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  • margaretfmadigan

This Ain't 1979: The New Mom Code

Thank you all so much for your submissions for funny blogs!  I found a few new people to follow and I appreciate it.  And I got several new readers.  Thanks and welcome!

Most of my readers know my story but I’ll give a little Cliff Notes version to the new readers.  I have 3 children, a boy in college at NYU who will be 19 next month, and two girls, one just turned 16 last week, the other turns 14 in three weeks.  Just writing that gives me agita.  I’ve been divorced since 2000 and their Dad lives out of state and has been mostly out of the picture for the past 4 years.  Even when he was in the picture he traveled with his job all the time, so I have basically raised these kids all by myself from birth.

So I’m a one man band. (I play a mean tuba and knee-cymbals)  I’m constantly running.  My kids are slight overachievers and are involved in everything.  Sports, choir, band, theater, student government, friends.  It’s always something.  And I support that because 1.) All that shiz got my son into a phenomenal school like NYU with scholarships.  and 2.) None of my kids has even ever had detention let alone run-ins with the law or substance issues or promiscuity issues.  Oh but wait, I know there’s still time!  The youngest one is only in 8th grade, keep your fingers crossed!  But me, my job history has been less than stellar and I’ve been broke trying to juggle being there for kids and work.  I tried every trick in the book to have a job with flexibility but I didn’t always choose wisely. 🙁

Having said all this EVERYBODY has something to say about this.  Everyone wants to give me their two cents when I have a mini-meltdown about how tired I am of running around.  I get everything from “only allow them one activity each” to “make them walk” to “make them wait at school while you work”.  To which I say – politely – f*ck you and mind your own business, I’m just venting.  🙂

But it’s when it comes to the special man in my life putting  in his two cents, I can’t really give him an FU if I want to keep things peaceful on the home front.  I had to explain to him how things work these days as he has never been married and has no kids.  And you know those people think they have all the answers.  hahaha  Oh I can see how he has some valuable “outside looking in” advice but yea, it doesn’t always work.

So I had to give a lesson on “The New Parent Code”.  Oh who am I kidding, we all know it’s all about the Moms.  “The New Mom Code”.

First I had to tell him that it’s a new world.  It’s not 1979 anymore where he was hitchhiking to his private high school and I was sitting at my high school for hours waiting for a ride after swim practice.  Here’s the difference…

In 1979 you could hitchike to school.  In 2013 if you hitchike you end up on a milk carton.

In 1979 you could walk anywhere anytime.  In 2013, I hate to be paranoid but there is a lot more risk.  We live in a medium sized NY city and I have 2 teenage girls.  If they are walking in a group, sure.  But alone, not so sure.  Pervs and killers seem to be more abundant these days.

In 1979 if you were a latchkey kid you could go to school early and hang out and eat your Pop Tarts and listen to your transistor radio.  In 2013 students aren’t allowed in the school until 20 minutes before school begins.  Probably to prevent all the free daycare they’d be providing.

In 1979 you could stay after school for a few hours waiting for a ride.  In 2013 they would be calling Child Protective Services on your ass to see why you haven’t picked up your kid.  Not to mention you’d get a reputation with other parents (and students) as the parent that neglects their kids, which could be a fate worse than CPS.

In 1979 you could bum a sandwich or something off a lunch tray from another kid.  In 2013 if you forgot your lunch, somebody’s calling CPS again saying you don’t feed your kid.

In 1979 you could show up at a neighbor kid’s house and ask to hang out until your parent got home.  In 2013 chances are nobody is home there because the parents are at work and the kid is at an activity because the parents work.  Also if they were home, somebody would be calling CPS on your ass again saying you leave your kids home alone.

In 1979 you could send your kid to the corner store for smokes and beer.  In 2013 a child can’t even walk in a store alone without someone questioning them… and well the beer and smokes thing stopped a long time ago.  Damnit. *snaps fingers*

In 1979 an adult could sit down and enjoy a meal while little Johnny went up to the bar to get them another Manhattan.  In 2013 a child can’t even be within like 10 feet of a bar or some such thing according to law.  For Christ’s sake how are they going to learn to be waiters as a second job to pay off their student loans some day?

In 1979 you could leave your kids home alone to go work the night shift.  In 2013, you guessed it… CPS.

In 1979 nobody’s parents ever went to any of their sporting events.  In 2013 if you don’t go your kid will cry because all the other parents go because everyone is a “helicopter parent” (a hoverer) and everyone judges you as the parent who never shows up to anything and obviously you don’t care about your kid.

In 1979 18 kids could pack into a car with one other kid driving.  No seat belts, no rules for teen drivers.  In 2013, at least in NY State a kid can only have one family member in the car or no more than one other kid at age 16, then maybe 17 you can add one more kid.  I don’t know there are so many rules now.  All I know is teens can’t carpool to school or give each other rides home anymore.

You think I’m kidding right?  No.  It’s a whole new world.  My kid can’t even wait at school or get a ride.  I try to get my children rides with other parents but you definitely need to reciprocate at some point or they will stop giving your child rides as they are “the neglected kid that always needs a ride”.  And before you know it… yup, CPS.

It’s funny how in this day and age most households have 2 parents that work.  Living expenses require two incomes now with cable, internet, cell phones and high gas bills, things we didn’t have in the past.  And with a 50% divorce rate there are a lot more single parents households.  Not to mention non-divorced single parents are very common these days when they weren’t in 1979.  However, society more than ever expects us to live like it’s 1950 and all the Mom’s stayed at home and could be available night and day.  What gives, Beave?

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