Thursday, December 15, 2011

judging you, judging me

This morning started with a fight.  Well, not really a fight -  more like a pissing contest.  On email.  Between a handful of moms I've never met.  Exposed to the 500+ other mothers who are part of a yahoo group about parenting in our town.

Some poor mom had posted a query about an accident that had happened which jeopardized the well-being of her infant but caused a minor injury to her brand-new uninsured care-giver.  She was looking for advice.  She got wrath, judgement - and apparently a threat or two - instead.

It carried on back and forth in my in-box and I found myself increasingly sucked in.  I know better than to engage the crazies - but they were polluting my otherwise very helpful little group and ganging up unfairly on this mom.  If online communities largely self-police, I felt I was being drafted.  In the end, I couldn't resist a short and carefully worded note on the importance of reserving judgement and creating a safe environment for us all to figure out how to raise our children the best way we can.  One of the pot-stirrers shot back a final snark.  I ignored it, the thread died, but the turkey got me down.

Then, I saw this, an opinion piece in the New York Times - yes, the New York Times, about moms who buy fancy cake pops for bake sales just to show off.  Really?  WHO CARES?  Who cares if she bakes, buys, or blows it off?  Who has time to analyze motives?   WHO CARES?

I suppose we all have a little sanctimommy in us.  One was definitely born in me with my first child - I probably spent half of my first maternity leave on urbanbaby telling everyone what was what.  And then I spent the next six years learning that parenthood is a humbling endeavour and a whole bunch of things I swore I'd never do/think/feel happened and taught me that judging too soon is a new mom's folly.

Or so I thought.  Perhaps I judged too soon.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Pile

Gel nail disaster (featuring my son's thumb)

I had a steady babysitting job at the age of 11.  That's right: ELEVEN.  I sat for two adorable little ones, and I charged $1 per hour.  We played 'guess what flavor the m&m is' and watched cartoons and ransacked the basement.  And when they went to bed, I would tackle The Pile.  Next to the phone in the kitchen was a disorganized heap of papers and miscellaneous stuff.  Every Saturday night for months I would sort and stack them into neat piles.  At least I did until I got feedback from the three year old: "Mommy doesn't want you to straighten her papers any more."

I have my own pile now.  Actually, I have a lot of piles.  And lists.  And on the weekend, I tackle them.  Sometimes I tackle a list.  Sometimes I tackle a pile.  More often than not, the pile is part of the list, and the list is part of the pile.

I've found that the amount of piles and lists I have directly correlates to the state of my grooming.  I don't mind being busy, or feeling busy, but I sure do hate looking busy.  Because while a pile can wait, eyebrows, or, say, grey roots, are less understanding.  Once upon a time, Scarlett O'Hara's hands gave her away.   I guess mine do too.  After a seven week period which encompassed full-time work, a two week visit from my sister-in-law, a Gala for CASA's 25th Anniversary, two extended power outages, a spouse away for weeks on business, Halloween,Thanksgiving and then Christmas decorating - the house was awash in piles.  And I walked around with this trashy half on-half off gel manicure for at least two weeks (the first three weeks they looked great!).  

This weekend I reclaimed both my house and my hands and am left only with my list. But I crossed off The Piles, The Nails, and now I can cross off The Blog Post.  

What piles up for you during busy periods?  And more importantly, how do you hide it?