December 29, 2021

F*ck Conforming to Society’s Norms: A Letter from a Socially Awkward Mother.


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Dear Grace,

I’m picking you up from ballet today and I once again see the gaggle of moms gathering at the entrance.

I, however, sit in the car avoiding the judgmental gazes of my peers. It’s not that I think I’m better than the traditional mom gossip or that I’m entirely antisocial, but today, it’s because I lost my sh*t and reek of a total lack of giving a f*ck!

I simply do not have the energy it would take to fake a smile while listening to “Crunchy Mom’s” new eggplant recipe (you know, the one her kids just love!), as “Minion Mom” eagerly types it into a text she sends to no one.

Today, I have no desire to interact with the “Hot Moms” who have just finished their cardio in the gym below your dance studio. They wear their yoga pants to actually work out. I dare not be seen in my sweat-free but crumb-covered yoga pants. I watch the one mom who hangs back from the rest—hoping to be invited into the conversation or at least acknowledged. I remember that was me just a few years ago when I still tried to conform to society’s norms.

As I can question my place among these parents, I see you frolicking down the stairs. Your hair is too short to be pulled back into a bun. I had it cut because we were both tired of fighting the morning tangles. I can laugh now at the sight of the sleeves of your new leotard dangling below your T-shirt. Just one short hour ago, you refused to pull it up. “Too itchy!” you screamed, as I ranted that you should be grateful to have a new leotard.

As I watch you squeeze through the tangle of legs and perfect ballet buns, my heart smiles. You have yet to be tarnished by a struggle to conform. You are confident and happy. I would like to think maybe I had something to do with that.

Your socially awkward mother

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