I grew up in the 80's when moms sported big shoulder pads and went out and made it happen in offices. Kids like me made friends at daycare and learned to make our own mac and cheese after letting ourselves into the house after school. I don't have any complaints. Hey, I got to watch Press Your Luck in peace every day at 4:00.
When I grew up and had my own baby, my perspective changed. All of a sudden I wanted to stay home, bake bread, learn to sew and keep an eye on the precious little cargo I slaved so hard to create. At first I felt lucky. I mean one income? Wow, I must be married to a big dog!
As I chat around my play group I'm beginning to realize there are some disgruntled stay-at-home-moms. They either lost their jobs or unfortunately realized their salaries didn't make sense with the cost of daycare - and they are chomping at the bit to get back out there. Maybe shoulder pads are out, but feeling relevant to the greater world outside training pants doesn't fade.
And guess who has picked up on this vibe of wanna-be professionals - those temporarily unemployed moms operating under the guise of "homemaker"? Retailers. Of course.
I'm a little disgruntled myself at Shutterfly for some tricky pricing ($14 hidden shipping and handling fees on 15 cent prints! Hide your wife!) so I'll pick on them. They are marketing "mommy cards". These are business cards women can have drawn up with their name, phone numbers, available play date hours and mommy blog address.
It sounds like it would be up my alley, but I just can't get into business cards. I already suffer every time I go to an event and people want to treat me as a "professional" and ask for my blog card. I suppose I do have a nice little audience going here and ever so often I turn a buck. But business cards are everything I don't want to be - stiff, official, reachable.
Has momming become so serious that we require business cards and professional networking to "get ahead", or do women just not know how to channel that competitive energy outside the office walls?
I like to think of momming like I saw in black and white reruns, back when I was a latch-key kid stuffing pizza in my face alone in front of the TV - momming that is full of cheer and relaxation! Lipstick! Pretty aprons! An occasional afternoon cocktail and the company of neighbors! I want to be the type of mom who doesn't need the validation of Corporate America, what with the divine vegetarian roast a-cookin' in my swell kitchen (play along) and a purdy pitcher of Tang on the buffet.
Relax, moms. It's a wonderful life.
This lady did not need a pesky business card to meet up with Ethel Mertz.