I’m a working mom, a very hard working mom. I have no jealousy whatsoever of stay at home moms because I truly believe that this is the hardest job in the universe. A day alone with my two kids leaves me counting down the seconds to 4pm which I feel is the appropriate time to open a bottle of wine and celebrate almost making it through the day.
That said, when with stay at home moms I often feel like I’m on another planet. Seriously, how much can you talk about your kids? Don’t you have any other interests or hobbies? Doesn’t your husband piss you off enough now and then to complain about him with your friends instead of discussing whether or not the new denim diapers hold as much pee as the regular Huggies?
I spent a weekend at the beach with a good friend of mine recently who stays at home with her two children. As we sit down by the ocean to relax, I pull out a copy of “Are You There Vodka, It’s Me Chelsea” as she grabs an assortment of Parenting Magazines that I had no idea even existed. “Really, that’s what you brought to read on the beach?” She replies, “oh yes, these are so informative, I find so many fun arts and crafts to do with the kids and they have great recipes.” Recipes at my house consist of frozen pizza, burgers on the grill and the occasional can of soup. Arts and crafts come in the form of coloring books and finger paint. There just isn’t much time for recipes and crafts.
She begins to share information with me on the organic baby foods she learned from Parenting and has been making at home. MAKING? BABY FOODS? Isn’t that what Gerber is for? Apparently the magazines have also taught her to make a birds nest from sticks and mud, knit winter “booties” and paint the entire cast of Sesame Street on her children’s faces.
The next helpful tidbit she picks up from the magazine and feels obliged to share (completely interrupting a hilarious chapter I was enjoying in my book about drunk midgets) is in regards to how to ensure your kids will behave in public. As I listen to a variety of tips from bringing coloring books and games they can play at the table to making sure they have had a nap before venturing out I begin to fall asleep from boredom.
That evening we went out to a nice seafood dinner with our husbands and children. As I sat and watched her daughter rip to pieces the fun placemat she had brought her to color and her son run around the restaurant with my son moving chairs from one table to another, with no concern whatsoever if someone was actually dining at the table, I thought back on my drunk midget and realized how much more productive my afternoon had been then hers.