“If I do this again, I’m not sure I’ll remember anything!” the mom said to me. We were talking about kids. Her children are 7 and 4, and mine are 13, 11, and 5 months old.
“Oh, you’ll remember how to diaper!” I said. She agreed and noted, “I’ll remember how to swaddle, I think.” We laughed, and I told her about how my husband had wanted to take a refresher parenting class before we had our third, only I turned him down and I regretted it. We laughed again.
There we were, two moms chatting about momhood. She just happens to be an A-list celeb who founded a billion-dollar company. Yep, Jessica Alba. I was at an event for The Honest Company’s cute new line of Paris-inspired diapers. Jessica posed for a pic with Ben — whose top was damp and who reeked of spit-up — and smiled adoringly at him, not once scrunching up her (beautiful) nose.
The Mommy Wars get a lot of attention, but people should give more credit to The Mommy Bond: that insta-connection you have when you meet other parents at the park, mall, doctor’s office waiting room, or wherever. Within minutes, you’re comparing notes on clothing, gushing about pudgy baby bits, or commiserating over everything from sleep deprivation to stinky kid feet.
Parenthood instantly breaks down the barriers that can exist between people, whether race or socioeconomic. It doesn’t matter how much you earn or what color your skin is when there are whiny kids to gripe about.
Over the years, through my work as a blogger, my children and I have met a handful of celebrity moms, and when I’ve spoken with them, it’s like we’ve known each other for years. Once, I chatted with Jessica Simpson about husbands gaining sympathy weight during pregnancy. Another time, Jennifer Garner and I had a good laugh over my then 5-year-old, who had a habit of not talking wanting to talk to adults.
When Jennifer asked my daughter her name, she didn’t respond. Sabrina was wearing a purple dress and had freckles, and Jennifer jokingly asked if her name was “Purple” or “Freckles,” finally enticing Sabrina to disclose her name. The two of us also talked about little girl birthday parties and the princess phase our daughters had gone through.
At times, motherhood can be lonely, especially if you are raising a child with special needs. My oldest, Max, has cerebral palsy. My friends with neurotypical kids, as wonderful as they are, don’t always get what it’s like to parent him. But when I am out with Max and I spot another mom with a child who has a disability, just one glance or smile says it all: I know what you are going through. It’s very comforting.
No matter what kind of child you have, motherhood can suck you into a vortex of chaos, and few things are more grounding than that “we’re-in-this-together” feeling. Motherhood also brings much delight and deliciousness, and it’s sweet to revel in that with both friends and complete strangers.
But then, there are so many experiences we share as parents — the good, the crazy, the adorbs, the messy, the gross, and the irksome. I’m reminded of this every time I parent-bond with celebrities, people with whom you might think you don’t have much in common with, but then, there’s always baby care … and barf.More On