When I was growing up, I always thought I wanted something that all my friends had, that I felt I was missing out on; or so it seemed.
As an only child, one of my wishes was to have a sibling. My desire to share the spotlight was sometimes questionable, but I definitely thought it would be appealing to have a sister or brother to blame my silly antics on.
Little did I know, that childhood dream would come true around the same time I became a mom; but in the most peculiar way! Enter the Sister Mom…
Allow me to preface my story with the fact that the general public has always underestimated my age.
When I was 15, I looked like I was 12. When I turned 18, I looked like I was just gearing up to apply for my driver’s permit. Even after I turned the ripe old age of 30 this past February, I more often than not continue to be mistaken for a teenager. (To this day, my mother promises me that I’ll be thankful for this misconception in my later years. I’m holding you to it, Mom!)
To sweeten my scenario, I stand all of 4’4,” wear a children’s size 13 in shoes, and am beyond thankful for the “Mom and Me” clothing lines since women’s attire is completely out of the question. My husband, Andrew, stands a charming 5’10 and is an avid huntsman. Together, we have a gorgeous 13-month-old little girl named Hope, who continues to conquer the growth charts with each aging milestone.
It was during our first day out as a family-of-three when I realized my fairy godmother must have been standing right there at our bedside in the delivery room; ready to wave her magic wand and deliver my lifelong wish. Andrew and I were minding our own business and tending to Hope while browsing in a local store when I was approached by an elderly woman who looked me square in the eye and said,
Oh, what a beautiful little sister you have! How old is she?
Most of us moms can relate to the outlandish emotions that accompany the postpartum period. I could feel the steam rolling out of my ears nearly instantly. Luckily, I was able to filter the response railing through my mind into one that was decently pleasant,
Thank you, Ma’am. Actually, this is my daughter and she’s 4 weeks old.
What I really wanted to say was, “Thank you, Ma’am. I’m NOT her sister, I’m her MOTHER. If I were her sister, that would make this man (my husband, who, by the way, is three years younger than me), my father!”
#SOGROSS! I knew immediately that the Urban Dictionary must have coined the term Sister Mom after my existence.
You should have seen the shocked look of doubt on this woman’s face! So sweet and so curious, she almost didn’t believe me. (I could have picked her jaw up off the floor with a crane.) With persistent wonder, she carried on the conversation by asking me my age. After taking a few subtle breaths to calm my fury, I began to see the hilarity and hidden treasure in this situation. I may have been a bit sassy in my responses, but I was delighted to inform her that I was 29 at the time and flaunt the difference in age between me and my husband.
What an HONOR it was to walk away, 4-weeks postpartum, being perceived as my daughter’s sister. I am proud to be a Sister Mom.
I don’t know that my husband walked away with the same sense of achievement, but he was a good soldier and entertained my newfound status as Hope’s sister, and his status as (yikes) my Dad…
The humor and humility of this constant confusion have been a real trip! So, it comes as no surprise that almost always, the world at large will continue to perceive me as Hope’s Sister Mom. I guess that’s what they mean when they say, “Be careful what you wish for!”
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