|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.|
When I was in college, I took one of those life-changing classes that completely altered the way I thought about the world. It was called America in the 1950’s, but the discussions were really more about how American society had changed since that time, and the various movements that brought those changes about. One of the major topics in the class was about whether one can really change an institution from within, or whether change has to be effected by outside forces.
My kids were off from school this entire week because of a little known Jewish holiday called Shavuot, which roughly translates into “a three-day weekend isn’t enough; let’s just take off the whole week before Memorial Day instead.” Which is great if you’re an old rabbi, but less great if you’re a working mom. I resigned myself to the fact that I would get nothing done this week, and then I scheduled the hell out of my kids. On Wednesday, I even got my husband to take off from work and go to Disneyland with us and two other families from my daughter’s preschool class.
Technically, the tv show based on Notes From the Underbelly is a comedy, but you would never know it from the drama that’s going on behind the scenes. Here’s what happened this week: Tuesday afternoon, I’m minding my own business, picking my daughter up from preschool, when a dad of one of her classmates stops me in the hallway. He looks grim. He asks me if I’ve heard the news. I’m thinking someone died. Maybe one of the kids got hurt. My heart starts to beat a little faster as I shake my head no.
I know, I know, it’s been a while. I think the last time we talked, I was looking for some help getting my period, like that Margaret girl (and btw, thanks for nothing). Anyway, in case you don’t remember me, I’m the one who doesn’t really like people all that much. I mean, not all people, of course – I like my friends, and some of my family – I just don’t like the really annoying people with whom You seemed to populate most of the world (and dude, what is up with that??). I think You know who I’m talking about.
I’ve decided that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. It has nothing to do with the fact that Thanksgiving signals the beginning of the holiday season – I actually hate the holiday season – and it has nothing to do with family togetherness, either – I’ll leave you to fill in that blank. It’s just that I kind of have a thing for reflective holidays, and Thanksgiving is the king of them.
Is anyone else married to the Energizer Bunny? Because my husband is so chock full o’energy that it makes me want to strangle him sometimes. And if it’s natural for men to have so much energy, then why aren’t men the moms? These are questions that keep me up at night, which then causes me to become angry with my husband because I am awake, thinking about him, instead of getting the rest that I need to maintain the Defcon 5 level of my life. I do have a theory about husbands, though.
I think it’s safe to say that the television show Notes from the Underbelly is probably the most exciting thing that has happened to my mother in a very long time. Not since I was class president in high school has she had something of this caliber to brag about. And much to my horror, her bragging is not limited to actual words.
I went to a baby shower today at one o’clock, and there were about thirty women there, all of whom have children under the age of five, save for three holdouts who haven’t yet caved under the pressure. None of this would be unusual, of course, except for the fact that today is a Thursday. And in light of that fact, I think that there are a few obvious questions here that need to be asked: 1) Who has a baby shower on a Thursday at one o’clock? 2) Who can go to a baby shower on a Thursday at one o’clock?
I can not work from home. It’s taken me over a year to come to this conclusion, but I’ve finally accepted it as a cold, hard reality. Which sucks, really, because my husband and I spent quite a bit of money on an addition to our house that was supposed to be an office for me, but which is now basically an office for my daughter, who likes to play video games on playhousedisney.com and print out five hundred pages of the same black and white picture of Cinderella, no matter how many times I lecture her about saving trees.