how the other half (meaning, not you) lives

I stumbled home from work at 9:00 p.m. last night and sitting in the family room were Mrs. Wife and two of her Consigliere from the Mommy Mafia. They were all drinking wine, eating little snacky things and watching/making fun of The Bachelor. There was hysterical laughter. The only thing missing was a young, shirtless cabana boy peeling the skins off grapes and fanning them with palm fronds.

The caporegime are all fantastically tan. They are bronzed suburban goddesses. During the week, they spend the sunny summer afternoons on the beach with the kiddies. They don’t fight shore traffic or beach crowds because all the commoners are at work.

I, on the other hand, spend my days in an office cubicle under a florescent light. I am pale, like a vampire, and the harsh white light accentuates all the imperfections in my skin. I was meditating on what a sweet life the Mommy Mafia leads and how I got myself into this mess.

The Mommy Mafia are a group of Jersey Shore stay-at-home moms whose sole responsibility it is to raise the children while their husbands drag their sorry asses off to work every day.

I have been schooled many times by stay-at-home moms who insist that raising children IS a job and a damn hard one at that. I concur. But there is something enviable about not having to be in an office for a specific number of hours on specific days of the week and see the same gaggle of people who you don’t really enjoy being around all that much. Especially during the summer months. At least the Mommy Mafia can have someone thrown out of the family. I’ve seen it done and it’s not pretty.

I’m not spewing negativity. I’m just sayin’.

18 thoughts on “how the other half (meaning, not you) lives

  1. Ahhh the mommy mafia sounds very much like the sister-in-law mafia that I have to endure.I’ve been through one or two heart stopping moments in my time, but facing the ‘enemy’ with arms a-crossed, and tongues a-clucking is unsettling to say the least.

  2. did a few brief stints at home as a stay-at-home-mom, and can assure you that it’s not always pleasant (but you had a glimpse of the lifestyle last winter…).but there were fun moments – mine, not with a mommy mafia, but with the critters. guess i wasn’t home long enough to get to the “holy shit if i don’t have adult interaction i’m going to lose my shit and end up on the evening news…” phase…

  3. I used to be a member of the mafia, but I got so tired of listening to what they were cooking for dinner or how it was dangerous to feed the little ones anything less than 100% organic breast milk until they are 15. Now I’m more of a lone gun mommy which means less tan but still no cubicle. It’s a pretty good gig if you can get it.

  4. I prefer the stay home side of the coin. In comparison to attempting to educate the spawn of the questionable washed, it rocks.But it can be isolating and there is the whole “just a housewife” disdain that drips down from the lofty attitudes of those in the “real world”. Of course, I was bathed in goo often as a teacher by those who believed what I did was babysitting too, so I am used to it.I feel guilty that Rob slogs all day, all week at employment that barely rouses his intellect. Enormous pressure is building to try to write something that will sell well enough to rescue him.Tanned, sipping bevvies and watching The Bachelor? Um, not really my experience. Yoga, long walks, sitting by the pool while kid splashes and working on a manuscript is more me. But I don’t have real friends.

  5. Sid: You are quite young and still suseptable to change.Cat: When we moved from NYC to NJ, Mrs. Wife weeded through the nut jobs and now hangs with a group of pretty grounded moms.Annie: Kudos for trying to rescue Rob. I’m sure he appreciates it. Truthfully, I have very few friends as well. Particularly since leaving the city.

  6. “In or out”? i just think every family should strive for a working personal balance. and recognize that it might change over time… we (especially the mommies) need to stop throwing the rocks at each other, and be just a bit more supportive of the choices others make…oh, and it’s the lucky ones who have the choice. i have some friends who are either scraping by on two incomes, or single parents who cringe whenever anyone talks about “chosing to stay home”…

  7. I’m a stay-at-home mom, and yes, of course it’s work and hard work…but let’s face it, I SO MUCH PREFER IT to my previous office job (which really was a pretty darn decent one, but still an office job) that there’s just no contest.I can’t lie and say it’s not pretty damn awesome.

  8. There are many roads for me to take here. Since I don’t feel the need to criticize your lifestyle, I am trying to find the highest one.My husband and I decided this way of life because we are lucky to have a choice in the matter. We worked hard (and continue to work hard) to get to this point and continue as partners in doing so. He can switch places with me any day – and he knows it. I would love a commute that would give me some time to screw my head on straight before starting my day, a quiet cup of coffee, alone time in the bathroom, a few hours of uninterrupted sleep and looking like more than I just jumped out of bed. But instead, I get a few hours to enjoy a stupid tv show with my friends. I chose this path, in part, because my mother didn’t have the opportunity to choose a path other than working to feed me. Please don’t pretend to know my life. I am more than a little annoyed that you have put me in this position. Not to mention how degrading and insulting your comments are about who you think I am. I am sure many moms agree, this is only one of many chapters of my life and only one facet of what makes me who I am today. I don’t need to plead my case. You will see only what you want to see.

  9. Interesting observations. And interesting comments were prompted.My thoughts: Nowadays, I am almost bemused by what has become of North American “culture”. And I mean the whole gamut: from the woes and throes of “mommyhood” to the soul-killing, commuting work-a-day world.It would be really funny if it wasn’t so fucking sad and pathetic.Remember when it was called the “Rat Race”? One would have thought that once it was identified, it would be recognized for what it was and it would go away. Not so, apparently. Instead, it has grown and expanded.The question I wrestle with (and I wonder if any/many others consider this) is: What am I doing this for? Like, what is my ultimate goal here? I have been granted a finite amount of time to be in this existence on this planet. Am I using this time wisely? I often conclude that no, I am not (and that applies almost totally to the time I spend at my employment) and that makes me feel frustrated, depressed and a bit angry. Unfortunately, there is no one thing that I can direct these feelings at and, for whatever reason, I haven’t empowered myself to make a the changes I should. (Why not? Um, fear, probably. Damnable fear.)BTW, if you’re wondering, I am the “Rob” that is awaiting rescue (see above comments). :-)One more thing: If anyone feels offended or insulted by your observations, it is my opinion that this is because what you have said has touched someone else’s own suspected inner truth. We only become overly defensive about things that we already know, deep down inside, that we have a problem with or are conflicted about. But, that’s just MHO. And what the fuck would I know?

  10. Having just entered this big wide world of parenthood, my thoughts are more ghostly suspicions of things to come. However, I have had the strong urge to do the Mr. Mom thing because, while I think I grasp the exhaustive nature of the position, it is despite this apprehension that I feel I would enjoy the challenge of it. Besides, I’m already an architect and slog through ridiculous hours to pursue those things I believe of value. That said, I must concur that making a building has to be far more easy than making a person. I will follow behind what anniegirl says in noting that perhaps it is the quality of what TUB observed the other eve that prompted his response. If they were all sitting around discussing Hegelian concepts as it relates to Wallace’s tome, ‘Infinite Jest’, I’m sure this entry would have had an entirely different tone. Sorry Wifey. We go much further back, I know, but The Bachelor is such an easy target to launch into the Men:Mars/Women:Venus dialectic. In sum: nobody should be offended. Men are stupid brutes who need the simplicity of a chain-gang 9 to 5 routine. And while there are exceptions to this rule, there are not many. From the outside looking in, it’s all beachy fun….but there are many psychologically pummeling qualities to child-rearing that would turn a Man to dust. Send us off to war, we are far more capable of handling that endurance contest.

  11. Having been a full-time stay at home dad for the past 3 years, 7 months, 13 days and 10 hours–but who’s counting?–I can say it’s been approximately 6.3 bazillion times harder than my previous ~15 years of office work combined. But it has also been 9.7 bazillion times more rewarding and amazing. The only difference is that my old office jobs won’t grow up to write a memoir about how much I sucked at graphics work.

  12. Hi,I am a mom, grandmother, wife, Human Resource professional, volunteer,(church and community),and golfer. I also read a book now and then. I did not become all of those things overnight. It took all of my 60 years. I was a working mom and a stay at home mom at various stages. What kept me sane while a stay at home mom was a strong, supportive, involved spouse. Sure I had tuesday nights with the girls, to play mah jongg and blow a little steam. These are the things that keep us in the community and involved believe it or not. Using flip terms like “mommy mafia” insults every woman who makes a life choice and sticks with it regardless of the consequences to personal satisfaction and self esteem. (Did any of you ever listen in on a guys nite. Not a pretty picture. Cigar smoke, cards and cursing.) Without respect for each other as individuals, even in a tongue in cheek fashion,and regardless of life choices, denegrates our culture and only promotes intolerance. Besides, the only reason any would watch the Batchelor is because it is funny, it was made for us to laugh at, and the news just sends me hiding under the bed with the cat!

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