CONGRATULATIONS on surviving the recruitment process! For some of you, this was an incredibly arduous journey – miscarriage, adoption, IVF, surrogacy – and you fought hard for your spot here at Mu Omicron Mu (MOM). You accepted your bids gladly, and we are excited to have you! For others, the shock may not yet have worn off. You didn’t ask for this and weren’t expecting it – yet here you stand, face-to-face with a sisterhood you feel unprepared to enter.
The good news is that you’re all legacies and have some idea what’s in store – however vaguely. Initiation looms in the future, and we know it’s intimidating and unpredictable. We remember that mix of excitement and dread, because it wasn’t that long ago we were pledges, ourselves! We can’t pretend there won’t be hazing, late nights, endless philanthropic events and occasional drama – and we won’t tell you it’s easy. Your life is not your own anymore, and it will never be the same. What we can tell you is that it will be incredibly rewarding, and that you will remember your years in MOM as some of the best of your life. But maybe we owe you an apology, the generation of MOMs before yours. It’s partially our fault that it looks so scary. Do you have one Facebook friend who makes motherhood sound worse than a life sentence on Rikers Island? And another who makes it look like she lives in a Pottery Barn Kids catalog?
Yeah, me, too.
We’re the youngest Gen X-ers and the Oldest Millennials. We don’t fit squarely into one category or another, and quite frankly, we have no idea what we’re doing. While we were busy enjoying the freedoms won for us by the generations of women before ours, fewer of us spent our free time in “traditional” settings. Our mothers and grandmothers made it look so easy – and we thought that it would come naturally…later…at a time more convenient for us. But after we went to school, traveled and settled down, we got a big dose of reality:
Being a wife and mom is hard – and “common sense”? Isn’t really a thing. There were no college courses that prepared us for a life of feeling like we have zero control. Zero answers. Zero confidence.
When we have a question, Siri is the first person we ask. We visit Dr. Google before our pediatrician (or grandma!). We divulge frightening amounts of personal information about our children to future teachers, employers, and (yikes!) in-laws via social media. Rather than read entire books by educated authors, we skim excerpts of articles opined by anyone with a blog. We document our successes and failures online, which mean that strangers can do it, too! We get called out for mothering “too much” or “not enough”, and shamed for how we feed our children – no matter how we do it: breast/bottle, Whole Foods/food stamps? Regardless of what we do, someone is ready to tell us why we’re failing. We write open letter after open letter telling others what NOT to say to us in any given circumstance. We spend much of our time talking/thinking about coffee and wine. We take pictures of everything.
We certainly didn’t invent the “Mommy Wars”, but we gave them a name and made sure they would stick around for a good, long time. Much of what we do as wives and mothers is harder than we thought, yet we somehow excel in making the easy things look difficult, too.
We have not aged as gracefully as we could have, and we’re sorry about that. Don’t believe everything you see on the internet regarding motherhood. It’s not as bad – or as glamorous – as we have made it out to be.
If you’re willing to look past our mistakes, there is a lot to learn. You can ask us ANYTHING, we’re ready to share! We’re not always humble, and we’re not always confident – but we are always doing the best we can. And the truth is that’s what motherhood is all about, no matter the tools in your toolbox or access to Wi-Fi.
We’re honest, and we are the first to laugh at ourselves. The internet isn’t all bad – we’ve created groups, message boards, and communities that bind us together during life’s most isolating stage. Yes, motherhood is fan-freaking-tastic…except for when it’s not. When you can’t leave home at a moment’s notice for an emergency coffee (because kids) and when you don’t have a moment’s peace for a 5-minute phone call to cry on a friend’s shoulder (because kids), you still have us. We can set up secret Pinterest boards together, shop online for Spanx, and register for subscription grocery services so we never run out of diapers! We can text during those midnight nursing sessions or Facetime from the comfort of our cold bathroom floors while submerged in 3-Day potty-training madness. We love this sisterhood, and we’re attempting to make it a better place for you to call “home”.
So this Mother’s Day – your FIRST Mother’s Day – your sisters at Mu Omicron Mu (MOM) send our love and remind you that all yoga pants are welcome here, be they from Lululemon or the Target clearance rack. We look forward to building friendships and making memories that will last a lifetime!
P.S. Now’s the time to practice the secret handshake. You’ll be way too busy after initiation!