I took Roman to a birthday party at the bowling alley on Sunday and decided to stay (in the bar) and grade papers (with Bud Light). When I was finished and chatting with the other parents who stuck around, it struck me - they are all older than me. I consulted with Doug about this, thinking I was just feeling young, but he agreed - all Roman's friends have older siblings. We must be at the end (or beginning, I suppose) of a cycle. Sometimes I see it in teaching - I get a lot of siblings in a particular class, for example. But all the parents I run into I would estimate a good 4 years or so older than me.
In thinking about the parents of Roman's friends, it's a weird reaction I have. They seem so natural at this kid-raising stuff. They know the ins and outs of the elementary school, of how to coordinate 16 kids at a birthday party, how to get both their kids to follow directions at the same time. It makes me parent-jealous at times, and I feel like I'm back in high school comparing myself to the other kids. The ones who seem to have it "together," who seem to have everything going for them and aren't worried or stressed at all. I feel like I'm fumbling through this child-raising thing and am lucky to even get Roman to a birthday party with a present in hand.
I won't even get into the overall presentation of some moms (cute yoga pants or exercise outfit because they somehow found time to go to the gym), or how I feel dowdy and uninteresting next to them. Or the times I do feel put together, it's because I have spent my day going from work-school to meeting to school-work and have completely sidelined my family, only to run into the mom in the parking lot who just baked 30 cupcakes & put together goody bags for every child, after helping out with the book fair or something.
Well, I did tell Doug when we married that I was never ever going to be that mom who has to "put on her face" before she puts the sweatshirt & jeans on to go to the Saturday soccer game. And luckily, I have encountered a few moms like me, too. I just wish there were a few more.