I spent yesterday with some very cool women. Spent time with a good friend in the morning. Spent time with a mix of friends and unknowns in the evening. So I am feeling really good about us…
When I was in my twenties, I read a play that tried to show how women always root against each other – gossiping, criticizing choice of clothes, making note of each other’s weight, and whispering about poor choices or bad luck. The playwright was trying to teach us to be kinder to each other.
I bought into that view of women… then.
Not so much now. Of course, every once in while, I still feel or hear the pinch of catty competition. But I am discovering a different version of womanhood.
Last night, I was at a potluck holiday dinner with about 40 women, who were genuinely welcoming. It says something about our hostess and the women she surrounds herself with. It also, I believe, says something about women in general.
Most, if not all of us, were moms. Some have small businesses. Some are physicians. Some are teachers. Some stay at home.
We all have funny stories to tell. We also all have tough moments to share. And we do share, because we have learned that we have nothing to hide from each other.
When you have rushed your child to the emergency room, or changed a million poop-filled diapers, or stormed across the playground to advocate for your kid, or cried yourself to sleep because you yelled too much that day and are sure you are sending him to years of therapy, you tend to grow humble. To learn humility while still building your confidence.
The nice clothes you used to pride yourself in have puke stains on the shoulder.
And when you see the woman who lives next-door experiencing the same, a certain united front connects you.
Last night, we were talking about watching a woman and her daughter at Target, while the daughter was having a temper tantrum and the mother was determined to finish her shopping. Twenty years ago, we might have judged. Now, we all share our moments in the grocery store, at the museum, on the way to school, leaving the zoo, because we have all survived similar moments, egos slightly bruised.
While parenting is not a battlefield, there is something about it that brings women together like a Band of… Sisters. We root for each other. We stick up for each other in a way that we did not before. We reach out. We make each other laugh. We welcome each other to the party.