The Art of the Mom-Versation
By: Allison Norris
With such little time for regular social interaction, “mom talk” is taking over my social life.
There are different parts of this phenomenon:
Comparing notes on little ones;
Repeating the same story over and over;
Speaking in third person;
Common conversation starters;
If you are a mom, or you know one and hang out with her often, you know what I’m talking about.
I overheard two moms talking at the park the other day and 100% of their conversation was about their kids. They didn’t say a single personal thing without it involving why they were woken up early or how busy their driving schedule has become with both kids in soccer. It wasn’t a conversation, really. It was “oh, I know! I did the same thing when Sammy was that age…” It’s like a tennis match, back and forth, hitting the ball with the notes on their children. It’s no wonder many moms start in on a conversation with a monologue about their life; they have forgotten how to talk to people who don’t have kids. Their kids are their whole life, the topic of every conversation. “Oh, ya, Baylor was the same way. He used to wake up every two hours until he was a year old…” I guess nobody asked, but now they know about Baylor’s sleep schedule. Don’t worry, I’ll get their baby’s sleep schedule next. It’s just how it goes. It’s the way that we learn, and maybe feel normal.
I’m not saying that all moms are like this… because they’re not. But the ones that are have started to rub off on me and I catch myself only talking about Baylor when someone asks me how I’m doing. It’s quite simply because how I am doing really depends on my sweet baby.
I catch myself wondering if I’ve already told this story to this person. I ask, “wait, did I already tell you about this?” And when they say, “no,” I am curious as to if they are just being polite or if I really haven’t told them about it. I meet nannies, moms, friends of Toby’s, or just new people out and about and much of the “new people” conversation covers a cute story about Baylor, where I grew up, that I love my PEPS group, and that I didn’t plan on being a mom at my age but love it! Should the conversation go past that, it’s hard to remember what information I give and if I should take it to level 2 or level 3 conversation (friend details… and then a little more personal friend details) at our next encounter. I need to start taking notes.
Mom-versations always include a one-upper. It’s impossible not to. Your baby walked at a year? That’s my cue to tell you Baylor walked at ten months. She sings? Baylor knows how to count to 20 in Spanish. What else you got? Bring it! And let’s be really nice and enthusiastic (“WOW!”) the whole time we’re doing it.
Third person. I said I’d never talk to my child this way, and yet here I am. “Baylor, let Mommy do it. Mommy wants a bite too. Do you want Mommy to help?” Will he not understand if I say, “me” and refer to myself? How did this happen?
Common conversation starters are essential in the world of new mom friends. “How old is she?” “I love that jumper, where did you find that?” “Wow! He’s really tall!” “I’m the nanny of her, and the mom of him…” All common.
And then we start talking about our kids, one upping, and talking about sleep schedules. Don’t worry, if I run into you next time, I’ll probably tell you the exact same thing again because I won’t remember this conversation at all.
Moms are amazing. Sleep deprived, hungry for socialization, and hoping that the way they are raising their babies isn’t too crazy, what else would there be to talk about? These little creatures are enough conversation to last a lifetime… which is probably why we will talk about them with pride for the rest of our lives.