Dear Local People Who Think I am a Nanny,

I'm not. I have a child. Sometimes it happens to people my age, too. The baby in the stroller is indeed mine so before you bring up "The Nanny Diaries" (and no, I didn't read it) and ask if I am available to caretake your kid as well, I'm telling you to save us both the explanation-- The kid came out of my bod.

Just because I'm not speed-walking in Juicy Couture sweatsuits and my Warner Bros hat doesn't mean I'm not an L.A. parent.

I appreciate your concern and I get the fact that I am young and "when you were my age" life was so new and so many parties and "you just don't meet many girls your age with families around here." And I see that condescending look in your eye, I can sense the "weeeeeeeell then"s before you open your mouth because it's pretty much an everyday occurrence these days. It's not hard to read your faces.

I'm not going to suddenly trade in my wardrobe for a pair of Lee jeans and Reeboks. It's not my style. I'm not going to paint my nails pink and read Martha Stewart Living or watch Oprah. I'm just me with a kid. Got it? Not a nanny or a babysitter or a college student making some extra money and getting material for my screenplay. I AM A MOTHER and just because I don't look like your mother, or the mother who lives next door or the mother you see on TV in her white jeans and "baby on board" sticker, doesn't mean I don't know how to parent. Thank you kindly for your time and please go back to your Starbucks beverages.


Sincerely,

The Momagement

GGC

40 comments:

Beth | 1:17 PM

So true! Why is it that once you give birth people expect you to wear the 'mom uniform'? Like that skit on SNL with the mom jeans, and they are so high waisted they double as a bra?
No way. Not here. Not ever!

Karen | 1:25 PM

The momagement. Perfect.

GGC, I feel your pain. I was a 26 y.o. SAHM in Manhattan, where hubby was a medical resident. The young women in my neighborhood DID NOT have kids. I got a lot of nanny/teen-mom kinda stares. The women in my playgroup were on average 36.

Now pull up those fab sunglasses and keep on keepin' on.

rhonda | 1:59 PM

Eh, screw them. You look fantastic. Be proud that you are a hip cool mom..and not one of THEM.

MetroDad | 2:04 PM

Too funny, GGC! Take it as a compliment though. People must be just too incredulous that this funky cool lady pushing a stroller is actually a mommy!

Here in NYC, I tend to see the opposite phenomenon. Most of the time I see a guy pushing a stroller down the street, I'm thinking, "Damn! Is that the kid's father or grandfather? And who that woman he's with? Is that his wife, his daughter or the nanny?" Seriously, it's easy to tell who the parents are in this city. You just look for the couple in their late 40's with bags under their eyes!

MrsFortune | 2:14 PM

Meh, the Nanny Diaries wasn't very good, anyway, I always wondered why it took two people to write it. It was predictable and cliche. Sorta like your detractors. :0)

sunshine scribe | 2:26 PM

Good for you! Screw them.

The mommy uniform is highly overrated!

reluctant housewife | 3:04 PM

I don't know if this will make you feel better, but people assume I'm a nanny as well - but because I speak Spanish to my son.

I love smashing stereotypes - don't you?

kittenpie | 3:55 PM
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kittenpie | 3:56 PM

ugh. no one should wear sweatsuits, reeboks, or high-waisted jeans out of the house. Seriously. Give them a look of your own. One that says, "I pity you for your lack of style. Clinton and Stacy would SO throw that outfit away!"

Alisyn | 4:03 PM

This used to happen to me ALL THE TIME. WTF?! One woman even asked me once if the lady I worked for minded me breastfeeding her child. Swear to gawd.

After a while I just started taking it as a compliment -- as in, 'we would never mistake *you* for a matronly hausfrau, Alisyn!'

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 4:07 PM

WTF!? A wet nurse!? Hahahahaha, that's so awesome. I'm so glad to hear this is such a common scenario. *Sniff* I love you guys.

gusmomma | 4:19 PM

damn..another great one! you took the words right out of my mouth!!!!! it happens to me alot w/these everyday mommy types... A-NNOYING!!!!!!!! not so much the nanny thing but i look real young and people are either rude or make comments...i am not even that young though, haha...and about the juicy couture outfits...yuck yet so true! i loathe oprah and dr.phil...so i guess i am out of the loop for a lot of moms at the park....ever see the snl mom jeans skit? thats what i see all too often :(....lets get our kiddos together and swarm the park!!!!!!!!! your post and a few other small reasons are exactly why i have no mama friends! jenifer

krista | 4:52 PM

It's funny. When I first had Aidan I got this reaction from people a lot. I had pink hair. Then it was green. I was 20.

It used to make me ultra angry.

Then I had my second baby 5 years 4 jobs, 2 cities, and 5 rental properties later.

And I didn't have cool clothes anymore. Or pink hair.

And although I don't exactly wear highwaisted jeans or anything, I've resigned pretty much to an attire that is non-descript.

Still, on occasion, I still get the, "Those kids are YOURS??" Now though, I have to admit, when it happens I proudly smile and secretly enjoy their bafflement.

Mrs. Chicky | 4:57 PM

What's that saying? If life gives you lemons.. blah, blah, blah. They may not have meant it as one, but take it as a compliment. No one is mistaking me for a Nanny. Sigh.

Maybe if I had a cool hat like yours. :)

Mommy off the Record | 5:50 PM

How could they NOT think you are the mommy. It's totally obvious that someone with a great sense of style dressed that boy. Love his hat!

Mother Bumper | 6:14 PM

You and Archer are the hippest pair I've seen in a while. How could someone not know you are the mommy to that fine lookin' kid (Bumper would like his digits - wait... do the kids still say that?).

Chag | 6:43 PM

Way to tell them! I feel your pain. Except I get, "Oh, Mommy got the day off today!"

Stay true.

Christina | 7:17 PM

LOL! Here in Ohio, we see a young hip woman with a child and immediately assume she's the mother. Of course, if I see a teen with a baby I automatically assume she's the mother as well. I think we tend to have kids earlier out here. There isn't a lot else to do, sometimes. ;)

jess | 8:11 PM

im waiting to get that! my kid is huge and looks nothing like me, and i am petite and young, too

i do happen to favor sweats, though, mostly b/c i don't change out of what i wear to sleep.

im sure in L.A. it is a thousand times worse than out here in the I.E suburbs

i did have somebody ask me "is that what they use in your country?" when they saw i was carrying the sweetest boy in his sling. which is fine, but this is my country. 'should've asked what country they were thinking of...

Andrea | 8:26 PM

What I'm sick of are the comments that my son doesn't look a thing like me. It's fine that he doesn't, but it's said many a time as if the commenter is relieved, like I'm a troll or something. One guy told me Gabe looks like his Daddy and his Daddy didn't even accompany me on that errand. I smirked and said, "Yes, but don't tell my husband or I'll lose my pool boy."

Kristen | 9:00 PM

Sadly, they used to think I was the nanny, but then, they were right.

I think you need a shirt:

I'm Not the Nanny.

Angel Baby | 9:58 PM

I used to get so sick of the "oh but you're so young" comments... all my life I was apparently too young to be doing whatever I was doing. It was SO annoying. And a little lonely at times too.

But then people stopped saying that. I guess I finally got old enough.

You live a very full life!! And you pass all that fullness and love to Archer. Thank god he has you and not some stupid sweatsuit to cuddle up to.

Maybe you could respond with a quick, "Oh, no, I'm his mom. Why? Are you looking for other nannies to talk to?"

Noelle | 12:13 AM

I'm sorry, but you are so obviously the mother of that stylish little man! How could you two not be a pair?

the weirdgirl | 12:18 AM

That sucks! I think my sister-in-law gets that a lot because she's young AND hispanic. Of course, up here you run into those people who act like if you're hispanic you're required to start popping out kids as soon as possible. And if you don't there's something wrong with you (which I got occasionally, but only after they found out I was hispanic. ('Cause I pretty much look white)). There's always someone with a snarky comment, isn't there?

You should come back with, "Oh, no, I don't believe in nannies. I think us moms do a much better job! Don't you agree?" And then watch them sputter.

Kell | 6:33 AM

I was 20 and single when i had my first child and the way I was treated by the hospital staff compared to how was I treated having my 3rd baby and married was incredible. Such disrespect towards me as a youngster. They asumed I wouldnt want to breastfeed because of my age. They spoke over my head to each other. Im 28 now and expecting baby number 4 and I dont ever intend to stop getting drunk on a Fri night (apart from atm whilst with child) and still meet the girls for a weekly gossip and cuppa. The kids keep me young even though I sometimes feel about 50!

Jamie | 7:09 AM

LOL..I'm an "older" mama at 36 but I refuse to wear mom jeans or drive a minivan. I do however, occasionally read my mom's copy of Oprah. I also wore one of those cutesie holiday theme cardigans at my daughter's Halloween daycare party. So the slippery slope has begun...guilty as charged. :)

Mom101 | 2:03 PM

Take it as a compliment. You're hip and stylish and young and have good hair. If I knew that YOU are what moms could be, I'd have done this years ago!

Jozet | 2:08 PM

You are much too young to be so articulate. ;-)

Well, I'm an old broad pushing 40 with another bun in the oven. I wear Converse hightops, drive a minivan, read Living, and on any given day I will be obnoxiously blasting either Portishead, Wee Sing Kids' Songs, Frank Sinatra or Luscious Jackson from my Toyota Sienna as I pull into the elementary school parking lot. I write dirty sonnets and I'm a Brownie Girl Scout Leader and I make a mean zucchini bread.

Most people don't know what to make of me, and as I close in on 40, I sincerely and good-naturedly care less and less and dang if it ain't the most wonderful freedom.

You and your daughter are both wonderful and absolutely a picture of Madonna and Child for the ages.

Blog Antagonist | 4:33 PM

LOL! You remind me of a friend of mine. Her husband is the lead singer for a marginally popular alternative band that had a huge hit a few years ago. She has purple hair, tattoos, and various and sundry piercings.

She dresses her kids in Baby Gap and Gymbo and people often give her these looks that clearly mean "Who in their right mind would entrust their children to a morally bereft individual like that??" It's funny, but sad too. She doesn't let it bother her. She is an awesome Mom.

If you can pull off awesome AND hip, you're one step ahead of me. I did give up my Mom jeans though. Although to be fair, when I was 20 something, Mom jeans were stylin. I do drive a Van, but I play Maroon 5, Hoobastank and Train really loud. Does that negate the Mom quotient just a little?

J's Mommy | 5:37 PM

Good for you for not conforming. I am a young mom too and people are always shocked to find out I have a child. Just because I'm a mom doesn't mean I going to stop listening to hip hop or hanging out on myspace.com.

Gina | 8:03 PM

Fabulous post. I wish this was a billboard in your area so those idiots you are referring to would get a clue.

Her Bad Mother | 2:36 PM

What? You mean Archer's your kid?!?!? Really?!?!? I thought that your blog was just some new hip LA thing - tote cute kid around, take pictures, write about it. You know, baby as accessory? Isn't everyone doing it in LA? Now that miniature dogs are out?

Cuz we all know that real moms aren't cool. You couldn't possible be a real mom. 'Fess up: you got Archer at the Scientology Designer Baby Trunk Sale. Right?

Thought so.

mo-wo | 2:41 PM

This post made me think about how many baby's I oogle now. I work in a busy shopping district mixed with residential and lots of Moms, Dads and Nannies flock there.

When I am standin' round waiting for a latte or walkin' to the bank I am in constant stroller peek mode. I am sure folks find it annoying. And sometimes, I confess, I am doing what you say... is it her kid? Just helps me a little when I am away from my own.

Jozet | 5:47 PM

omg..I am an idiot. Did I say daughter?

Slap me.

tpon | 9:42 AM

i get this all the time... living in Texas, having dark skin, dark hair and brown eyes and a child with blond hair and crystal blue eyes... well, not only do people think that I am the nanny, but they also assume that I speak Spanish...

I have some really excellently snarky responses to these people, graded based on how bad of a day I am already having.

Kristen | 11:58 AM

Ugh. I get this too. I live in an area of FL where most of the mommies are stuck up and in their 30's or 40's. I am neither. I'm 24 (almost 25) and I had my little girl right before I turned 24. I love being a young mom, and I am fine with the fact that we aren't married yet. People look me up and down and then go right for the ring finger. Give me a break people. I'm sick of the strange looks.

jennster | 3:38 PM

dude.. i still don't feel like i fit in sometimes. when i go to blake's school functions i'm like.. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE THEY CALL MOMS?!?!! they freak me out. i'm way too fun for this shit. LOL

Jaelithe | 2:40 PM

Hmm, I'm 25 and my son is almost 2 and no one has yet addressed me as his nanny. And I used to be a nanny, too.

Does this mean I look old?

No-- wait-- it's probably just that I live in the Midwest, where not as many people have nannies. Must be.

Hehe.

I DO get that "weeeelllll then" look you were speaking of, though, when people ask me how old I am. A lot. Especially at doctor's offices. And it really pisses me off. Hello, I am not a teenaged crack whore, thank you very much. I am, in fact, an adult, and I bet your mama was under 30 when she had you, too, Mr./Ms. Disapprover, because this whole waiting to have kids until you've got five years left to try thing is actually rather new . . .

petite gourmand | 6:17 AM

great post. I love your blog.
I'm an "old, starbucks slurpin' mama (35)"
but the other day someone guessed me to be 26...made my day.
actually made my week.
I think you are lucky to be a young hip mama...and so is archer. man is he cute!
it's true though that people seem to want everyone else to be exactly the same as themselves, doing everything at the same time..i think that makes for very boring conversations at the playground.
and people really shouldn't judge.
p.s. wouldn't catch me dead in a pair of juicy sweatpants the the word "juicy" written across my ass...no siree..

Tim Hedrow | 11:55 PM

I can top that story! I am the mother of four children. The oldest is now ten. For the first eight years, I had one "main" nanny who was a live-in. If we were in Nantucket, if we were at a restauraunt, at camp drop off, at a ballet class-everyone assumed she was the mother and I was the nanny! She was a fat blonde who wore LEVI 501s and body suits for God Sake! I wore Seven Jeans, Merills and 500 dollar cashmere sweaters. My hair is styled and colored by jose Eber. Her hair is colored by a box of $2.99 Revlon Colorsilk and she always wore it in a messy pony tail- with a SCRUNCHIE! Sometimes a MOTHER would come to the door OF MY HOUSE and ask how long I had been working here. And even after I thought I had taken steps to make it KNOWN I was the mother, the teacher would seek her out or other mother's would call me and ask for her. At Christmas Time, a few of the other Mother's sent her lotions or candles TO MY HOUSE.