Monday, July 15, 2013

The mom date - a new venture for

Mom Dating. Who would have thought that after being married for 5, 10 or 15 years that we would be stuck again in that “asking someone out” stage? Because that’s exactly what attempting a friendship with another mom is like. There is no for moms seeking moms for friendship and commiseration, so we are left like animals in the wilds of school functions, playgrounds, and baseball fields.

Had I known before I had a child that I would be tossed back into the throes of middle school as a mom, I might have opted to continue living the socialite life of a married woman with a dog. Of course, this is where I proclaim my love for my child and tell you that I wouldn’t trade him for the world blah, blah, blah…

The only thing that has changed from then until now is in middle school when girls were mean I was anxiously awaiting my period. Now, I’m anxiously awaiting menopause. Other than that, there are still girls on playgrounds gossiping and judging and waiting for their little angels to be dismissed from elementary school. We are all guilty of it, I know. I try hard to not be as guilty of it as others, but it happens.

However, there have been many times where I’ve had the opportunity to chat or volunteer with a mom and get to know her better. I’ve met a mom or two whom I realized was a cool one in the bunch, someone who seemed on par with things that are important to me in parenting and who enjoyed occasionally bellying up to the breakfast bar in her pajama pants with a juice tumbler of wine on a Saturday night after the kids are in bed ready to dissect Real Housewives of every city in America.

I jumped ahead, though. Once you get to drinking in your pj’s you have established a friendship, so let me back up. It’s that time after chatting a bunch at school functions and finding out that she, too, considers pajama pants appropriate attire for anything (I obviously highly value women who enjoy comfort). After I’ve learned that she equally values working out hard and eating dessert harder, it can be natural to want to take it one step further and ask the anxiously anticipated fear of rejection question, “Want to grab coffee?”

Instead of going straight for the solo date, maybe a good strategy would be to use the kids as an excuse like, “Hey, want to take the kids out for ice cream?” then if the group date goes well, we can exchange email addresses (is getting a phone number to text too soon? I don’t know!). Then we can ease into that shared coffee on a Saturday morning while the hubbies have the kids at baseball practice.

Little kids have no problem walking up to another child at the park and calmly and ever-so-coolly asking, “Want to be my friend?” to which the reply is usually an enthusiastic, “YES!” and off they go running to discover their love of sliding, jumping and spinning in circles. Why can’t moms be like that? After we’ve chatted it up at a few soccer games one mom should just be able to turn to the other mom and excitedly ask, “Want to go shoe shopping?” to which the other would reply “Of course!” and both moms giggle off to the department store while planning an evening of pajama-wearing wine drinking while watching almost any show on Bravo.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Jim Gaffigan’s Dad is Fat + My Husband = Most Annoying Alarm Clock

Memo from Mom

To: Jim Gaffigan
Re: Thanks for waking me up

I know, you’re thinking, “How did I WAKE you up? I don’t live with you. And I certainly wasn’t in your bedroom! I’m a married man, you’re a married woman. Stop spreading these lies!”

Okay, Jim, slow yo’ roll. It’s all because of the Father’s Day gift I bought my husband. Your book, “Dad is Fat” was requested because my husband (and I) are huge fans of your comedy. So I obliged, and am paying dearly for it.

My husband has this problem where even though he can sleep past 6 a.m. on the weekends, his body won’t let him. Whereas I can will myself to sleep at any point during the day (I totally related to your napping chapter in the book), he just wakes up for no good reason, as if starting his day at the crack of dawn means getting a jump start on the laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning the toilets… but I digress. He doesn’t clean toilets. Or do laundry. You get the picture, Jim.

No, I will tell you, though, what he does get done at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning when I am enjoying slumber without an alarm clock and our son is contently playing baseball on the Xbox or reviewing the previous night’s baseball games on MLB Network. My husband is reading your laugh-out-loud book, next to me, in bed, with the light on. At 6 a.m. The first time I heard a chuckle it became embedded in part of a dream, I think I had a pet monkey who started laughing at me or something bizarre like that. The next time I heard him laugh, I looked at the clock and thought, “It’s impossible that the one person I share my room with is laughing at this ungodly hour of the day.” The next guffaw brought thoughts of, “Really? He has the light on and is LAUGHING while I am getting my required eight hours so as to not wake up a completely crazy, sleep-deprived person whom he has known for the last 16 years treasures her sleep almost as much as her autographed Rick Springfield jeans.

Rather than smacking my husband on the head in an effort to turn off what I lovingly referred to as the most annoying alarm clock ever, I simply kicked both you and my husband out of my bed. I hope it was good for you, Jim.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Can Advil Help This PMS?

Memo from Mom

To: Moms with PMS
Re: I have a headache from your PMS

Remember last week at school pick up when you chewed my ear off and told me, “My daughter reads 3 hours a day, goes to piano, karate, Mandarin Chinese and gymnastics lessons 7 days a week and has nary a moment to play on that evil brain-sucking box you call a TV.”?

And then there was you, yes, you know who you are, that told me at baseball practice, “I saw the cutest project on Pinterest yesterday while drinking my coffee before taking the kids to school and by 11 a.m., I had the perfect bird feeder/organic home garden/entertaining area for my mom friends to lunch with me. Thank goodness I don’t work because it would really get in the way of my very important projects.”

Hold up, there, mommy, because you had PMS, too! You caught me at Target and couldn’t help yourself, “I went to the gym this morning for two hours because WHO HAS THE TIME to go when the kids get home from school and we need to do our long-range family plan? Plus, I just can’t bear the thought of a second without them.”

Yep, you all had the same ailment - PMS – Perfect Mother Syndrome.

Not even the strongest dose of Advil – for me, the person enduring the sputterings of you, the PMS afflicted mom – can handle the headache and moodiness this kind of perfection boasting can bring on. I can only nod, smile politely, and roll my eyes in my imagination while you attempt to feel better about yourself.

However, your raging PMS inflicts not only your own painful perfectionism on yourself, but on others, as well. You tell whoever will listen – or whoever hasn’t blocked your statuses on Facebook – about the fabulous art projects you’ve created with your children on a rainy day (while I cleaned the house and my kid played Xbox until his thumbs were sprained). I don’t care about the 100 cake pops you made after you took your three kids to their NJ ASK prep class. It all pains me more than my monthly uterine contractions.

As a fellow mom, I do get it. A little bit. We all get a touch of PMS. We find ourselves at some point looking for our Super Mom capes in an attempt to do it all – work, take care of our kids, run the house, get in a workout, and volunteer at school - and we mention it to others in conversation. However, many of us try to do it with grace and humility in a simple effort to survive. I don't really care what you think of me, but I do care that you think you are better than me. Your Zero Tolerance Policy on sugar sweetened drinks makes you not a better mother.

I have no shame in letting you know that I loathe cooking, that I buy gift cards for teachers rather than making homemade gifts with my kid's picture on it, and I bring store-made brownies to parties. You'll find my kid's report card hung proudly on our fridge, but I won't stop you while I'm walking the dog to let you know how he did in 2nd grade spelling. Side note: Although my house is pretty much always neat and clean because of my ridiculous, obsessive compulsion to put things away, this is not to impress you and the Joneses, but to keep the voices in my head down to a whisper.

We are all moms, trying the best we can. You’re just trying a little too hard and advertising it, so please, take two Advil. You can call me in the morning, but please, I beg you, don't tell me about the five-course breakfast you just prepared for your family.