Mother Love: How I Became A N.Y.C. MILF

One night, my husband came home from a dinner with some newly acquired friends and announced that he had learned a new word-or acronym, to be precise. The word-which, it turns out, was popularized by the movie American Pie -was “MILF,” and it stands for “Mother I’d Like to Fuck.”

It was a new word for me, too, and at first I was appalled. How could seemingly nice married men sit around and talk about other people’s wives as fantasy lovers? I was repulsed by the idea that my husband of 15 years was going around checking out other women with children. If some mom we happened to be socializing with was hot, she might be a potential MILF, and therefore a threat to my marriage, at least in theory. Although the operative word in the term is “like”-meaning that these are not mothers that my husband would literally consider having sex with-just the fact that he wanted to was enough to rattle my sense of sexual security.

Once I learned the MILF word, things were never again the same at family-oriented events. I started looking warily around at birthday parties, calculating the competition at circle time. There were the women in tight clothes who were freshly Botoxed and glowing, or the ones who wore leather pants and Manolos to a gym party. If a sleek woman bent over to slice her son’s pizza, her low-riding jeans revealing an expanse of black thong, I was sure none of the rest of us stood a chance of being noticed by the time the “Happy Birthday” song kicked in. I was also pretty sure that my husband was taking notes, to see if she would be a runner-up or a winner. And there was no talent portion to the contest-it was a purely physical award, with no chance of accumulating points for poise or charm.

The insidious thing about the MILF is that she is not a young, sexy celebrity; she’s the mom next-door. This means that just about every mother is a contender in what I began to see as a competition. The idea of a competition wasn’t pure fantasy on my part, prompted by my own insecurity. No, my husband perpetuated it, often mentioning that I was in second place for MILF (or perhaps, on a rare occasion, first) at a particular gathering. He thinks this is all good-natured fun, but I am usually not amused. It’s not like this happens all the time, but it does happen enough to get on my nerves. Even when it feels good to measure up to other moms in a purely physical way, I can get angry with my husband for being so superficial.

But instead of just pouting, and to show I’m a good sport, I started playing along with the MILF game. I began rating women myself and telling my husband when I thought a woman was hot or not. After attending the endless stream of children’s birthday parties, you need something to break up the monotony. And parachute time does seem more fun when you’re thinking about a three-way. So I got into it a bit. The idea of the MILF both repulsed and titillated me.

At times it does feel strange, to be sure. My husband’s friend, Mike-one of the guys who introduced him to the MILF word-checks out women all the time in front of his wife, who laughs it off. At a recent dinner with Mike and Sharon, his wife, at Mr. Chow, some women walked into the restaurant, and the men appraised. After commenting on their appearance, Sharon and I said we thought another woman was hotter. “I could get into her,” I said naughtily. I was a little emboldened, having just watched The L Word . If the men thought I was turned on by another woman, even a little, would it make them shut up about her? They were a bit taken aback by my comment, but it didn’t faze them as much as I had hoped. What was I trying to do? Should we have stewed like angry old wives? I thought twisting the comment around a bit would help, but I didn’t feel much better. I still felt inadequate and annoyed.

But after a while, I began to understand that there were two sides to the coin, after all, and if someone considered me a MILF-well, it was flattering. How many mothers in their mid- to late 30’s would not want to be the object of another man’s desire, even if that man is a 45-year-old father with a gut and a receding hairline? As annoyed as I can get over my husband’s occasional roving eye, I now see myself as potential MILF material-and frankly, it makes me a little excited. I am convinced some men are checking out my ass next to the SpongeBob cake, and I am feeling hotter than ever. I may be scooping my crying 5-year-old up off the floor, but on the other side of the room, some father may be thinking about how cute I look. Just knowing that he could be thinking about having his way with me on the gym mats makes going to yet another Jodi’s Gym party worth it.

With MILF on my mind, I now dress for children’s parties. Not dress up, mind you, just dress strategically. I’ll usually reserve the dowdy look of tailored slacks and flats for weekday-afternoon parties, when I know most fathers won’t be around. After all, I am a lot more comfortable doing the limbo or painting clay sculptures at the Craft Studio when I have some breathing room in my pants. But on the weekends, I have been perfecting my casual-yet-sexy look for parties.

For a recent Gymboree party on the Upper East Side, where I knew there was sure to be a high MILF content, I had dressed for action (or, more accurately, reaction). In my new Citizens of Humanity jeans, ribbed cotton sweater and high-heeled boots, it wasn’t easy dragging my two kids and the heavy Zittles shopping bag with the present over to the party, but I was a MILF on a mission: to out-MILF the others.

I had guessed right: The competition was fierce. It was a hotbed of MILF-dom. I was particularly intimidated by a leggy brunette who looked like she spent more time with her trainer than her son, and by a tall blonde with implants. While I think I caught a few men giving me the eye, I can’t be quite sure. But when my husband showed up, I knew my efforts had paid off: “You’re up there with the best,” he whispered to me by the fruit platter.

I’ll admit that perhaps form-fitting clothes are not practical or even really appropriate for children’s parties, but women with young kids don’t have that many social opportunities to strut our stuff. It may not be easy to do the chicken dance in my Jimmy Choos, but for doing the nasty, they’re perfect. And while I may not feel that great next to nubile hotties on the streets of Manhattan, in the pool of middle-age mothers, I rock.

But now that I’ve begun perfecting my MILF-ability, I need to start working on that other thing: checking out the FILF’s, and letting my husband in on the game.

Mother Love: How I Became A N.Y.C. MILF