Anyway, on Wednesday, I went to the mall with Kara. Who is Kara? Kara is a friend and co-worker. Like most of my friends, we met at work. She teaches in the science department with Tom. Her son, Ben, is 2 weeks older than Lily, and her son, Sam, is one week younger than Jack. We didn't plan it this way...we swear. Since we are on leave during the same time, we decided we should hang out with the littlest ones, and the mall is always a good idea.
For those of you who don't know, if you are a nursing mother, Nordstrom is a gift from the department store gods. For serious. First of all, it has a women's lounge. Second of all, it has a mother's room for nursing. Yes, you
Here is where what I was going to write about comes into play. I know you have been waiting.
A sample of the conversation--
Her: How old is your baby?
Me: 7 weeks
Her: Oh! 7 weeks? Mine, too! Wait, he is 7 weeks? He looks like he is one year old!
Me: Yeah, that's cause he was a giant at birth.
Other things I learned about this mom-- she has a daughter who is 4, where she lives, where she hopes to move, and other, what I would call "small talk" things. Then, it gets heavier. She starts asking about breastfeeding and how it's going. She reveals that this baby has been harder because he has reflux. How being a mom is easier the second time, but how she never anticipated the issues this new baby has.
Maybe it's because our boobs were hanging out. Maybe that makes you feel more vulnerable. Maybe it's because breastfeeding with a stranger is awkward unless you have a conversation. Maybe it's because I look like I am a wealth of knowledge about parenting (yeah, let's go with that last one). But, that day, I had a serious conversation about mommy fears, mommy worries, just being a mommy with a total stranger. I never even got her name.
That's why motherhood is basically a club. We all get it. We understand each other. That is why it's ok to open up to stranger about the problems you have been having with your newborn. Because, ultimately, we have all been there (or have a friend that has).
After this conversation, I found Kara breastfeeding Sam, talking to an older woman. Somehow, I don't think they were having the same conversation.