Before I became a mom, I had always heard of the unspoken language between mothers. It’s a language that until you become a mother yourself, you can’t speak or understand. In fact, you’re completely oblivious to it. But once you’ve given birth and carried a child around on your hip, you fully understand. It can be spoken with the nod of a head or a knowing look, a stare, a grimace or a supportive smile. And it’s often a non-verbal communication between mothers that don’t even know one another.
There have been several instances where I’ve gotten through a tough moment with my daughter in public because another mother gave me that I’ve so been there look that instantly made me feel like I wasn’t the worst mom on the planet.
Like the time I was in yet another bathroom without a changing table (what's up with that?) and changing HH by the sliver of a countertop next to the sink and a mother walks in and washes her hands without even a word about the poopy diaper sitting next to her. And as she smiles at me, I know she has a child of her own.
There was also the time I was at a restaurant and shoved in a corner, the high chair crowding my neighbor. But I know she’s a mom when she gives me that look that tells me she’s been there and moves her chair over to make room.
And there was the time I was at Target and trying to pay for my cart full of items (most of which I did not need!) and HH will decide she’s had it with her car seat and wants out now! I’ve held her in one arm while paying with my other. The woman behind me didn’t mind at all that I was taking extra time. And as I smiled at her, sweat dripping down my forehead, she gave me the look that told me she was a mom too.
And I think of the many times when I was frustrated that a child cried on an airplane or a woman and her kids came out of the bathroom stall I was waiting for and I want to slap myself silly. They were just moms trying to get the job done.
So I hope I’m making up for it now when I open the door for a woman with a stroller or I don’t mind a woman with young kids boards the airplane before me. I hope I’m making up for the past before I knew what it was like to be a mom. Before I spoke the language.