June 25th, 2009

Excuse Me, Could you Park Your Mommies Group Somewhere Else?

Laura De Veau

As a working mother, I struggle when switching between my “mom” and my “working” hats. Admittedly, getting out of the office in time to avoid being penalized by the daycare clock-watchers can be difficult. And don’t even get me started on how I brag to co-workers about Spicy Girl’s latest achievements (“Can you believe it? She put on her shoes! On the wrong feet!” Gush, Gush).

But, there is one place that I can move that hat over pretty damn quick—and that’s at lunch. Lunch is all business.

Last week, a co-worker and I went to a favorite suburban sandwich place for a bite. It was noon and the place was packed. Businessmen and women from the adjacent office park or local home offices were meeting, eating, and using the free wi-fi. But smack in the middle of the workday hustle and bustle, was another group. Eight Moms. With eight newborns. With eight hockey-equipment-sized diaper bags. And a combination of baby buckets, strollers and carriers that surrounded the pushed-together tables like a minefield.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love moms. I am a mom. I love kids. I’ve got one. But, as I was tackling an unsuspecting real estate broker to get a table, I thought about what I’ve heard my single friends say before. They’ve said that many women—specifically those who are pregnant or new moms—reach a certain point in life where they feel like they have “an excuse.”

“An excuse for what?” I used to think.

But there, in the middle of my working lunch, I saw it in living color.

I was torn. I could see that these moms needed this time out of the house (it was clear that the last time two of them had showered was DAYS ago). But I could also see that the other patrons were frustrated by the Rhode-Island-sized swath of acreage they occupied.

So, I stepped to the head of the table and laid it out for them. “Good afternoon ladies. I know how hard it is to get out of the house, especially as a new mom and all, but …”

“We aren’t moms, we are nannies. Their moms are at work.“

“Oh. Then get out.”

Sometimes it’s convenient to have two hats.

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