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(http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/antidote-under35-mommy-cliques/mommy-cliques-2/)When I started hanging out with baby Alex at the playground  at 43, I remember thinking that—sometime during a surreal, Rip Van Winkle-style afternoon nap—I must have landed myself on the set of the 2004 film Stepford Wives.

Being around tightly-knit groups of dewy-eyed younger mothers made me feel old and marginalized–an outcast from a cult of motherhood defined by age and generation.

To be a card-carrying, covert member, you had to be a mother under the age of thirty-five, with an attitude steeped in saccharine pretension to the point of being sinister.  (And your tiny, work-out buffed buttocks had to shine like brand-spanking-new hubcaps.)

There is a Stepford cult sub-sect also known as Yummy Mummies (http://www NULL.urbandictionary NULL.com/define NULL.php?term=yummy%20mummy)—just the thought of it is enough to make you want to hurl your hoagie (at their shiny hubcab rumps).

I was so disaffected by the sense of anomie generated by being plunged unwittingly and unwillingly into the company of SMUTS (Stepford-Moms-Under-Thirty-Five)—many of whom peered at me down the long nose of personal judgment—that I wrote one of my first blog features on it: Revenge of the Fried Green Granny-Moms.

Today, however, we’re going to kick it up yet another notch and find the cure. Why? Because there’s always a risk you’ll be tempted to drink the Stepford Moms’ Kool-Aid and try to become one of them (or their aging mascot). And because, in a few short months, I’ve learned that I was not alone in my loneliness.

It appears that unexpected immersion in a Yummy Stepford Mummy culture is a rite of initiation for every new mom over 40.

In fact, according to some older mothers, it’s a midlife mom parental pandemic.

Lisa Cohn from Portland, OR, who had her third baby while in her fifties , says that she started looking for alternatives after a few “adventures in the park” meeting much younger moms whom she felt weren’t interested in speaking to her and with whom she had little in common.

“I felt really isolated at first. I really wanted to get together with older moms so we could discuss some of the issues related to being older…including nursing, having much older children plus a baby, how different it feels this time around to have a baby.”

A few months ago, Lisa got lucky with Geezers and Tots (http://www NULL.meetup NULL.com/olderwiser/), a socializing and play-date Meet-up Group for over-40 parents and their children.

“This group has been really important to me”, says Lisa. “I no longer feel isolated. I’ve met some people I really like. I love getting together with other parents who have kids the same age as mine (toddler) and just hanging out with them and talking about the kids. It’s always fun and satisfying.”

Forty-one year old Leah from Seattle, WA–who has a 16 month old and a 2-and-a-half year old–weathered a similar social storm as a new midlife mom. She experienced a depth of isolation caused by a complexity of contributing factors—mostly to do with age differences.

Aside from not having much in common with younger moms, she says that many had “not been college educated or had well built careers like me before they became a mom.”

She goes on to point out they did not understand the fertility issues she was dealing with, and many were lacking in the kind of maturity that can only evolve from time and experience.

A mom with a mission, Leah launched a new Meet Up group in the Seattle area called 80s Ladies with Babies (http://www NULL.meetup NULL.com/80s-ladies/), which currently boasts 77 members.

“I strive to build a supportive group of moms who get together for play-dates and socialize”, says Leah. “I’m working  especially hard to build a group that is open multi-culturally and is not cliquish. It’s important to be connected with like-minded moms to build friendships , community, and decrease isolation.”

Tamara, another midlife mom from San Jose, CA is on the lookout for a similar group. At 41 with a 13-month- old, she says that she doesn’t seem to be able to “click with the younger moms”.  Worse, she finds that “a lot of mommy groups are cliquey and I feel like I’m in high school trying to fit in.”

Stepford Moms Under Thirty-Five gotcha feeling like the only warm body on the playground? If you can’t beat ‘em, start your own group.

Note to readers:

Stepford Wives, 2004: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0327162/

Original film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cRrbcv_qKA

Links for this blog:

Angel La Liberte is the founder of the website Flower Power Mom—The Truth About Motherhood After 40 (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/) (www.flowerpowermom.com (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/)), a regular blog featuring news, commentary, real mom stories and expert advice about motherhood after 40.

You can email her at editor[at]flowerpowermom.com. Find her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/FlowerPowerMoms (http://twitter NULL.com/FlowerPowerMoms) and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Flower-Power-Mom/173079456036144 (http://www NULL.facebook NULL.com/pages/Flower-Power-Mom/173079456036144).

To contact the social groups:

Geezers and Tots, Portland, OR (http://www NULL.meetup NULL.com/olderwiser/)

80s Ladies With Babies, Seattle, WA (http://www NULL.meetup NULL.com/80s-ladies/)

Tamara, San Jose, CA (‌t_gold31 null@null ‍yahoo NULL.com)

Meetup (http://www NULL.meetup NULL.com/)—Start your own group.

4 Responses to Surviving Under-35 Mommy Cliques

  1. Barbara says:

    Thank you for this article. I am a 41 yr old stay at home mom of a five-month old. We moved here for my husband’s career. It’s refreshing to know I’m not the only one experiencing the sense of isolation the author writes about. My situation is compounded by the fact that the area I live in, women tend to get married very young and everyone seems to be related to each other. It is not only clique-ish, but clannish, as well. Not only are they young, but they already have a huge posse of friends and family. They don’t need to make friends with me. I never knew motherhood after 40 would be the loneliest time of my life.

    • Jennifer D says:

      Barbara, wish we lived in the same town…I emphathize with your situation completely as I have been going through the same thing and my town is almost exactly as you describe.I am 46 years old with a 2 year old daughter. I am trying to break free from the isolation and inviting some neighbors with young children to a backyard Easter Egg Hunt…it is a big risk for me because I am afraid of rejection and of course, I will be the oldest mommy there, but that is something that I am finally getting used to, I have to get used to it because it will be my reality forevermore until we flower power moms unite. To add to the sense of isolation, for a year, I have attended church every Sunday and am very friendly, smile at the other moms and their kids, chat a little- but have not managed to set up even a play date with another mom! I don’t know if this is a case of being an older mommy but it might be more of a case of clannishness and cliquishness and just the crazy busyness of our lives that leave little room and time for new friendships! I have found that I am setting up play dates with my friends grandchildren and it is great!

  2. […] Or, as I prefer to call them: Stepford Moms Under 35. […]

  3. […] Loss of career during mat leave, or a permanent leave from work, means also losing colleagues and friends we knew from the workplace. Women who leave careers after age 40 to become stay-at-home-moms can become socially isolated in the face of younger mommy cliques. […]

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