Sometimes Having Kids in School Only Makes You Lonelier

06.12.12

A few girlfriends are experiencing the same Mommy Loneliness that many of us have, had or will experience. It’s universal and it’s awful but maybe knowing that everyone experiences it at least a little bit will take some of the sting off.

If you think tweenage girls are cliquey try getting into a conversation in the parking lot after drop off. Every school has it. These aren’t mean women, they aren’t trying to leave you out, but they do. They just have the same interests and have worked on the same projects or committees forever and you haven’t. And for my Asian girlfriend who married a caucasian man, you’re right, you are different and they just don’t like you. They don’t really have the words for it but your Asian-ness is very not okay and your instincts are right. Find nicer women. That little group IS bitchy.

To be fair there are some really great women you’ll meet just by virtue of being a mom at the same school. I’ve made some fabulous friends at the kids’ schools but I’ve also experienced overwhelming loneliness when people talk about the school being a community.

Whose community is the school? Is it for the adults? I mean the adults are a community of sorts, but unlike kids (who are grouped by age and then subgrouped by skill) the adults aren’t a homogenous group. The only thing they may have in common is having a child the same age. Expecting the mother of every 4th grader to be interesting is just unrealistic.

Three girlfriends in the past four days have talked about how lonely they feel at their child’s school. I guess I want to tell y’all that it’s normal. What is also normal is to make acquaintances with the moms and to still feel lonely.

The women at my kids’ school (particularly in Jane’s class) are absolutely lovely. I enjoy the time I spend with them but the time is quite often brief. When we get to talking about anything that’s not child related I realize I have little in common with many of them. If they read my blog I probably don’t have any funny stories left to tell them and folks who don’t really use the internet think I’m odd. To be fair I think they’re odd. We just sort of bore each other to tears and I sometimes leave feeling lonelier.

I guess I just wanted to say that it’s normal and that if your girlfriends don’t come from your child’s school that’s also really normal. They don’t mean to be cliquish, they’re just defaulting to comfortable behaviors…. except those ladies that hate the Asian brides. All I can do is apologize on their behalf, because they never will be self aware.

Photocredit Flickr. 

 

Fifty Shades of Grey and Why I’m Going to get Kicked Out of Book Club

04.25.12

My book club is reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Everyone I know on Facebook and Goodreads is reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Months ago one of the Pocahontas‘ suggested I read it and I dutifully walked into Barnes and Noble only to find that it was backordered.

And then I realized it was mom porn. I’m trying to figure out what the hell mom porn is. Is it a whole book full of husbands who take out the trash, play with the kids and then get bonus checks? Maybe mom porn is about a woman who works out all morning, lunches with friends and then has time to nap before picking kids up in her new Bentley SUV?

I want to know what Mom Porn is people!

So I downloaded a sample to my Nook and immediately recognized the fact that my girlfriends have lost their minds. Can you imagine hundreds of pages of this?

She hands me a security pass that has “visitor” very firmly stamped on the front. I can’t help my smirk. Surely it’s obvious that I’m just visting. I don’t fit in here at all. Nothing changes. I inwardly sigh. Thanking her, I walk over the bank of elevators and past the two security men who are both far more smartly dressed than I am in their well-cut black suits.

A page later:

She’s more nervous than me!

Really, that was the sentence.

Chapter two begins with:

My heart is pounding. The elevator arrives on the first floor, and I scramble out as soon as the doors slide open, stumbling once but fortunately not sprawling onto the immaculate sandstone floor. I race for the wide glass doors, and suddenly I’m free in the bracing, cleansing, damp air of Seattle. Raising my face, I welcome the cool, refreshing rain. I close my eyes and take a deep, purifying breath, trying to recover what’s left of my equilibrium.

I’m just not understanding what part of this is engaging. I know the ladies of facebook say, “it’s all about the sex”.

So, I’m supposed to read a horrendous plot so that I can get to the sex? Maybe the moms don’t need 50 shades and they should treat it just like any other porn and fast forward to the good part? I cannot bring myself to buy this book. It’s just ghastly looking to me. I wish I had an anonymous blog because I think book club will be pretty uncomfortable next month.

Startup Series: EventUp

02.7.12

Since incubators like Science are now calling Los Angeles home I figure it’s time to start a series of posts to show off some of our finest startups.

Eventup caught my eye because it starts in the geek space but ends up in the mom space (even if they don’t realize it yet). Eventup is a site that allows you to search for a location for your event big or small in and around Los Angeles with other cities soon to launch. If I search New York I find one garden apartment, I’m assuming there will be more fabulous locations soon.

Everyone who watches the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills knows that everyone in and around Los Angeles spends $60,000 for a child’s birthday party. No? Okay maybe not $60k but I swear sometimes it’s hard to keep it under a thousand even when they’re tiny.

Let’s say you want to have a party where four year olds run around and scream their heads off but your back yard is a disaster area. Go browse eventup and you’ll find locations like this house in Beverly Hills that sits on a one acre lot. How’s this for a back yard?

rodeo_drive_villa

Or if you’re like my friend Emily you could use Eventup to find the perfect spot for a Midnight Brunch. Yes really, brunch at midnight…

I’m excited to watch eventup launch here in Los Angeles and even more excited to see how it will expand and which cities will embrace it first.

You’re a Great Mom

05.8.11

One of the secrets of Motherhood is that women share knowledge. I imagine it’s part of our roots as the gatherers of the hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Women share a bit, mothers share a lot. You won’t find a community quite like the community of mothers anywhere else on earth.

When we’re pregnant we’re drawn to each other. We ask questions that appear to be intimate and overly personal, but as motherhood binds us to one another we find that the questions and their answers are intimate yet not intrusive. We want to support one another and so we find two pregnant women in an elevator talking about achy feet, weak bladders, frayed nerves and giant breasts. It is possible that the women don’t know each other’s names, but Motherhood binds us to one another in ways we hadn’t ever expected.

We ask questions:

Did you nurse? Yes. Did you bottle feed? Yes. No it wasn’t my choice with either child, it really and truly wasn’t but I’ll tell you about my experiences if it helps you.

Did you drop the baby? Why yes, twice. She is fine.

Did you cry a lot the first year? I cried for two years. I stopped crying long enough to get pregnant again so I guess I cried for four years. Hormones suck.

Did you rush your child off to school? I certainly did, but then I didn’t send my second one to school nearly enough. They’re both okay. I’m still waiting to do it right, but the kids think we did it right. Please don’t tell them differently.

Do you feel like a good mom at the end of the day? Not every day, but it’s just a feeling. Feelings aren’t truth.

The women who I’ve surrounded myself both in person and online have uplifted me, they’ve challenged me to be a better person, they’ve guided me when I’m lost and consoled me when I’ve screwed up. I’ve screwed up plenty.

The Moms who read me, who correspond with me and who share this journey with me are great moms. We have these moments where we think we’ve scarred our children, disappointed our significant other and embarassed our families, but they’re just moments.

You, my readers, my Mom guides are some of the most inspired and inspiring women I’ve known. Thank you for being great Moms. Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge with me. Thank you for your generosity of spirit and for taking this journey with me.

Great Moms, those Moms that share everything.

Ladies, don’t watch this if you don’t have your sense of humor in tact. Gentlemen, if you think you’d like to have sex again… like ever… don’t admit that this is funny.

The Feminists Entertain Me but I’m Raising These Kids With a Hefty Dose of Gender Bias

04.14.11

Recently I rediscovered Reddit. I’ve always loved reading there, but I never submitted, commented or otherwise participated in their discussion. I’ve found my happy place though with the TwoXChromosomes SubReddit (which is just a subgroup). It’s a really great little board, and I’m scared to share it with too many folks because I don’t want to be that blogger that made the feminist happy place suck.

What I love so much about the internet is that it forces me to think. I don’t find that I’m changing my mind, but rather that I’m thinking things through more critically. Critical thinking is always good. Lately I’ve been thinking about the fact that I’m a very different mother to Alexander than I am to Jane.

In the last two months Alexander has played with fire and Jane has a male admirer. Alexander played with fire alone in the house, Jane got a text from a boy. Ask me which one had me in orbit? Apparently playing with fire is a phase that little boys grow out of, the text messages may never end.

I care more about my daughter’s chastity than I do about the fact that my son is a budding pyromaniac. I can rebuild after a fire.

Further I will let my son wear nail polish, but not pink, because that would be feminine. I will let my daughter wear jeans, but not from the boy’s department. I know.

But I do think about women and our clothes, and I wonder why we have to wear high heels to dress up and men can wear proper shoes. I get irritated that we’re supposed to have misshapen feet from jamming ourselves into pointy toed things, and that we can’t run to catch up because our feet are cramped and our skirts are prohibitive.

I watch Jane play at school and I wish she’d wear the shorts from her uniform and not her skirts because then she could run and play. The boys don’t have to worry about skirts flying up.

And then I remember all the wonderful things about being a girl, and I look at the privelages of being a woman. And I remember that we’re just different, and different is good.

I just wish we were all a little nicer.