Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Friday, May 25, 2007

50 Things I Hate About...Everything

Maybe it's just the mood I'm in, but here's a little peek at the darker side of me:

1. I hate fingernails on...I can’t even say it. You know where I’m going with that.
2. I hate name droppers.
3. I hate people that are inconsiderate and don’t think of others around them.
4. I hate when people eat with their mouths open.
5. I hate coconut – the texture not the flavor.
6. I hate thinking that I’ve hurt someone’s feelings.
7. I hate cooking only slightly less than I love eating.
8. I hate houses with odors. If my friends are reading this and my house smells, please tell me.
9. I hate anything wooden in my mouth.
10. I hate when drivers tailgate the elderly – we’ll all be there someday.
11. I hate the thought that one day I won’t be able to play tennis.
12. I hate having to wait for something without reading material. It’s a test of my patience, or lack thereof.
13. I hate talking loudly so that people can hear me.
14. I hate feeling unappreciated.
15. I hate saying goodbye and avoid it at all costs. If I don’t say goodbye to you, it’s because you mean a lot to me.
16. I hate waking up without something to look forward to.
17. I hate when I say something stupid in front of someone that I don’t know.
18. I hate people that don’t shovel in the winter or don’t mow in the summer.
19. I hate that I’ve reached the point that I’m less interesting to my children than the snacks in our cabinet.
20. I hate when my kids expect that I’ll do something without them asking me and then get mad that I haven’t done it.
21. I hate small talk.
22. I hate people that grunt loudly when they work out, as if we’re supposed to be impressed.
23. I hate people that talk loudly on cell phones within 50 yards of me.
24. I hate anything violent or scary in movies or TV.
25. I hate people who let their kids run around any public place and make no attempts to control them.
26. I hate people that let their dogs take them on a walk and bother other people walking by.
27. I hate mean adolescents.
28. I hate when my family puts empty boxes back in the fridge, freezer or cabinets.
29. I hate bees and wasps.
30 Actually, I pretty much hate all bugs.
31. I hate watering the flowers that I plant every year.
32. I hate dirty snow.
33. I hate daytime television.
34. I hate loud TV on in a room when I’m not watching it.
35. I hate the music of the Beach Boys, Elvis and Rush.
36. I hate when people use my name a lot when they talk to me. It makes me feel like they’re trying to sell me something.
37. I hate acne and how it makes people feel.
38. I hate arrogant athletes.
39. I hate people that flaunt their wealth.
40. I hate the so-called sport of boxing.
41. I hate the phrase “There’s no such thing as a stupid question.” Of course there is. There’s stupid everything.
42. I hate when I get so crabby that I can’t stop myself.
43. I hate that all country music sounds the same to me. Same thing for rap.
44. I hate that I get easily distracted when I talk to people and then can’t listen to them. If you have a crumb on your face, don’t bother talking to me. I’m worthless.
45. I hate that I have such a short attention span that I haven’t read much of classic literature.
46. I hate when people that I’ve met several times act like I’m non-existent.
47. I hate that there’s a woman that walks by our house every day who picks the apples of our tree in the fall…without asking.
48. I hate watching George Bush speak unscripted, but I don’t hate George Bush.
49. I hate television news because what isn’t “breaking news” these days?
50. I hate that I sometimes feel more passionate about things that I hate than things that I love.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Alpha Mom, Beta Mom - It's All Greek To Me

Sometimes I wonder if we mothers don’t go looking for trouble. When my mother was raising us, the battle was between the June Cleaver moms and the Joan Baez moms. You either had spotless floors or a spotless conscience and never the two shall meet.

By the time I started raising a family, a battle waged between Working Moms and Stay-At-Home moms. The working moms wanted a little slack since they were burning the candles at both ends while they “had it all,” and the stay-at-home moms wanted some credit for sacrificing everything – job, income and identity – for the sake of her family.

Today, the latest war is between the Alpha Moms and the Beta Moms. The Alpha Moms are taking that advanced degree and years of experience climbing the corporate ladder and putting it to work in their own home and their kids’ lives. They’re using spreadsheets to organize soccer teams. They’re creating organizational charts for the PTA. They’re applying their finely-honed business skills to the business of running a family.

The Beta Moms, nicknamed The Slacker Moms, are not sweating the small stuff. They’re more into this maternal gig for the experience, organization be damned. They know that the Alpha Moms will keep micromanaging their children and they’d rather stay out of their way and not conform to their hyper-inflated standards. Basically, they’re telling the Alpha Moms to take a big chill pill.

So who’s right in this war of words and women? In my opinion, they’re both right. A little organization never killed anyone. What’s so wrong about using current technology and techniques and applying them to previously disorganized activities? If your child has ever been on a team or performed in a group, there’s nothing to ruin your day faster than lack of information and organization. If it can save you a trip to a playing field or a rehearsal hall, then bring it on.

But the Slacker Moms also have the right idea. Who says we have to be perfect in this mothering thing? There’s no surer way to secure your kid a lifetime of therapy than you inserting yourself into their life not allowing them to live it. Don’t we read them books every night that talk about how “special” they are and how everyone has their own skills and gifts?

The point is that we should put away our pointer fingers. There isn’t always a right way or a wrong way. We each make our own choices, sacrifices and contributions. What’s right for me is not always right for the mom next door. Just shut up and live your own life. Appreciate the differences and pick up a tip or two along the way. But don’t feel like you have to prove anything to anyone other than yourself. Isn’t parenting already hard enough?