There’s a line in the movie Mean Girls that always makes me laugh. It’s spoken by the hilarious Amy Poehler and her character, in a desperate attempt to impress her daughter’s friends, says: “I’m not like a regular mom, I’m a cool mom.”
Well, I’m not like a regular mom either. I’m a PAL mom.
Being a PAL mom doesn’t always feel very cool. In fact, when I was pregnant after my loss, I felt like the girl who couldn’t figure out where to sit in the cafeteria. I would skirt by the loss mom table and listen in to the conversation to see if it would be okay for me to join. I knew I was always welcome there, but some days I imagined my life would be so much easier if I could just go sit with the “regular” moms.
I couldn’t relate to the “regular” moms who had never experienced loss. Their conversations left me feeling like I was being left out of some super-exclusive secret. Hanging out with regular moms made me feel like I was pretending to be someone I wasn’t and who I could never be. While they talked about baby shower themes and the best car seat to buy, I sat mute wondering if I would get to have a baby shower this time and what the return policy was on a car seat if it never left the box.
As a PAL mom, I wanted to feel free to talk about everything that was on my mind during my pregnancy. I was searching for a friend group that would be okay if I interrupted a conversation about babywearing to wonder out loud if I would ever have a baby to wear. I needed a group that didn’t exchange furtive looks while I stressed about kick counts and what side to sleep on.
Even among PAL mamas, these conversations can be difficult. Sometimes we come to each other looking for a certain kind of support and are frustrated by the lack of or type of response we receive.
As a PAL mom who has enrolled in a new school of motherhood, I want to make a plea:
Be cool. Be cool with yourself and be cool with other moms.
Please remember that we are here because we are hurting and because we need support. We are a different kind of mom, but we are still mothers and we are human. Let’s use that amazing strength we possess and lift each other up even when we are feeling down.
I promise you this, it’s a pretty cool feeling to empower others in their journeys as women.