Thursday, October 2, 2014

Think Outside The Mom

Dear Ann Abler,

Do you ever get tired of "mom" talk? (Schools, food and feeding, sports, discipline, etcetera). When does a mom get to be not a mom in relation to other moms?

~ More Than a ‘Mama’

Dear More Than a 'Mama',

Someone better shove you in the shallow water before you get too deep. Are you suggesting that talk of Bento boxes and Beanie Babies do not complete you? You want a little more from life than extended discussions on pumping, dumping, diapers, wiping, sweeping, rearing, teething, birthday party planning, scrapbooking, soccer games, and piano lessons? It’s almost as if you had an identity prior to parenthood and you’d like to think some non-mom thoughts for a moment. And even that thought probably gives you momguilt*. (*It’s like regular guilt, but pH balanced for moms).

Even when you’re not with the little monkeys, it can be hard to clear your mind of all kid-related responsibilities AND still remember that Thursdays are early pick-up and you have to sign the reading calendar and raise money for the dance-a-thon and start the little one on swim lessons and will ultimately be held responsible for their lives and judged for the quality of humans they become…AND…focus only on your breath in yoga class. 

The good news is I can help you “think outside the mom.” Let’s explore some activities to help you exercise your individual identity and avoid mom talk at all costs.

Activities for each day of the week to remember you’re more than a Mama:
Don't post this!
SUNDAY: Start a ‘Facebook Mom Fast’ for the week. In other words, post no updates about how time flies with regard to your children, no cute #kidquotes, nor pics of their adorable spaghetti-covered cheeks. Dig deep for deep thoughts. If you come up empty handed, just take a picture of your food like your kid-free friends, or get on Twitter and slowly sink into a depression as you realize 50% of the trending hashtags relate to One Direction (or #1D).

MONDAY: Get Grandma to watch the kids and have a margarita or two with your “Bae” (sorry - been spending too much time on Twitter). Karaoke the hell out of “I love Rock n’ Roll” or “Islands in the Stream,” and avoid anything by Kid’n Play or Kid Rock (kid-free zone!). Between songs talk about anything you did before the kids came along, or just keep drinking. By the time you’re getting arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct, you won’t remember if you’re a mom at all. That mug shot guarantees you won’t be the #1 pick for Room Mom this year. Phew!

TUESDAY: After the kids go to sleep, abduct invite a few friends and go toilet paper a Michael’s in a totally non-artistic, non-crafty way. Do not use colored crepe-paper. Do not attempt to find a theme or make a pattern. Do not add glitter or spell anything out with the tp. Make sure all of you are trying your least hardest. Just toss rolls of toilet paper at the door if it’s been a hard day. You are a rebel without a cause, because really, there is no point to doing this.

WEDNESDAY: Start a fightclub. Don’t talk about the fightclub.

THURSDAY: Grab a latte with a lady friend and talk about books, philosophy, how that show Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson blows your mind, or all the things you’ve learned from Drunk History. Also, discuss body hair, and see if you can't find a way to make thighburns cool.

FRIDAY: For your Friday night out (or in), get together with some girlfriends and introduce a “mommy-talk jar” in which you must drop a Washington (that’s a one dollar bill for you non-ballers) for every mention of your l.o. – especially if you just used that abbreviation for ‘little one.’ If you want to dial it up a notch, make it a “mommy-talk taser,” and put your child-free friend in charge of it. She will delight in her new duties, and keep the rest of you on task. The group can determine ahead of time if singing lyrics from Frozen counts as mommy talk.
SATURDAY: Even if the week has helped you not talk like a mom, you may still look like a mom. Time to toughen up. Why not grab a couple removable tattoos from your child’s stash, wet a washcloth, and get to work. If someone mocks your new Hello Kitty tattoo sleeve, just point to the Patrick Star teardrop tat under your eye. You’ll look like one badass mother mutha who won’t be discussing homemade play-doh anytime soon.

Now it is up to you to go forth and share the good news that women with children are more than mothers. They are mothers, of course, but they are also artists, teachers, engineers, strippers, and preachers. So go play “I’m Every Woman,” dance around like a crazy person, and don’t forget to pick your kids up from school. It’s an early day, dammit.

As always,

Your Ann Abler

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