10 Ways to Spot a Mom {Without Her Kids}


I’m about to turn 31. I know that’s not old per se, but I’m certainly not 21 anymore. I’m married, have two kids, haven’t had a chance to shave both legs in the same day for … a while, and my daily routine involves mostly butt-wiping.

I do still like to consider myself pretty young and hip though – maybe even more so than my pre-marriage, pre-baby, pre-eyebag days. I think I’m still fairly fashionable, and I’m mostly keeping up with new technology and music and TV despite the fact that 9.9 times out of 10, if the TV is on, it’s set to My Little Pony or Little Einsteins. Physically, I’ve always looked a lot younger than I am. I was *blessed* with baby fat in my cheeks until I was like 28, which has so far, allowed me to dodge any wrinkles. When I was 26, I gave birth to my first child, and approximately, 8 months later, I was mistaken for my baby’s teenage sister.

At first (very brief) glance when I have a rare moment out and about alone, I probably don’t look like I’m old enough to have kids and a mortgage and a diaper subscription and bifocals (good god, I can’t believe I just admitted that). BUT, if you look a little closer, there are many ways to tell that I am, in fact, a mom. Here are 10 sure signs:

  1. That tube of hand sanitizer hanging off the side of my purse is a straight giveaway. (It’s a bedazzled tube of hand sanitizer though. Bedazzling is still hip, right? RIGHT?) Kids touch weird things. I don’t leave the house without a boatload of this stuff.
  2. Coupons, baby. I’m a couponing queen. And not just for groceries. Like hell I’m going to pay full price for a Soma bra if I don’t have to. I have diapers to buy and dance lessons to pay for, folks. When I wasn’t checking out retailmenot.com during a shopping trip for my brother’s wedding two summers ago, I was dolling out paper coupons to my fellow (much younger) bridesmaids at American Eagle. Short on cash for that crop top, young lady? I’ve got a coupon for that. ::high fives self::
  3. Ned Flanders-speak. “Okey dokey, artichokey!” “See ya later, alligator!” “In a while, crocodile!” “Alrighty-roo! Let’s hit the road, crew!” I could go on, but you get the picture.
  4. Asking grown adults if they need to pee multiple times a day. As my mom recently found out, don’t go on a road trip with me if you don’t want me prying into your bathroom habits.
  5. Always, always having wipes and/or Kleenex on hand for the unexpected mess. Baby wipes aren’t just for butt-wiping. ::Life Motto::
  6. In the off-chance that you actually catch me in something other than a long-sleeve shirt (sun safety first!), you’ll notice my right arm muscle is slightly larger than my left. I like to call this phenomenon ‘Mom Arm’. It’s from hauling an infant seat roughly the weight of a smart car around for many moons.
  7. My dark under-eye circles from those late, late nights of not partying. Unless you like to consider breastfeeding all.night.long. a party. But I don’t. All the concealer in the world won’t cover up those bad babies.

    Hi, friends. Meet Heidi.
    Hi, friends. Meet Heidi.
  8. Taking a ride in my car? My mom-mobile (or what I lovingly refer to as ‘Heidi the Highlander’) is home to two large carseats, enough extra clothes to outfit basically anyone I may ever possibly meet in any climate (Indiana weather ::eye roll::), and enough half-empty water bottles to quench the thirst of a football team. It also smells like McDonalds and poop. So apologies if you have to drive with me.
  9. My huge ‘purse’ that in all actuality resembles a piece of luggage more than it does a handbag. Kids, it turns out, need a lot of junk. Pacis. Snacks. Wipes. Medicines. Diapers. Chew toys. Extra clothes. That booger they picked last night and named and now refuse to throw away. Even when I don’t have my kids with me, I’m for some reason still schlepping my giant bag around with all their gear.
  10. Food. I always have some type of food on me. Always. Hungry toddlers are like a bear coming out of hibernation, and you just don’t mess around with a hangry wild animal.

So don’t let the hippie-girl flower headband and neon pink lipstick fool ya – peel away that outer layer, and you’ve got just a regular mom cracking corny jokes and rubbing Bengay into her mom-arm shoulder nightly.

See ya soon, raccoons 😉

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Samantha is a native of small-town Southern Indiana who loves exploring the Circle City with her husband and their daughters, Kate (October 2011) and Isla (December 2015). After finishing a degree in Professional Writing at Purdue, Sam made her way to the greater Indianapolis area where she learned to embrace the lack of hills and abundance of interstate. After an 8-year career in business development and marketing, she’s taken a step back from the corporate world to focus on her own business – GrayGirl Designs – where she designs invitations, stationary, and business materials and offers marketing services, graphic design, and résumé writing. When she’s not trying to balance family and her business, she enjoys (in no particular order): Jazzercize, yoga, crafting, horseback riding, way too much coffee, and hiking. Sam is also a melanoma survivor and a passionate advocate of skin cancer and sun safety education and awareness.