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12.08.2007

Switching Sides In the Mommy Wars

I just ordered these calendars from Pottery Barn for my office and that seems to have excited me so much that I've been jerked awake from my writing coma.

Life continues to feel like I'm getting hit by a car every day. Combined, my new thriving business, online behind the scenes work for Cafe Mom, and writing expectations from Warner Bros. continue to keep me so busy that yesterday I wore my underwear inside out all day long without even noticing. And honestly, if I had noticed I wouldn't have removed my pants and turned them around anyway. Who has that kind of time?

In between marathon sessions with my office chair I've been volunteering at Savannah's school, which is loads of fun. Especially when I arrive and her teacher grins at me wordlessly while chaos surrounds us, as if to say 'Isn't it crazy the careers people choose?'.

I must admit that I do sometimes bring my Blackberry with me and feel very "bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan"- ish while covertly answering emails under the storytime table.

The ambition. It's ablaze within me.

Actually, the credit card bills. They are ablaze under me.

I was working late the other night when I received a call at 10:00 from a frazzled mom I hadn't yet met "reminding" me of what I "volunteered" for.

Me: "I don't recall volunteering for this. But, I'm happy to help."

Her: "Yeah, well you did. So, um, if you could just handle your part tomorrow, I'll handle my part next week."

She was breathless and agitated.

Me: "Handle my part?"

Her: "Yeah, if you could bring snowflakes and a snowman tomorrow morning."

Me: "Are you kidding me?

Her: "No. That's what you signed up for."

Me: "It's ten o'clock at night. Where do you suggest I find a snowman?"

Her: "I don't know, but I have to work tomorrow."

Me: "I have a conference call at ten."

She was almost in tears at this point.

Her: "So do I!"

We both sat silent for a second.

Her: "What moms don't work?"

Me: "That, my friend, is a loaded question."

This is what it has come to? Working moms trying to trick each other into buying snowmen at 10:00 at night?

I know I'm not the first overworked mom out there. In comparison to most moms I have it pretty cushy - I work from home, I make my own hours, my husband does laundry. Yet, still there are times when I want to put my head in my hands and sob. Wait. Let me rephrase that. Times when I do put my head in my hands and sob.

Like yesterday, when I was on the phone with one client after another and Savannah slipped this under my office door.


In case you're wondering, that's "I am hungry. Could I eat something?".

(Open heart. Insert knife.)

I'm here, it's true. She can look at the back of my head in my office any time she pleases. ...As long as she does it quietly. She has me at home, but that aint much these days.

I even developed a code after some bad episodes: If my door is closed, that means I am on an important call that cannot be interrupted; if my door is halfway open, I'm on a call that can.

So, today she tells me, "Mommy, okay listen. If my pink monkey is hanging on my doorknob, you can come in my room. If it's my blue monkey though, you have to knock." I give her the same grave attention to the matter she gave me a few weeks back and nod somberly.

"Got it" I say.

Boy, do I.

If only I were Mrs. Potato Head. I'd leave my brain at my desk, my arms around Savannah on the couch, and my feet in the kitchen.

But, I'd definitely leave my ass in the bath.

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