A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I booked the babysitter and were able to escape for a little rendezvous consisting of the traditional date-night dinner and a movie. We decided that we were in the mood for a few laughs, so we went to see Couples Retreat with Vince Vaughn. We are both big fans of his movies and just love his sense of humor, so this flick had been on our list for a while. All in all, it was a pretty cute movie and definitely had a few belly-laugh moments. For some unknown random reason, I started thinking about this movie again yesterday while pushing my son on the swing in our backyard. I remembered how in the film, there were a couple references made to “Man-Code.” I am sure that each and every one of you have heard of this little thing known as Man-Code, and if for some reason you haven’t, it’s pretty much a no-brainer. Man-Code is a little set of unwritten rules between males that they don’t ever discuss, but the concepts are just generally understood. Breaking the Man-Code is a complete and total no-no, and usually results in a full on brawl of one sort or another, and someone going home with a black eye or two. A few examples of the code include not hooking up with any of their “bros” ex-girlfriends, pretending not to notice one of their male co-workers while visiting a strip-club after work knowing full well that if that co-worker were to notice him, that he would keep his lips zipped and adhere to the Man-Code, and not divulging any information that is brought up around the poker table on boys night to his wife when he gets home that night. As I chuckled to myself a little about the Man-Code while my son laughed on the swing, I started realizing that moms also have an unspoken set of rules that are meant to be followed under any and all circumstances. We truly do have our own “Mom-Code.” I decided that it was necessary to the survival of our sisterhood for me to go against the grain and write down a full set of rules describing the Mom-Code. Here goes nothing!
“Mom-Code” according to The Mommyologist”
(Note: These rules are in no particular order)
1. If Mom #1 notices that Mom #2’s thong is popping out of her low-rise jeans and is visible to the public as she crouches down to tie her child’s shoe, it is Mom #1’s duty to stand behind Mom #2 to conceal that thong until she stands back up, at which point she needs to be notified of the thong-flash so she can pull her jeans up a little. This rule also applies to exposed butt-cracks.
2. One mom should never have to apologize to another mom for her house being a complete and total mess before coming over for a playdate. The reasoning behind this is that Mom #2’s house is a mess also after trying to wrangle kids and at the same time tackle the dishes, the laundry, phone calls, emails, and whatever sort of destruction the children do to her dwelling while she is trying to accomplish those household tasks, so she will understand and will not think poorly upon Mom #1 if the remnants of last night’s lasagna are still soaking in a pan in her sink.
3. If Mom #2 comes over to Mom #1’s home with her children, and one of them knocks something over and breaks it, Mom #1 will not bat an eyelash while cleaning that item up and throwing whatever is left of it into the trash can. If the item were breakable and had any significance or worth to it at all, then Mom #1 should have been smart enough not to have it on display in a place where children freely roam. find a domain Mom #2 will politely apologize for her child breaking the item, but she is really just standing there thinking about the Mom-Code and wondering why in the hell Mom #1 would have something so fragile on display.
4. Time alone with other moms is our time to vent about anything and everything that is going on in our mom-world. If Mom #1 chooses to have a husband bashing session with Moms #2 and #3, the latter two moms will not judge her for one millisecond, and the next time that they are together without Mom #1, they will not bring up or discuss any of the negative things that Mom #1 said about her husband. She is a woman after all, and women need to vent, and what better way to vent than to vent to other moms about how pissed off she is that her husband didn’t get up in the middle of the night with the baby or didn’t pick his clothes up off the bedroom floor. If some sort of more serious husband offense is discussed and Mom #1 is completely irate with him, then Mom #2 and Mom #3 will be irate with him as well and will nod their heads in agreement when Mom #1 says, “I can’t BELIEVE he (insert bad deed here).” When the storm blows over a week or so later and Mom #1 declares that her husband is an absolute saint and she loves him even more than she did on her wedding day, Mom #2 and Mom #3 will happily congratulate her on what a total catch that hubby of hers is.
5. Moms-night-out is like gold and it should be treated with respect and dignity. When out with the moms for some much needed girl time, Mom #1 will not order an appetizer and call that her entree. If any appetizers are going to be ordered, then there will be a few of them ordered for the whole table to share, and they will not be non-fat. There are NO calories on Mom’s night. If the spinach and artichoke dip is ordered for the table then Mom #1 better be taking a bite or two of that dip because if she doesn’t have some of that dip, then all of the other moms at the table will feel like they are over-indulging. This rule especially applies if Mom #1 is skinnier than the rest of the mom group. She will then order a delicious entree and will share whatever desserts are ordered with the rest of the mom clan. (I am ashamed to admit that I have broken the dessert code more than once. It is my pledge from here on out that I will never let this unacceptable behavior happen again).
6. Whenever Mom #1 invites any other moms over to her house because she is hosting a jewelry party, spa party, candle party, food-tasting party, etc., the other moms will operate under the assumption that if they accept the party invitation, that: a.) they will attend the party under all logical circumstances and will not cancel last minute unless there is a dire emergency, and b.) they will understand clearly that they are expected to purchase a decent amount of items at that party so that Mom #1 can collect her free goods. For all fairness and reciprocity purposes, Mom #1 will then attend each and every single party hosted by any of the moms who attended her party and the same rules will apply to her.
7. (This Mom-Code rule seems to be the one that is most broken and ignored by mothers, and mainly by new moms. After their children get a little older, they start to see the light and hopefully start paying more attention to this rule, but I think it is necessary to try and start enforcing it a little earlier to save new mothers some heartache that they definitely do NOT deserve).
If Mom #1 confesses to Mom #2 that her baby was up crying the entire night before and she is completely exhausted and at her wits end because she tried every single trick in the book with that baby and he/she still would not go to sleep, Mom #2 will offer nothing but sympathy and compassion to Mom #1 and she will offer to watch her child for a couple hours so that Mom #1 can go take a nap or at least have a few minutes to herself. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES will Mom #2 look at Mom #1 and say, “Well, I’m sorry but I just can’t imagine what you are going through because my little angel sleeps through the night every night and has for months!” Read this one clearly ladies and let it sink in: Motherhood is NOT a competition! It is absolutely against the rules for Mom #2 to make Mom #1 feel like she is doing something wrong or that her baby is inferior in any way just to boost up her own credibility as a parent. Mom #1 will have way more respect for Mom #2 and their friendship will continue to thrive and grow if they lean on each other instead of compete with each other. (I really wish I’d known about this rule sooner. It would’ve saved me a lot of 4:30am sobbing sessions).
8. Every mother knows that your body is just never quite the same after giving birth. You may shed every last pound of baby weight, but somehow your favorite jeans still don’t fit. domain dns . It happens to the best of us. Even though our shapes don’t completely revert back to their pre-preggo form, this is not an excuse to start wearing “mom-jeans.” You all know what “mom-jeans” are and if there is any clarification needed as to what types of jeans constitute being labeled as “mom-jeans”, basically if the top of your pants is anywhere close to your bra-line, then you are officially wearing “mom-jeans.” Let this be a fair warning that if Mom #1 puts on a pair of “mom-jeans”, it is the duty of Mom #2 and Mom #3 to casually let her know that she is wearing “mom-jeans” and to stage an intervention if necessary.
9. This rule applies to all of the pregnant chicks about to enter the mom-sphere. If a preggo-chick is hanging out with Mom #1 and Mom #2, who have been around the block on the whole mommy thing for some time now and have learned a thing or two on their journey, preggo-chick fully sets herself up for any and all weird smirks and looks coming from the faces of Mom #1 and Mom #2 when she announces her perfectly thought out plan for how her labor and delivery will go, what she will and won’t do as a mom, and exactly what type of child her little one is going to be. The thoughts going through the heads of Moms #1 & #2 behind those weird looks and smirks go something like this, “Yeah, RIGHT! You just wait honey! You have NO IDEA what is about to happen to your little utopia!” Mom #1 and Mom #2 have a set of guidelines here too and are under the general understanding that the best thing to do in this situation is to just smile and nod knowing full well that preggo-chick will figure out exactly why she was getting such weird looks from them the first time that she wakes up in the middle of the night to a crying baby who has poop all the way up his back.
10. Adhering and agreeing to the Mom-Code rules means that you understand that under no circumstances is there ever any excuse for breaking the code or disclosing any of its secrets to members of the opposite sex. They have their code and we have ours and there is just no need for the two to overlap in any way. Of course, if any of your husbands decide to break the Man-Code and tell you any juicy secrets spilled at the poker table about any of the husbands of any of our Mom-Code sisters, it is your duty as a Mom-Code follower to fill her and the rest of us in on every single detail.
The Mommyologist’s Last Word: “I’m taking my official oath today to follow all of the rules of the Mom-Code to the very best of my ability. I am so honored to be part of this elite club! How about you?”