She Looks Like a Mom.

I have to be honest with you, I’m not going to lie.  There are times when looking much younger than my age is rather frustrating.

When a patient walks into the ultrasound room and asks me, “Are you sure you’re old enough to be doing this?”

Seriously, if I wasn’t old enough to be here, I wouldn’t be here.  I’m pretty SURE.

When going out to a bar or club, and getting everyone there carded, because I’m the one that looks under-age.  That’s inconvenient.

When I go clothes shopping, and I can’t find anything I like in my ‘age group’, so I check out the kids section.  That’s mostly just annoying.

But when I take my son to the mall, and I want to let him play around in the play place, it is probably the worst of all.  I’ve been trying, because everyone tells me if I go out and meet other parents, other moms, I can make a network of friends with whom I have something in common.

There’s one small problem with that.

All of the moms at the mall see me with my young son and immediately turn their backs, turn up their noses, turn off their interest.  No one smiles at us, no one asks us any questions.  No “How old is your baby?” or, “How cute… is he walking yet?”  They summarily ignore us, and it took me a while to figure out why.

I don’t look old enough to be his mother.  I don’t LOOK old enough.  No one bothers to find out how old I actually am.  I look like a teenage mom that had her baby just out of high school.  Or better yet, I look like the babysitter, lucky enough to get a gorgeous, well-behaved boy to take out with me!  Who wants to network with the babysitter?

I walk up to, and chat with just about everyone that is there.  Make comments about having fun, and what an awesome place this is.  How much Ronan loves it, and how it tires him out so well.  I get a polite smile, a nod of assent, and then a cold shoulder.

I think I need to get a tee-shirt made that says, “Yes I’m old enough to be his mom.  YES, I’m REALLY his MOM!”

Not that it would help.

Brock told me to go to the nearest high school and make friends with the ‘easy’ girls.  “They’ll be moms soon enough.”  Ha. Ha. Ha.

Now, all that being said.  Just because I look young doesn’t mean I’m a bad mom, nor does it mean that I’m not worthy of getting to know.  Some of my VERY best friends are older moms, and they like me just fine.  It makes me wonder if girls my age that have kids go through the same thing, or if it’s just some peculiar Charlotte breed of snobbery.  I guess time will tell.

  • Cate


    Because not only do I LOOK young, but I AM young–twenty. And I’m married with a baby. I haven’t really taken my daughter out to many places where other moms are around, partly because she’s just now old enough for those kinds of places to hold any interest, but partly because I’m afraid of being rejected for being so much younger. I think soon I might join La Leche League or some other mothers’ group…where it’s obvious I’m the mom and not the babysitter!
    .-= Cate´s last blog ..Making use of my crockpot =-.

  • violarulz

    a good friend of mine has the same problem. Her husband is in the army band and they met in college. She didn’t have her first baby until she was 25 (4 years later and she now has 2 kids, age 4 and 1), right before moving to Germany with her hubby. There, most of the other moms were her age, but she was the youngest of the officers’ wives. Now, he’s been sent to Atlanta, GA where she’s still a) the youngest of the officers’ wives and b) one of the younger looking moms in her nice suburban neighborhood.

    I know she was having trouble making other mommy friends until she started taking her kids to Kindermusik and Gymboree and other playtime/learning things.

    I think I’m going to have the same problem in a few years when we have kids of our own. I too look at least 5 years younger than I am.

  • Alena

    I don’t necessarily LOOK younger than I am, but I am still one of the younger mom’s in my mommy’s group. And I notice. They may not snub me, but I still feel the age difference lol.

    Have you tried joining a mom’s group? It might be better than trying to take him somewhere like a play place to meet moms, as one) They HAVE to get to know you lol and two) They usually WANT to get to know you.

  • Mandy

    Alena – I just signed up for one today! I’ve never heard of anything in this area, and never really looked. About time I get on that. Good point about them wanting to get to know us 😀

    Cate – Good call on the La Leche League too! I’ve been looking into go to that with a friend. Hopefully there will be some amazing, welcoming women there!

  • Holly

    Let’s face it, we are young (I more than you), BUT I completely agree that that doesn’t make us less worthy to get to know or worse parents. I found drop-in groups without organization -ACKWARD! I found it better when you the group was led by someone and you went around the circle introducing yourself and saying something about your baby etc. Through this I was able to bond with at least one other mom over something or other and the conversation went from there. It also didn’t hurt that Kai was so cute and easy to handle! The older mom’s turned to me for advice sometimes and I bet it will be the same for you as you have such great parenting skills. GOOD LUCK!
    I must say though, that I’m starting to feel my “young” parenting come out more now that Kai is older. Nothing like a temper tantrum in public to make you feel like an inadequate parent. Remember though that almost all first time moms feel like everyone is watching them and judging. I believe this happens no matter your age.
    Great topic to bring up :)

  • Brock

    You know all of this “Mandy looks like a teenager” business was fun when Mandy was a prego. She looked like a pregnant teen, and if I let the beard go a little I looked like a creepy old man who knocked up a teenager. This made for very entertaining trips to Target. There is nothing like standing in the check out asking Mandy if she needed school supplies for 6th period when she has a belly full of baby.