Here it is, Ms. Mary Mack‘s first guest post!
Please welcome blogger, mom and Ohio “player” Tara Jefferson. I came across her blog, The Young Mommy Life, a while ago doing research about motherhood and the bloggy world for MMM. We chatted (if you can call it that, with the 140-character limit) on Twitter. And BING-BANG-BOOM … read her guest post below. Definitely stop by her site, too, and leave a comment. Tell her we sent ya.
My three-year-old daughter pulls my hand and drags me back into her classroom when I come to pick her up from preschool. I’m tired, it’s pushing 100 degrees outside and all I want to do is grab my kids, get home and make dinner before I pass out.
She points to her class artwork. “This one is mine,” she says, gesturing to a slightly crooked finger painting.
“It’s beautiful,” I say, moving towards the door. “Come on, let’s go.”
“Wait!” she says, and scampers over to another art display. “This is Jasmine’s* painting.”
Ah, Jasmine. My daughter’s best friend at preschool. I’ve heard nonstop about Jasmine for months now.
I start to say (again) that it’s time to go, when here comes Jasmine dragging her mother into the classroom, too. The two girls run to each other with squeals and give one another tight hugs. They act like they haven’t seen each other all day, even though they’ve just spent the past 7 hours sitting side-by-side.
Jasmine’s mom and I avoid eye contact and wait for our daughters to untangle themselves so we can go our respective ways.
Two weeks before, I had left the mother a message saying that, if it worked on her end, we should arrange a playdate for the two buddies. In an effort to make things easier for her, I even offered to host.
You should know, I don’t “do” playdates. I don’t like other kids at my house other than the two I actually birthed. I spend all day at work and when I get home, I want to give my kids my full attention. They can see their friends at school.
But I knew my daughter was developing a solid friendship with Jasmine, so I made the move and approached her mom.
“Uh-huh,” she said. “Well … I’ll check with my husband.”
And then … nothing. For two weeks. So that day as we watched our daughters hug like they had “buddies for life” tattoos, I had been waiting for her response for 15 days. Obviously, it wasn’t gonna happen.
I’ve talked to Jasmine enough during preschool pick-up to know that she has playdates all the time. But these other friends? They all have older moms in the same age range as Jasmine’s mom. I started to wonder if the playdate slight had to do with my age.
I’m 24. And since becoming a mom almost four years ago, I have bent over backwards to make sure my kids were never viewed as “less than” because they have young mom.
What does Jasmine’s mother think is going to happen here? What am I going to do to her daughter? Sit her down and talk about how GREAT premarital sex is and that if she waits until after she’s 20 to have a baby, she’s basically a loser?
I’m just like every other mom. I make cookies. I do crafts. I lug around a 20-pound diaper bag. I’m a normal, 24-year-old mom. And I’m proud of it. I’m a good mom, too. It just sucks that others can’t see past my age to realize that.
My husband and I alternate days to pick up the kids, so I don’t always run into Jasmine’s mom. But the next time I see her, I will ask about a playdate again and see if I can get her to spill exactly what her hesitation is. I’m hoping it’s not something silly (like my age) that’s keeping our kids from having fun together. That’s just not fair to them. Plus, I don’t want to keep stalling every time my daughter asks, “Is Jasmine coming over to play today?”
Tara Jefferson is a freelance writer, public relations professional and blogger. Read more from her on what it means to be a 20-something mama at . She’s also working on a book about the challenges and joys of young motherhood.