Mommy calling cards

I’ll admit it right here, live on the web, in front of however many people are reading my blog today: I’m not 100%  into the whole suburban mommy thing. Thankfully, my kids are old enough now to (A) be in school all day Monday through Friday, (B) no longer need constant supervision, and (C) no longer follow me into the bathroom. Don’t get me wrong, I love and adore my kids, and I think parenthood is a noble and under-appreciated profession, but child-rearing isn’t my whole life, and I like to have some time away from my kids every day.

My favorite thing in the world is to be home alone. I know, I really should set my sights higher.

I crave peace & quiet. I get overstimulated like a small child when there’s too much noise, too many voices, or too many electronic devices running at the same time. I have been known to go to my room for a self-imposed time-out during times of chaos. Which is pretty much every day at my house. I’d like to blame it on the stress in my life from the whole cancer thing, but the truth is, I’d be that way if the words “malignant tumor” weren’t part of my life.

Like many suburbs of big cities, ours is a bubble. Everyone around here is affluent, successful, talented, well-educated and better-than-average looking with kids who are nothing if not gifted and talented. A gas-guzzling SUV is de riguer. A minivan works, too, but sedans, not so much. Nobody cleans their own house (except for me, because I’ve never been comfortable having “the maid” in my house when she and I both know perfectly well that there’s no reason I can’t mop my own floor), and everyone is overscheduled and overworked with overprocessed hair (myself included; I seriously have no idea what my real haircolor is but I know that it gets darker all the time).

Since I’ve never seen an episode of Desperate Housewives, I can’t say that my little bubble is similar to or different from from Wysteria Lane, but some of the stuff I see around here makes me think, you couldn’t write a more outlandish script if you tried.

Like the mother of the first-grader who’s in the principal’s office multiple times a week (the kid, not the mother) for bad behavior who asked the teacher to please call her (the mother) next time the kid was about to be sent to the principal, so she (the mother) could come pick the kid up from school. Apparently the mother “feels bad” for her child because his life is so rough, and it’s not his fault he has such bad behavior, he just doesn’t like to go to bed at night so he stays up until he passes out in front of the TV at 1 a.m. Every night.

True story.

Or the principal who nixed plans to have a fundraiser to benefit the family of a child with cancer–a child who had been attending that school until too sick to come anymore–because it might hurt the feelings of kids who don’t have cancer.

Another true story.

Now, don’t assume that all this goes on at my kids’ schools, because I know people in other neighborhoods whose kids attend other schools. And I wouldn’t rat out my own kids’ schools (unless it was a really, really good story). Suffice to say that these are examples meant to convey a sense of an overall picture.

I did camp out — literally, as in spend the night in the parking lot — to ensure that my kids got a spot in preschool, but not because it was the preschool to attend, but because it was the only one with an opening, and I really, really wanted to hand my toddler off to someone qualified for a few hours a week. And yes, I did willingly buy a plane ticket and fly in from North Carolina to camp out at that very preschool (and waited in the cold rain) before we moved back, to make sure Macy had a spot at the same preschool Payton had attended before we moved away.

But I was never really one of those mothers. I looked like the other suburban mommies, I did indeed quit my job and surrender my paycheck to raise my kids, I do drive a gas-guzzling SUV, and I pay a ridiculous amount of money for organic milk to avoid those pesky hormones & antibiotics that my generation consumed.

My kids just aren’t my whole world. They are a big part of it, and if there was a pie chart depicting the parts of my life, the part labeled “kids” would be the biggest. By far. But there would also be a part of the pie for tennis, book club, cooking club, and friends; in other words, I have other interests outside of my progeny.

So imagine how hard I laughed when one of the pop-up ads on my web browser was hawking “Mommy calling cards.”

Have you seen these?

If you have a set, you  might want to stop reading now, because I’m fixin’ to rip on them pretty hard.

It’s not bad enough that this poor woman, and apparently lots of other women, identifies herself as Lillian’s mom and Matthew’s wife, but the card itself screams MOMMOMMOMMOMMOMMOMMOM all down the side. That MOMMOMMOMMOM screaming is the reason I need to hand my kids over to someone else and take time-outs, and now the mommy calling card is not only endorsing but promoting it?

How about this one? Really cute design, I will admit; I really like the smiling fish and the cool blue color, but my first thought was, since when did we get to the point of having to hand someone a card and beg them to be our friend?

Am I making too much of this? Because it seems pretty ridiculous to me.

A quick Internet search turns up all kinds of options for mommy calling cards. Tons of cute designs and fun colors. And I am a sucker for good stationery. I adore heavy cardstock, genuinely appreciate embossed invitations, and have no problem spending good money on paper goods.

But these seem crazy to me.  Really crazy. 

This one not only identifies the breeder as Elizabeth & Gabriella’s mom but also has a convenient place to mark the dance card, as it were, and force the recipient to commit to a playdate right here! right now!

You can even have photo cards, to be sure the person you hand it to knows exactly what your kid looks like. Or in case you’re worried that your Olivia or Mackenna will be confused with the other one in her playgroup.

While I do admit that Lindsey Walters is a cute little girl who likely comes from a very nice family, I can’t for the life of me imagine myself seriously handing someone a card hawking my kid.

If Payton were to make make it to the Major League and had a baseball card, I would for sure hand those out to any and all interested parties, but that’s a long time in the future and a big uncertainty. Which is another thing that disqualifies me for Suburban Mommy of the Year; my pesky realistic impression of my kids’ abilities. Some of the baseball parents we’ve met at the fields seem a lot more confident than me that their kid will be the one that hits the big time. Even though the odds are a little sobering: as in about 1 in 200 players. So 0.45 percent of all boys playing high school ball. Not very many. Payton’s Little League has something like 800 kids total, from t-ball to majors. So 4 boys in the entire FCLL, but half the parents up there think there kid is the best thing since Ted Williams. Payton genuinely believes he’ll make it, despite the odds (and more importantly, despite his tendency to depend on his innate ability rather than work hard at honing his craft). And I encourage him wholeheartedly to go for it, pursue that dream and aim high. There’s nothing that would please me more than if it happened for him. But I also tell him to study hard and have a back-up plan, just in case it doesn’t work out.

Because some kind of cosmic force is indeed in effect right now, shortly after the Mommy calling card pop-up ad appeared, I came across a website that offers snarky versions, for the not-so-perfect moms. 

Like me.

Ok, I admit, this one is a little harsh, even for me.

Hush now, I know some of y’all think I’m the queen of harsh, that I invented snarkiness and that I live to mouth off.

That’s not entirely true.

This one is a little kinder. A little gentler. Yet gets the idea across.

I admit, I like the bumper stickers that say “My kid could beat up your honor roll student” or however they word it. I wouldn’t put one on my own vehicle, but I snicker every time I see one. Bad mommy.

Here’s the modern suburban mom’s version of Sophie’s Choice, conveniently laid out on a snarky card. Hee hee.

And I make no promises about little risk of mycobacterium.


12 Comments on “Mommy calling cards”

  1. Kayte says:

    so much awesome. Now I want to make cards for you that say

    Nancy Hicks
    Cancerslayer/Bad ass

  2. Ed says:

    That’s the problem with life in the bubble; you don’t get that honest differing perspective that tells you when you’re being an ass. Instead everyone encourages your lunacy.

  3. Do you think they are some sort or code? Maybe “Mathew’s Wife” is code for…you have met my husband, i buy valium in bulk and sell it for profit. Perhaps “Lindey’s Mom” is pointing out…remember the crazy one that licked your curtains, she’s on ritalin and now you can be too so you can keep up with that mother of the year act of crafting, schooling, exercising, blah blah blah for only $10 a day. Just a thought 🙂

  4. elizabeth connolly says:

    Thanks for your email, I did misplace your blog address and I just wrote an excellent reply to those bubble woman who identify themselves as their children’s mother and their husbands wife. Then I got all hyped up like Gloria Steinam and was deleting a too agressive comment about these woman who have so quickly forgotten what it was like when woman were identified as a wife: Mrs Edward Connolly Not Ms. Connolly Or god forbid Elizabeth Connolly and oops too much pressing of the delete key and the whole thing disappeared and I don’t have the time or energy to re write. But know that you got my juices going this morning with all those feminist feelings so I’ll be out there getting ready for our 2 day snow storm that’s coming with gusto. Have a good day and think about those nice warm days lazing at Salisbury Beach again this summer and thoughts of cancer receding a little for a few weeks Love you.

  5. Barb Fernald says:

    This post cracks me up! Mommy calling cards. I have been out of the loop.
    My kids are grown, and I am so fortunate not to be personally familiar with the words “malignant tumor,” but I still crave my time alone in my own house. There is nothing like it! I hope you get plenty, and get even more when your cancer is gone.

    • nancykhicks says:

      Thanks, Barb! (that was my mom’s name, so I like you a lot already.) been thinking about your gorgeous jewelry all day. I’m leaning toward the Handmade Fine silver bead necklace; just love those swirly beads.

  6. Heather says:

    All I can say is, “Wow!” These mommy cards really exist? I have joked before about it being difficult to talk to people that derive their entire identity from their husband and kids, but I had no idea that people advertise it!! BTW, I feel giddy if I am ever driving home and know the house will be empty. As much as I love my husband and kids, alone time sure is nice sometimes.

  7. So if Payton does get a call, even for the ‘cup of coffee’ to the bigs … I am hereby reserving my space in line for that card. We have a CVS field trip to make today for multiple prescrips, etc. Regarding your recent dilemma I share some Quinton Taratino with you: in his Pulp Fiction classic Jules Winnfield did not need a business card to let the world know who he was – he had his rep written on his wallet. – What happened to that means of socializing?

    Peace

  8. kjb says:

    Hi there. I came across your post because I was doing a search for these cards you are obviously so against. Don’t worry, I am not about to get all whiny/angry/indignant that you would make fun of this. But I will tell you why I think this is a good idea for someone like me. I am a single mom to a 14 month and I live and work in the NYC metro area. I commute 90 minutes each way to work everyday and I only have a few precious hours with my girl after work everyday. Consequently, meeting other parents of children her age is very difficult. Since I work outside the home, I don’t know when I will run into the really cool mom I met at the playground again. So I figured something like this would be really useful when I do meet someone who has a child of an age that my girl can play with and who seems like someone I can hang with as well (btw, this has happened THREE times in the last two weeks).
    This is also quick…sometimes you have to leave the playground in a hurry (crankiness, diaper explosions, etc) and who has time to whip out a pen and paper or even a phone to swap contact info?
    As for identifying myself as LittleGirl’s Mommy is slightly irksome, I know that I have not relinquished my identity as a woman for the sake of motherhood, so it’s no big deal. If anything, it just describes exactly what I am: LittleGirl’s Mother. I must say though, if I were married, I’ll be damned if I describe myself as SoAndSo’s Wife…shudder.

    However, I can see how these cards are easily mocked. I suppose the design one chooses and the air with which it is given have a lot to do with how it will be received.

    BTW, I did have a look around your blog and I really enjoy your writing style. I may just have to stick around…although I may get my feelings hurt if I get flamed too badly 😉
    Best of luck with your recovery.

    k


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