|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.|
As any child development expert will tell you, rituals are an important part of life for young children. Not that we need child development experts to tell us this – watching your three year-old melt down if you try to skip one (or five) of the six songs you always sing before bedtime is pretty much a dead give away. In our house, we have lots of rituals. Bedtime is a big one, of course, as are holiday dinners, when my daughter colors paper place mats for everyone and then helps me set the table with them.
As you may have heard, Elizabeth Vargas recently announced that she was going to be stepping down from her co-anchor position at ABC news because she is about to have another baby. When she returns from her maternity leave, she’ll go back to her less stressful and less dangerous (read: not requiring frequent travel to a war zone) job as co-host of 20/20. Of course, analysts and feminists everywhere have taken this as an opportunity to comment on the State of Working Motherhood in America, and so I figured that I’d join in on the fun, too.
So I mentioned last week that things with my new book were Not Going Well. I think I also may have mentioned that I haven’t worked on it since the beginning of April. What I didn’t mention, however, is that I’ve decided not to finish it, and to start over with something new. From scratch. It’s a huge bummer, actually. I started working on this book – really writing it – back in January. I had an interesting idea, I had some great characters, I had done quite a bit of research.
Well, the show aired. Thank God. Thanks to everyone who watched, and to everyone who sent me e-mails and posted comments about it. I’ll tell you, people have come out of the woodwork! In a good way, though. I’ve heard from lots of old friends, and people I haven’t talked to in years and years, which is really nice, and I love it. So if anyone else feels like getting in touch with me, yes, I am that Risa, from Upper Dublin High School.
When my daughter was three, she wanted to be a doctor. As a Jewish mother, I couldn’t have been prouder. But then, last summer, I took her to the set where we were filming an episode of Notes From the Underbelly (which STILL does not have an air date), and ever since then she’s wanted to be a movie star. Not an actress, mind you, but a movie star. It’s my own fault, of course, for ever introducing her to that world. I thought it would be fun for her to see it, and frankly, I wanted everyone to meet the child who had inspired my loathing of pregnancy and infants.
I think I had my all-time most embarrassing moment as a mother the other day at my daughter’s preschool. School resumed this past Tuesday (thank God), and apparently during circle time, the kids were talking about their vacations, and the holidays, and about what they received for Hanukkah. I know this not because my daughter told me – a typical conversation about school with her goes something like this:
I recently read an article in New York Magazine about a website called Urbanbaby.com. Long story short: Urbanbaby is a parenting resource which is mainly used by New York mothers as a forum to chat/complain about everything from their cheating husbands to how much money they make (or don’t) to where they can find a good housekeeper to who they can bribe to get their kids into kindergarten. The women chat anonymously, and the things that they reveal to perfect strangers at two in the morning are, even to the most jaded person like myself, shocking.