Who Wrote This? We Are The Moms

A fantastic, but anonymous, statement on motherhood is making the rounds in Montclair today ... but who wrote it? Email Shelley@patch.com.


We are the moms.

 We make playdates. We love playdates. We avoid playdates. We beg for playdates. We drive carpools. We rely on carpools. We use carpools to find out who is dating. We wonder what is meant by “dating.”

We commute to the City. To Newark. To Trenton. By bus. By subway. By car. By foot. We drive suburbans. Minivans. Mini-SUVs. Hybrids. We hate to drive. We text and drive. We don’t drive.

Our kids are in college. In pre-school. In middle school. In day care. In high school. They are in the play. In the playoffs. In love. In a phase. In diapers. In cliques. In a funk. In a Big Boy Bed. Inconsolable. Indifferent. Incredible.

They are on the honor roll. On drugs. On the third Harry Potter book. On Facebook. On Travel. On to us.

We start mothers’ groups. Playgroups. Parenting groups. Support groups. We go to practice. To lessons. To recitals. To games. To matches. To meets. To rehearsals. To the dentist. To OT. To PT. To therapy. To the soup kitchen. To church. To synagogue. To mosque. To the market. To the pharmacy. To the cleaners. To the gym. To yoga. To their father’s house. To extremes.

We meet with our children’s teachers. We keep meaning to e-mail our children’s teachers. We pray for a good teacher. We complain about a bad teacher. We defer to the teacher. We toast the teacher.

We volunteer in their classrooms. We wish we could volunteer in their classrooms. We wish our kids wanted us to volunteer in their classrooms.

We are the primary breadwinner. The only breadwinner. Barely making ends meet. The one who holds down the fort. The one who handles the finances. The General Contractor. The Calendar Queen. The one who opens the mail. The one who misses bedtime. The one who does bedtime. The one who packs the lunches. The one who leaves notes. The one who leaves first in the morning. The one who does pick-up. The one who meets the bus. The one who is late for the babysitter. Again.

We run bake sales. We bake for the bake sale. We forget about the bake sale. There was a bake sale??

We thank our partners. We forget to thank our partners. We talk to our sisters. We forget to call our mothers. We e-mail our mothers. We worry about our mothers. We try to remember what our mothers would have said. We try not to say it. We take care of our mothers. We miss our mothers.

We are Black. We are White. We are both. We are Latina. We are Chinese. We are Irish. We are Korean. We are Indian. We are Bengali. We are sick of talking about race. We think it’s all about race. We talk to our children about race. We aren’t sure how to talk about race.

We live in apartments. In condos. In houses. In mansions. We have three kids. One kid. Two kids. Four kids. We have the family we always wanted. We never imagined our family this way. We feel pressured to have another. We knew we were done. We wish we’d had a third. We tried to have a third.

We are Christians. We are Jews. We are Catholics. We are Muslims. We are Hindus. We pray on Sunday. We pray every day. We pray on Saturday. We aren’t sure whether to pray or not. We find strength in faith. We believe but we don’t go. We go but we don’t believe. We aren’t sure what we believe.

Our children are Good in restaurants. Good at telling jokes. Good in the car. Good at Math. Good Kids. They struggle with reading. With Geometry. With spelling. With The Lattice Method. With Book Reports. With Science Fairs. They work hard to stay organized. To stay focused. To stay awake.

We buy books at Barnes & Noble. We buys books at Watchung Booksellers. We take books out of the library. We listen to books on the way to work. We live for our Book Groups. We hate our book groups. We never read anymore.

We garden. We compost. We rake. We weed. We hire landscapers. We plant vegetables. We wish we had a yard. We plant perennials. We seek out Indigenous plants. We kill house plants.

We shop at the Farmers’ Market. At Whole Foods. At A& P. At Kings. At Shop Rite. At Pathmark. At the Last minute. We buy On-Line. On Sale. On impulse. On Credit. We plan menus for the week. We wonder what’s for dinner. We throw something together after work. We trade recipes. We wonder whether there will be enough for everyone.

We have lost our baby weight. We are in the best shape of our lives. We never stop hating our bodies. We think everyone is looking at us. We think no one is looking at us. We have accepted our bodies.

We run the PTA. We are on the PTA. We are burnt out from the PTA. We made our best friends through the PTA. We feel excluded from the PTA. We owe everything to the PTA. We are afraid of the PTA.

We are on School Action. We go to School Action meetings. We forget when School Action meetings are. We are too tired to go to School Action meetings. We feel guilty about not going to School Action meetings. We appreciate School Action. We wonder what School action is. We speak at School Board meetings. We have never been to a School Board meeting. We sit on the School Board. We think the School Board should be elected. Appointed. Replaced. Sainted.

We cheer. We argue. We clap. We complain. We punish. We explain. We yell. We wait. We hug. We hold it together. We lose it. We snuggle. We try not to laugh. We laugh.

We wonder whether to call the pediatrician. We show up late for work to go to the pediatrician. We feel foreheads for fever. We use Neosporin. We overreact. We underreact. We say “You’re OK!” We hope we’re right

We watch each other’s children. We teach other people’s children while someone else watches ours. We leave our children with Nannies. With Au Pairs. At Day Care. With Saturday night babysitters. With epipens. With tears in our eyes. With a sigh of relief. With a panic of guilt. With our husbands. With our partners. With our older children. With our cell phones fully charged.

We work from home. We work from home on Fridays. We dream about working from home. We get more work done at home. We get no work done at home. We work in suits. We work in scrubs. We work in sweatpants. We work on the train. We jockey for promotions. We give up promotions to achieve balance. We work part-time to achieve balance. We hate when people talk about balance.

We travel for business. We work two shifts. We feel ready to go back to work. We dread going back to work. We wonder whether to go back to work. We wish we had a choice. We are hard on each other. We are hardest on ourselves.

We have it all together. We think she has it all together. We wonder if anyone has it all together. We take it one year at a time. One day at a time. One text at a time.

We voted for our friends. We voted for the ones we believed in. We took the high road. We thought the other side behaved badly. We were shocked. We were right all along. We still think we got it right. We wonder whether we got it right. We wonder what was said by our opponents. By our supporters. By our friends.

We were treated badly by friends when we didn’t go their way. We treated others badly when they didn’t go our way.

We said things we shouldn’t have. We didn’t say things we should have. We didn’t know what to say. We said things on front of our children. We said things in front of other people’s children. We forgot they were in the room.

We believe others acted in ways that are unforgivable. We acted in ways that have been called unforgivable.

We did the best we could at the time. We should have known better. We wish we had known more. We wish others had known more. We thought we had the full story. We believed what we were told. We didn’t fall for anything. We repeated things we heard. We think the truth will come out. We think the truth came out. We blame the County. The 1%. The Machine. The Reporting. The Incumbents. The Posts. The PTA Moms. The Taxes. The Fourth Ward. The First Ward. The Progressives. The Conservatives. Each other. Ourselves.

We supported each other. We turned against each other. We gave each other the benefit of the doubt. We judged each other. We forgave each other.

In the end, we remembered that we are the moms.

In the end, we knew we needed each other.

In the end, we decided to move forward.

We remembered that we are the moms.

And the moms stick together.

Happy Mothers’ Day.


Proud Dem May 12, 2012 at 09:15 PM
It's no coincidence that I am commenting just below Meg. I don't know you Meg, didn't like you very much during this campaign, actually thought about how I would react to you when we inevitably run into each other at the supermarket, at a mutual friend's backyard BBQ or at Bluestone. But after reading this poem, I'm feeling a lot more willing to accept our political differences and move on. I wish you well.
Jessica Wolf May 12, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Someone asked me if I wrote this. I wish.
Shelley Emling May 12, 2012 at 10:03 PM
I agree Meg.. it's lovely.
Beverly Meaux May 13, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Simply well said. I have to pass this on and save it.
K.C. July 04, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Thank you for including (if not mostly acknowledging) the working mothers in this town. My mother and father both work full time, and she was never accepted by most of the stay at home moms who felt like working mothers simply don't care about their kids. Thank you for honoring all of the different types of moms in Montclair.


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