Friday Frivolity: Mommy's little burger king

Children's art can be vibrant, charming, and most of all, revealing. On the Huffington Post, Claire McCarthy describes her son's hilariously forthright art show submission and her mixed feelings about it. Her story, When Kids Make Us Look Bad: My McDonald's Moment, has been making its way around the internet, because its just plain funny and probably because we can all laugh in self recognition. Most of us have experienced a similar cringe-worthy moment or two.

Here's the art work in question:

Have a great weekend, and should you find yourself with a hankering for Mc Donald's, please don't blame us. You can take that up with Ms. McCarthy, or rather, her 6 year-old son.

Mommy Wars? We're so over that!

Last week, the “Ann-Romney-never-worked” discussion blazed through the internet and we were silent. Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal published “Women’s War on Women” and “Friends for Life? Wait until Kids Enter the Picture” headed up the New York Times Sunday Styles section, but here at Manners for Modern Mothers, we haven’t managed to get incensed enough to write even the tiniest of blog posts. Why? Are too busy catching up on Sunday night television? Are we just putting our heads in the sand? Or are we just growing up as mothers and as women?

I'd like to think the latter. Both of these recent articles paint a picture of modern mothers desperate to parent the “right” way and deeply judgmental of alternatives; mothers who sacrifice both themselves and their friendships to this cause of perfect parenting. The unlimited breastfeeding, baby wearing, co-sleeping parenting police make a good story, but are these extreme and judgemental parents real?

Not in my world. I met a few when my children were young, but not anymore. Where did the extreme parents go? Did they join a commune in Oregon? Are they hunkered down home-schooling? I doubt it. Instead, they’re doing the same things we all do, helping with homework, figuring out how to explain sex to their pre-adolescent children, trying to balance school work, sports, family life. They might still insist on organic produce only, or forbid all television to their 10, 11 or 12 year olds, but they’re not judging other choices, or even necessarily advertising their own choices. They’ve made peace with how to organize the lives of their offspring. They’ve made peace with motherhood. They’ve outgrown extreme, judegmental parenting.

And so, we can’t get ourselves incensed about these stories, because, we’re just so over it. All this hyper-parenting and the damage that goes with it (complete loss of personal life, alienation of friends), is a just a stage – a stage typically limited to the first 2 to 6 years of parenthood. Thankfully, most of us emerge largely unscathed and usually with reasonably well-adjusted, school age children, and a high level of tolerance for the many ways one can be a parent. 

Friday Frivolity - Drama in the First Person

I was just thinking, I could use a little less drama these days, and then friend Karsten showed me this.   Brilliant.

No offense Don but I'm just not that into you anymore.  I know there are loads of women out there who don't mind you taking a powder for 17 months  but apparently I'm not one of them.   So, now that you're back, guess what?  I don't care.  No giddy anticipation, no butterflies, no Zou Bisou Bisou here.  Seeing you again has mostly just reminded me why we stopped seeing each other in the first place.   You have the same old issues and seem to have picked up a couple of new ones since we last met.  So thanks for the good times, please tell Joanie "Well done, it's about time" and I hope to see you some evening once we're all caught up on Modern Family.

Otherwise Occupied

Someday, the modern mother who is not currently employed will find herself filling out forms, and specifically, find herself required to write something for “occupation.” Sigh. What to say? While she is continually occupied (lunches, laundry, got to find those health forms, get a math tutor?) it seems she lacks an occupation. Many are tempted to write “Family COO” or Family “CEO” depending on if they actually know the difference between a COO and a CEO. Others might prefer to stick to the more straight-forward “at home”, the slightly cloying "homemaker", or of course just “mother.”

But it’s hard not to feel like writing “mother” is not enough these days. Not only does the term not describe entirely who she is and how she spends her time, but most mothers these days also have a paid occupation to list. As so, what should the stay at home mother say? Does she write, “former defense attorney” or “former software developer”?  Or does she list her most ardently pursued non-parenting, but non-income generating activities: “blogger,” “marathon runner,” or “PTO president”?

Thanks in part to the Real Housewives franchise, women who do not work are seen more than ever as entitled, dumb, and shallow. The reality, of course is that mothers enter and exit the workforce regularly. Those not employed for a salary are often employed keeping schools, community and religious institutions afloat: running the school fundraisers, teaching Sunday School, coaching, organizing food drives, or even just helping to give rides to the children of mothers who are on a plane to London for a business meeting. 

These days, I have settled on “currently at home” since I have been out of the work force for the latest 3 out of my 12 years as a mother. But perhaps I should embrace the career distortions highlighted in the Poorly Drawn Lines comic below. After all, doesn’t a few blog posts a month make me as much of a blogger as the person reposting cat pictures on tumblr?

Me, Myself, and I

Here at Manners for Modern Mothers, we’re going to make a change. We’re going to embrace the first person singular. Yes, we plan to sometimes use the pronoun, I.

When we began this blog, we were both reluctant to be too personal, to over-share. Perhaps this disinclination resulted from being brought up with an emphasis on discretion, modesty, and always wearing a slip. Perhaps, we were slow to come around to first person posting because neither of us came of age in the Facebook world. Yet, as our blog has grown, we’ve come to feel like we know you all, dear readers, and we've become more comfortable with the personal pronoun.

Don’t worry, we’re not planning any posts about surgical procedures, nail clipping details, or our latest encounters with noro virus. Instead, we hope to continue to bring you social commentary, humor and an occasional rant, only now it may include the pronoun “I.” So there you have it, the beginning of a new era; an era that I, for one, hope to embrace.

Thanks for asking.

Thank you to Allison at Daily Outfit for asking about my favorite rainy day outfit.  I had no idea I had so much to say on the subject.  First a closet revolution, now this.  Please enjoy this piece and be sure to visit her Pintrest board here.

photo from asos

Last week - Oh My.

What a week it was for the modern mother.  It began with the loss of a child's two adult teeth in a freak Saturday-night-ice cream-dance-kitchen-accident.   Dental surgery is really no way to spend a Monday.  For modern child or mother.  Thank heaven all is well.

If only... 

Maybe this sort of experience is why The Juggle wrote Why Parents Make Awesome Managers

Did you see the article in Vogue about a 7-year-old's weight?  It even made the NY Times Sunday Style section this weekend.  Controversy or brilliant publishing coup?  You decide.

 Is Wednesday really three times as long as every other day of the week?  Or is it just in our town where all grade school students are dismissed at noon?  That's right.  Every Wednesday.  Noon dismissal.   

A mannerly friend assures us that the reason for such a wacky week was that the Moon, Jupiter and Venus were meeting in a celestial rendezvous.

Thursday was certainly a bit out there having decided to explore a Reiki/Reflexology foot massage and total life healing (apparently) treatment as found via social shopping/daily deal.  Now we're not saying it wasn't interesting and relaxing.  The modern mother has no idea how she has survived all these years without knowing about her chakras. 

 Friday, ah Friday.  The relaxing end of the week.  Except for the "concussion watch" going on  because the modern son decided to impale himself at a friend's house Thursday evening.  Again - thank goodness, all is well.

If it were not for the arrival of a package from Amazon containing the most fantastic product ever, at least if your glasses and silverware were looking like ours, the week might have been a complete bust.   To make a secret of it no longer, this miracle product  is called  Lemi Shine.  And this modern family could not be more astounded and pleased.  Sometimes, it's the little things.

Here's to a better week for all.  Happy Monday!

Image from momaroo

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...