My best friends are inevitably people with whom I feel free to be completely and utterly myself.
And myself is weird. As a mom I think the best advice I can give to any other mom is to find people as weird as you and surround yourself with them. Make them your tribe. Those weirdos are the ones who will help you survive when everything at home is covered in baby puke and cat hair.
The Best Thing A Mom Can Do Is Find Friends As Weird As Her, And Make Them Her Tribe
I’ve gotten pretty good at pretending to be normal. I wear slacks and cardigans and flattering colors. I can carry on a conversation about children, cooking, sewing, politics, and all those normal person things. I can come across as educated, thoughtful, and rational.
But at my core, my heart, my secret self, I want to cover myself with kittens, dress like every day is Halloween, build a cardboard castle in my living room (and then live out of it), and binge watch terrible monster movies right after I finish a serial killer documentary and maybe that Disney show for tweens they just put on Netflix.
It’s an inevitable and tragic truth that the older you get, the less opportunity you have to enjoy the eccentricities of childhood. We suppress that part of us for the comfort of strangers (and our own families). We try to appear “normal” and not rock the boat.
For example, I went to the post office as a cow on Halloween day in my twenties, before I had kids, and got weird looks.
Years later, when I gave birth to my son, I decided that I wasn’t going to wait any longer to indulge my frilly, glittery, inner five-year-old. After all, I was finally a grown woman, which meant I got to tell others to kiss my grown butt (not literally, I don’t want to get punched) if they thought I shouldn’t wear tutus to the library. No more waiting. I wanted to jump in with both feet.
But, in spite of all my resolutions to be strong and weird and take no crap for it, I’m still afraid.
I need to find others like me so that we can give each other courage. I want a support system of like-minded individuals so I don’t try to use my children as a smokescreen to be who I want to be.
So this is a call for unity. You don’t have to be into castles and princesses and ponies and tea parties or even superheroes and forts (which I also love). It can be anything. Anything that makes you uncomfortable to show who you are in public.
You are not alone.
Don’t have kids to give you an excuse to wear your Spiderman costume in June? I’m there for you. I’ll hop in my Star Trek dress and haul my kids out to the library so you’re not the only weirdo there.
Want to have a tea party but don’t know anyone as excited as you by the Wonderland theme? Not enough people for your murder mystery dinner? I would be at both with (maybe literal) bells on.
We weirdos need our own bat signal, our sign and countersign, and then we need to exchange emails when we find each other so that when we need a boost of “Should I be weird?” we can get that unilateral “Absolutely.”