The pier at Oak Island, NC.

The pier at Oak Island, NC.

When you're in your mid-to-late twenties, people tend to fall into two groups: those that have kids and homes and real jobs and 401k plans and those that move to places like Vietnam or North Carolina on a whim. Last week I got a taste of what life is like for that other half: I took part in a one-week beach vacay with 4 moms and their 7 kids (plus the occasional neighbor kid) and it was...well, it was a learning experience. I'm still 110% kidless and 120% okay with that, but now I feel a little more educated on this topic. Here's what a few moms have over the progenitors of nothing:

1. They can prove that there is a fitting adult drink for every moment.

Did you just roll out of bed and your breath still stinks? Here, have a mimosa. Time for brunch, you say? The champagne is here somewhere. And once it hits 2 pm, break out the cheese and the white wine. Once it's around 4 pm, you know exactly where it's 5 pm, which means mudslides are a-okay. And when you're past mudslide hour, it's smooth sailing. Who even needs a reason?

Beach-vacation-mom-drink-tip? Half coffee Patrón, half Bailey's. You're welcome and be safe.

2. They're overprepared.

I packed a large purse for this one-week stay. Why? Well, for two reasons: 1) I knew there wouldn't really be any extra space in the Tahoe for my things, and 2) there would be no extra space in the Tahoe for my things, so they must have everything I needed.

And I was right. Whether it's towels, sunscreen, sun chairs, or daiquiri mix, they're on it. It seems like a lot of work until you realize (or get told) that "5 minutes of prep saves an hour of disaster." 

3. They know the value of peace and quiet.

Sometimes when you're around a bunch of mom and their kids you need to go back to single, no-Chef-Boyardee-everywhere, no-one-yelling-at-each-other-ville, and moms know that even better than you do. So when you go off on your own, they get it. They're not gonna be that clingy friend that needs someone to tag along with to feel safe all the time. They love peace and quiet, too, and they don't begrudge you getting yours.

4. They can cook.

Why, oh why, would anyone travel with a bunch of shoestring bachelors when they could travel with a bunch of moms? I'll admit, I would've loved to have felt more useful, but the way I helped out the most, I thought, was just by staying out of the way. Let them do their thing. Give them their magical space. Because in no time at all, they'll have whipped up some other-worldly Mexican buffet that seems to appear out of nowhere. Is that a skill I automatically obtain once I have kids? Because if so, I'm tempted...

5. They're a wealth of knowledge. Inappropriate knowledge.

Sitting down with a handful of moms and more than a handful of red wine will be eye-opening, to say the least. You'll learn the habits of teenage boys you never wanted to know, just how sad you should be that you mostly missed the 80s, what actual adulthood is like, and what it's like keeping another human alive. And you thought your little mind had conquered just about everything.

6. They need a glass of wine as badly as – no, more than – you do. 

At least for me, I'm at that point where every day, regardless of what I'm doing or how much I'm working or what I'm worrying about, I always feel like I need to relax, or that I "deserve" some amount of relaxation. HA. Until I'm managing to not freak out at 8-year-olds after hours of them being 8-year-olds, I only deserve 100% sobriety and oenophobia.  

7. They can be trusted to not be terrible travel companions.

Unless you manage to find that mom who just, well, shouldn't be a mom, it's pretty safe to guess that they won't be terrible travel companions – or terrible people. They won't spend hours doing their hair to take the perfect selfie (because they can't, but nor do they really care to), they won't freak out if it's cloudy and they don't wind up getting the perfect tan, and they won't get all clique-y on you unless you actually deserve it. They have better things to do, actual interests, and drama ain't gonna get in the way of having an awesome vacation. 

8. They know they're a little crazy.

And yet they're willing to be written about anyway.


So, thanks, moms. Dunno how you do it. Because of you,  I now know I have at least 8 things to look forward to if I ever take that maternal leap.

...9 if my daughters look like models and will obviously become famous and put me up in a villa in France with a maid.

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