Sunday, August 06, 2006

Club Outsider

I was never the in kid at school, but I had a ton of friends. And clearly after scouring the internet the past few years, I am not the in mom either.

For those into great hair, lots of exclamations! and self-congratulatory back pats, you can join ClubMom. Even Elizabeth Shue is a member (her brother founded it with Meredith Viera... I'm thinking it's a possible reason for her involvement. Also, she gets the most comments. Hmmm, who'd a thunk?)

I sometimes wonder if I'm just a bitter person - the gal with deep seated popularity issues from not having enough homecoming dates. But after reading so many articles, and posting to so many Club Mom websites (apparently that's what you have to do to have someone link you so that your website can get more hits) and getting nary a response, I've decided that this mother popularity contest is a dance I don't want to be invited to.

My irritation is at an all time high tonite as I haven't seen my husband much this weekend thanks to the bathroom project from hell which, to save you the gory details, has still not produced a working toilet. Plus my kids have waged an all out "We Ain't Sleeping" war. So imagine my delight when I came across yet another party that I will never be invited to: Alpha Mom ( - a website/television channel for mothers that is supposed to make us feel connected and secure in our parenting. (And of course the contributing writers? Many are members of Club Mom... seeing the connection here?) Re: the CEO who wants all us mothers to unite? It is hard to feel sisterly bonds toward her when I look at photos of her in a size sub zero pant suit, nanny on the floor, holding a child with what's supposed to be some artsy fartsy name but sounds more like a deli sandwich.

While my parenting village consists of my mother, my in-laws, an Israeli Arco manager and the occasional retarded sign-holder on the street that will make my son laugh with his yellow foam finger, Isabel Kallman has a different view (another point for why I'm not in the club.)

...It takes a village. Isabel quickly hired one. Her son was just 2 weeks old when she retained a night nurse. When he was 5 months, “I started realizing I needed to get out more,” and she brought on a nanny. Then after about a year, when she started working, “I obviously needed more help,” so she hired a regular babysitter as well—also often employing her father and an Alpha Mom intern.

I might have a different opinion if I lived in New York and could buy expensive clothes that made me look like I really don't give a damn but clearly the price tag says otherwise.

I might have a different opinion if I had gone to Harvard and clinked glasses with Anderson Cooper at some fabulous restaurant outside Chicago.

I might have a different opinion if my career were more successful... where I had the finances to really care if my son got into the top preschool or not because paying for it wouldn't be an option.

....She still has days that she’s incredibly insecure and worries that she’s not doing it right—as when Ryland was rejected from the Harvard of 2-year-old programs, and Isabel wept. In such moments, she turns again to the experts, such as the psychoanalyst Michelle Ascher Dunn, whom Isabel has recruited to host several Alpha Mom programs...

But I am just a suburban mom who lives in an unremarkable town trying to do the best I can. Sometimes I have great hair. Sometimes my car is clean. Sometimes I look so damn cute I can't even believe it's me looking back in the pint-size hand stained mirror. But most days I'm doing the balancing act of shopping, filling the elephant pool and deciding the ever burning question of macaroni and cheese vs. tacos.

Would I love to be friends with Oprah and have a photo shoot with Rachael Ray smiling in my backyard telling me how to use more EVOO on my turkey burgers? Of course. But right now that ain't happening. And the weird thing is, I'm actually pretty secure in knowing that I'm doing a good job with my kids. I can sleep at night in one of two sets of sheets (that I wash myself - heavens!) confident that Pip and Stink certainly aren't going to be stupid because I didn't strap headphones to my belly so my fetus could "hear everything from Mozart to Van Morrison."

As I get older and wiser and see my amazing kids develop into children of empathy, style and wit - despite never having attended a Gymboree class or having a mother who cares enough to wear Prada - I have only one thing to say to this organization.



amisare waswerebeen said...

I sometimes wander through random blogs and happened to stumble upon yours tonight. I really enjoyed it. I loved what you said about those alpha moms and their high-style, low-interactive life with their kids. I am a mom of two and can really relate. I will be bookmarking your page and enjoying more in the future.

Erin said...

I actually found your blog from a link on a clubmom blog (or maybe a link from a link? I can't trace it back now) and I've been reading through your archives with fascination. Great stuff. Keep writing. I'm not a big fan of alphamom either.

Mama P said...

I love that photo on your profile. Did you take it? Thanks for checking in. Lots more irritation from where that last blog came from. In general though, I'm a decent person just trying to make do. Bitter? Probably. But decent, I'd like to think. Thanks again! I look forward to reading your stuff.

And in case you didn't see my comment on your site yet, thanks to Amisare Waswerebeen also.

Teri M. said...

Well, so far I've only been reading the ClubMoms whose "civilian" blogs were ones I was already reading. (Uh, awkward sentence, anyone?) I have yet to venture past the ladies I know that I like already. I haven't gone to Alpha Mom, and now I'm pretty sure I won't. That woman is scary. That whole article earned my "WTH? Of The Week" award.

p.s. Yer fab. :)

Anonymous said...

A woman in a size sub zero pantsuit who calls herself a Real Mom doesn't fool me for a second.

Fawk them and their clubs. You are your own club, and its a damn fun and cool one to read about on your blog. New York Metro can stuff it.

Stand tall Mama P!

-KD in SF with 0.0 kids. :-D