outside of the dance studio at the Smyrna Community Center. Under the premise of waiting on their pint-sized daughters to get out of ballet class, members of the Mommy Club congregate for a good 30 minutes behind a barrage of strollers filled with even tinier offspring.
I've realized they congregate here so they won't attract attention to themselves. What if their husbands knew their wives were in league with fifteen other women just like them? All hell would break loose. It is at gatherings like these that important business is conducted, the kind of business that most take for granted; without it, however, most familie?s lives would fall apart.
This is the place where recipes are exchanged. Where childrearing tips are given. Where likeminded women are able to vent their frustrations (with children and husbands) to each other.
Imagine the carnage that would ensue if these mothers had nowhere else to pour out all their anxieties? Husbands wouldn't come home from work until well past bedtime.
Battleplans are discussed for the next day, which parent will drop off which child and pick them up, when will dinner be served, will the laundry get done, are we out of toilet paper, who's going to take the dog to the vet? Without strategy meetings such as these, most families' lives would be a complete mess.
I've seen a few fathers try to infiltrate this tightly knit congregation. They'll arrive a few minutes before class lets out and stand off to the side, unable to penetrate the inner circle, but straining to overhear how the club conducts its business. All to no avail of course.
They are an intimidating bunch, a female force to be reckoned with. I?ve seen them eyeing me as I walk around the track, wondering how much longer it will be til I make my bid for membership. Perhaps they are thinking of ways to recruit me, or perhaps they are debating among themselves whether to admit me at all. I will soon find out the qualifications.
As I turn the track corner nearest them I always strain to hear what they're discussing, and wonder whether I will ever be mother enough to join their ranks. I overheard one young mother with an infant in her arms expounding on the delights of sleep deprivation the other day. Her exact words were "Sleep deprivation makes me unable to be the mother I really want to be." And then she laughed along with her fellow members.
Great, I think. Perhaps in the months to come they will be able to give me some pointers on how to cope with this whole motherhood thing. On how to deal with a little girl and all the childrearing issues that creep up.
It ?s just a matter of time until I learn the secret password and handshake, and park my stroller next to theirs.