The Mom Code

“My husband and I shared a rare moment out today.  He happened to have the day off on the very day that our babysitter comes for a few hours.  I usually spend that time writing, frantically running errands (while calling all of my friends along my travels), and maybe fitting in some “me” time in the form of a pit stop at my favorite nail salon.

Today was different.  Today we took an extended coffee break together before running a few last minute holiday errands.

As we sat at an outside table enjoying the California sun, a familiar scene unfolded right before our eyes.  A mom of twin girls (who looked to be about four years old) pulled her car right up to the door of the Coffee Bean.  She jumped out of the car, locked the doors, and sprinted in and out of the Coffee Bean at lightning speed.  We had seen her leave with the two girls and three drinks just moments before.

As she ran back into the car our eyes met and she smiled and said, “at least I locked the doors, right?”  I laughed as my husband responded, “we have two at home, we’ve been there before”.  She smiled, looked relieved, and handed each daughter a straw as she got back into her car.

We chuckled as we recalled all of the times we’ve strapped the kids into the car only to find that our son has misplaced his precious “Giraffie” once again.  Often, I pull the car into the garage and run into the house to procure a missing item just so that I can leave them in their seats and avoid the unstrapping and re-strapping again.  Yes, we know about multiple kids and car seats, not to mention a complete lack of time on any given day.

That shared moment got me thinking about the silent mom code that exists out there.  While much has been made about the competition between moms right now (and for good reason), there is also the kinship that exists between moms.  The silent code that manifests as a smile during a public tantrum or a wink when a mom is caught “cleaning” the dropped pacifier by sticking it in her own mouth.

Yes, we’ve all been there at some point…”

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About Katie

Katie Hurley is a Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychotherapist and Parenting Expert in Los Angeles, CA. She works in private practice in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, writes for PBS Parents, Washington Post Parents, and the Huffington Post. She is the author of "The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World" (Tarcher/Penguin, 2015) and "No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls" (Penguin Random House, 2018)