Do You Care What Other Parents Think Of You? *I Do
April 27, 2012
I’ve been loving my friend Erin’s candid mom blogs about the things she thinks people say behind her back, how Nick thinks she dresses like a homeless person and her glorious baking skills. (I fed JD Wendy's in the SUV last night because I didn't have time to go home before his art show. Yeah, go me!) I totally feel her! Especially today.
I’m working from home again today and JD is at school (Score!). Instead of bringing him at 7:15 AM we lounged in bed till then and I dropped him off at 8:45 AM. Since I am working from home I really didn’t feel like getting dressed and prettied up. I washed up, threw on a pair of sweats that said PINK on the ass, a fitted hoodie and some laceless Converse. No, I didn’t apply makeup—I smoothed my hair back into a long ponytail and threw on my sunglasses. In the hallway, JD and I were met by my hot, single neighbor—in the elevator we go! That was fun. I love that I always look like I’m 19 late for a morning college class when I see him. And that’s how I felt today when I brought JD to school. All the parents were filing in wearing suits and cute work attire. Not me. I never really cared what anyone thought of my work or me until 2 summers ago when a woman in my building made a comment to me.
JD and I were at the pool on a weekday. I knew this woman casually and always said hi to her when I saw her around. As JD and I splashed and played, she took a seat on the side of the pool and dangled her legs into the water. She knew I was a single mom prior but her next comment struck me as completely insane. She said, in a tone, "so do you work?" I was flabbergasted. I’m glad JD was wearing a life vest because he could have easily slipped from my hands in that moment. I found the comment to be so rude and intrusive. There were other moms at the pool with their kids, but they were married, so I guess this woman assumed their husbands were bringing home the bacon (ugh!). I said, right back, in a tone, “Yeah, of course I work! I'm a writer, an author, a researcher!”
Two summers ago I had a contract with glamour.com and babble.com. My book had recently come out. I was also writing for other magazines on a pitch basis (meaning I pitched stories to editors and if they bit, I got a paycheck). My work two summers ago allowed me to work comfortably from my home office. These days I work in a nat'l magazine office PT doing fashion market work (Yesterday, I attended a fashion show in NYC and got to look at hot men in underwear for an hour—and drink champange cocktails.) I also blog here and write for other magazines like Redbook, Glamour, Woman’s Day and Baby Talk. I have some projects in the vault too. And I can do this "freelance" work in sweatpants with the word PINK splashed across my ass and even though I am, knock on wood, doing OK in the work department (KNOCK ON WOOD AGAIN), I still can’t help but wonder and, yes, care (like Erin) what people think about me, my attire...
When I marched JD into his classroom in my duds I smiled at his teachers and said, “I’m working from the mother ship today and I’ll pick him up around 4 PM.” They smiled. On the way out of the school, I ran into my mom friend, Melissa, who is on maternity leave from her teaching job. She was wearing a similar outfit to mine and holding a car seat with her sleeping baby in it. We looked each other up and down and laughed! “I look awesome today, huh?” I said. She said, “OMG, I always wonder if people see me dropping G off and think, she must be having a hard time!” It was so relieving to hear this. “I know! I am working from home today on a piece for Men’s Health magazine which is why I’m dressed in this flashy outfit, but I wonder if people see me and think that poor single mom and assume JD is on the state school program.” We both laughed! (Disclosure: I have no issue with state aid programs. My issue is that people assume single moms need them and abuse them. I don't. My single mom friends don't. We all work.)
I’m home now in my office drinking my third cup of coffee. I have that Men’s Health piece to work on, a call with a celeb’s single mom to schedule an interview, and a three-hour interview to transcribe. I recently interviewed a mom whose husband killed her young kids (day care age) and himself—gearing up for a piece and already have interest from a major women’s mag. Doing all this in PINK sweats and no makeup. And according to the US Census Bureau I'm not doing anything special: 79% of custodial single moms are gainfully employed. Rock on single moms!! (But if you care what other parents think of you, clearly you're not alone, haha!)
Do you ever wonder what other parents think of you? Share and have a great weekend! As for us: We have a Mexican dinner with friends, T-ball, a play-date and a bday party at a place called Monster Mini Golf. I have plans too (hee hee) TGIF
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