Risa Green
Tales from the Mommy Track is a weekly column about the daily life of a part-time working mom. Risa Green is a critically acclaimed author who lives in Los Angeles. Her previous adult novels, Notes from the Underbelly and Tales from the Crib were made into a television series. Her latest novel, The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball, is a Young Adult book that will be released in September, 2010.

Charity Work is Not Work.

I am, it seems, a glutton for charitable punishment. Last year and the year before, I co-chaired a carnival for my son’s preschool. It was the school’s largest fundraiser of the year – with games and rides and food and a concert, plus sponsors and advertising, and organizing dozens of parent volunteers. more

The Talent Scout.

Last Saturday, my daughter and I were at the mall, picking up a birthday present for one of her friends. Lately, she has taken to dressing herself in strange, funky, layered outfits, and the one she had on on Saturday was particularly Punky Brewster-ish, with a purple skirt over jeans, red suede boots and an orange American Girl tank top over a white, long-sleeved, waffle-weave shirt. more

Valentine's Day is Stupid with a Capital S.

I spent twenty minutes last Sunday afternoon on a mad dash through my local Target, looking for Valentines for my kids to give out to their classmates. For the record, running through Target like you’re a contestant on Supermarket Sweep, with your husband chasing after you and yelling things like, “are you done yet? The Super Bowl starts in twenty minutes. Are you done yet?” is not all that conducive to a pleasant and efficient shopping experience. more

Second Kids Get The Shaft.

If you’ve ever done even a cursory study of birth order, then you know that where you fall in the lineup of your siblings has an undeniable effect on your personality. Numerous studies have shown that, in families with two kids, the first born tend to be type-A, control freak over achievers, who are more serious, more anxious, and less spontaneous, while second children are usually the fun, laid-back ones who march to the beat of their own drum, could care less what other people think o more

Reality TV is Educational, Really.

My daughter is six and a half, which I’m discovering is a weird, in-between age for girls with regard to television. Too old for shows like Dora, Little Einsteins and Blues Clues, but still (in my opinion) not old enough for Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place or That’s So Raven (my daughter is sassy enough without needing to learn new ways to be sassy, thank you very much). I could just turn off the television completely, but – oh, come on, who am I kidding? more

First Lady Fantasy Job.

Imagine this: your husband is offered his dream job.  And I’m talking dream job, not just a better job, or more money, but a real, honest-to-goodness, this-is-all-I’ve-ever-wanted Dream Job.  Of course, you’re going to have to move to a new city, but the company will provide you with a beautiful house to live in.  more

Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I had a “group dinner” with three other couples who we’ve known forever. You can imagine the scene: eight people seated at a table in an Italian restaurant. more

A Meaty Present.

The holidays are over, and the big controversy in my house is that I didn’t get any Hanukkah presents this year. At least, not yet. more

Happy Freakin' New Year.

I am so glad that the holidays are over. I swear, if I have to look at one more ribbon or bow, I’ll hang myself with it. Now we can move on to bigger and better things, like the New Year, and what my resolution will be. I put a lot of thought into my New Year's resolutions. I don’t do lame ones that are destined to fail, like eat less sugar or clean out my closet. Instead, I try to find some behavior that is bringing me down somehow, and I resolve to change it. This year I’ve got a doozy.

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My Working Mother Model.

I grew up with a working mother. When I was really little – before I can remember, even – she took some time off from being a English teacher to stay home with me, and then my brother. But somewhere in there she got bored, or needed the money, or both, and she took a part-time job for a while as a proofreader, and then as a sales rep for a pharmaceutical company. Eventually, though, and while I was still in grade school, she went back to teaching, full time. more

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