Young Mom Says: I’m Not the Nanny

June cleaver can kiss my butt…

No offense to the lovely Barbara Billingsley — TV’s idealized mom of the 1950s.

But as a 23-year-old mother, I am frequently told, “You sure don’t look like someone’s mom!”

I’m often mistaken for the babysitter, but, trust me folks, I definitely don’t get paid to do this.

I’ve started to wonder what is it that keeps people from seeing me as a motherly being. This is what I’ve come up with:

My age. I understand that most 23-year-olds are still working through college or paying off student loans while searching for a job using their philosophy degree (good luck with that one.)

I was glad to trade in beer cans for baby bottles. Not all twenty-somethings are as aloof as we appear.

My tattoos. As the next generation takes on parenthood, I hope that moms and dads with visible tattoos will have less of a stigma.

Until then, I can just ignore your dirty looks, old lady at the grocery store.

My car. I didn’t realize that to be initiated into motherhood you had to drive a minivan. I know that not many young women drive around in pick-up trucks, but CeCe doesn’t seem to mind.

And my truck is great for hauling around a stroller, the Pack and Play or mega-sized boxes of diapers. So you can keep your Honda Odyssey for now, I like my redneck-mobile just fine.

My clothes. Mothers are supposed to dress like models from a Lands’ End catalog, but I’m just not there yet. I still fit best into clothes from the juniors section.

Older moms at playgroups wear khakis and cardigans, but jeans and T-shirts are more practical for me.

My motto is “When baby is around, don’t wear anything you can’t wipe your hands on.”

So what does a mother look like? Is it age, appearance and accessories that make the image?

But if you are toting a diaper bag as your purse, don’t notice the giant stain on your shirt, your car is a mess, and you look exhausted but happy — then you sure look like a mother to me.