I propose a new game for playgroup moms who decide to get together after hours. In the MOMS Club to which I belong (please reserve judgement at least till the end of this post), we call these monthly get-togethers "MOMS Night Out."
An ideal MNO, in my mind, is one where each mother must take a shot every time she talks about her child(ren). Two shots if it's a story we've all heard before. Three shots if it involves poop (granted, I myself would probably rack up a bit of a buzz on this one since I can't resist a well recollected crap caper). Half a bottle of Jagermeister in one swig if we have to hear how many gold stars your daughter earned today in pre-school.
I know many mothers. I know their children. I am familiar with the eating and excreting habits of 40 kids under the age of 5. I am perfectly happy being a vessel of such information. The stories are often enlightening, entertaining and useful. But in casual discourse, we're always moms. Is it too much to ask that we have on night, once a month, to learn about each other as people?
Motherhood has helped me forge a stronger identity as a woman. I am a deeper thinker, a better writer, and a more confident professional since I gave birth to my daughter. I love to tell people her stories. I value learning from others how to be a better mom. But, sometimes, I want to talk about other aspects of life. We're wives, too. We're daughters. We're employees or students. We're advocates. We're travelers. We're products of completely diverse upbringings.
So, let's talk about it! Of course we are mothers, and no conversation need deny that fact. But let's use that status to heighten discussions about those other aspects of our being, to lend perspective to conditions we may not have fully understood until now. I see that kind of introspection all the time in this little 'burg of the blogosphere, but in my real life there's a void.
Unfortunately, I don't think too many moms in my club would go for such a drinking game. It's a damn shame, too. A few poop stories and some triple-shots later, I probably won't even care that we're all still talking about our children.