Observations on a Weekday Afternoon

We tend to visit our local B&N at least 1-2 times a week. My daughters love reading the books, dancing to the new-agey music on the kiddie stage, playing with the car books (the ones with wheels – they go through some abuse), toying with the Thomas train tracks, and whining/crying/protesting (trying to put a stop to that one) when we leave.

On our visit last week, I started to really notice the other moms and kiddos in attendance to a regular, weekday afternoon visit to B&N. I then identified 3 of the 4 SAHM traits you see below:

1. Slutty Mom – This is the mom that has at least 1 toddler, and possibly a pre-schooler, in tow. You usually notice her first because of the ridiculous, non-regular, weekday afternoon shoes she’s wearing. This day, it was a pair of red, patent leather 4 inch heels. No joke. Scanning up, she was wearing TIGHT pants, and a shirt that showed more boobs that other moms at B&N care to see. The children of Slutty Mom are either the antithesis to Slutty Mom (dirty, old clothes with sequined flip flops) or dressed just like Slutty Mom (belly shirt or halter top, short skirt or shorts, and chunky sequined flip flops). There is NO exception to the dress code of the Slutty Mom child. The Slutty Mom’s child is either the LOUD child or the one who is too afraid to show him/herself.

2. Burnt-Out Mom – B-O Mom has an infant and a toddler/pre-schooler in tow. NO EXCEPTION. She most likely has another 1-4 kids in school at the moment. She’s dressed in her nicest sweat shorts/capris, baggy sweater/sweatshirt, and slippers. The slippers are the Isotoner ballet flats that may LOOK like shoes at first glance, but upon closer inspection, yes, she really is wearing slippers to B&N. NO MAKEUP – no exception. B-O Mom’s toddler/pre-schooler is normally well-behaved with the occasional outburst or book throwdown. He/She is dressed like a normal kid with a Blue’s Clues/Thomas/Princesses t-shirt, cargo shorts, and Crocs.

3. Bored Mom – Bored Mom is dressed decently with the latest Old Navy/Loft/Gap outfit with matching shoes. Her hair is nicely fixed, but not so much as to say, “I spent time doing my hair this morning.” Bored Mom MUST have a trash magazine that she picked up on her way to the back of the B&N kiddie section. Why? So she had something to do when her 1 toddler/preschooler ran around the kiddie section unsupervised eating and licking a chocolate chip cookie the size of her own face (no joke). Bored Mom MUST have a Starbucks in her hand the entire time she is suffering through her B&N sentence. Bored Mom will allow the other moms discipline her child, read to her child, and play peek-a-boo with her child without a single glance up from her OK! magazine. Bored Mom’s kid is dressed head-to-toe in an all-matching outfit straight from The Children’s Place or Gap Kids, including the latest Stride Rites.

4. Me.

The only thing in common among the #1-3 types of Moms at B&N is the vacant look in their eyes. It is the saddest look a mom can have in her eyes. It is what made me start my observation into the likeness among the three types of Moms. What could they possibly have in common besides having children? The vacant look in their eyes. I wanted to shout, “GET A GRIP! Show some enthusiasm that you GET to stay home with your child!” Millions of mom WISH they could be at B&N with their child, but they are stuck at an office. I have my moments when I want to leave them behind, but I still enjoy my time with my children. I realize (usually right before a kiddie meltdown) that I have the best job in the world. I get to spend the best years of my kids’ lives with them! To those of you who work outside the home, I completely understand. I worked for 2 years after my oldest was born. It can be just as hard, sometimes harder, as being a SAHM. But PLEASE enjoy them. Don’t be Mom #1-3. Be You at #4. Or, just Be All That You Can Be.

I think I’m writing this to myself to remind myself that it is the greatest job to have kids. (God, I’m trying to end this on a witty note.)

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8 Responses

  1. Hey! I’m a #4 also! Not a slut; too busy with three kids to be bored; and finally over the burned out slump now that I do have some daily free time!

    Found you from Dawn!

    And B&N is my most favoritest bestest place in the whole wide world! I’d live there if I could!

  2. I go to Borders because that’s the book store in the town that I work in. Since I’m not a SAHM I got to thinking about my “type” or what you would think of me from your impressions of me at the bookstore. I think it might be a post.

  3. This made me think about the moms I’ve seen at Chapters (the Canadian alternative to B&N). The one who comes most readily to mind is the mom who physically blocked my daughter as she was gleefully running away while I chased her with a howling three-year-old under my arm. Maybe call her the Friend in Need Mom? Except I was too embarrassed to actually look her in the eye, so I wouldn’t recognize her if I saw her again…

  4. I hope I HOPE that I’m #4 on this list at least more days than not. There are certainly days when I am burnt out I have to admit but it’s usually after several weeks of averaging 3-4 hours of sleep a night . But, as Manic said, I am way too busy with three kids to be bored, and nobody at B&N needs to see me trying to be slutty. 🙂

  5. I probably look like the Burn Out Mom, minus the slippers. I’m usually in flip flops no matter what. I don’t wear make-up everyday. I kinda go au natural on that 75% of the time. I look frustrated usually b/c my 2 yr old and 4 yr old have run me ragged. I also have 1 in school. I don’t really feel Burnt out most days, but in a book store with a 2 yr old…I know I look it! LOL! I’m chasing him around picking up book she’s thrown in the floor, tryign to get him to sit down and read a book.

    Anyways, good post. I’ll have to people watch next time I’m at the book store.

  6. Well yep, that pretty much describes me to a T. I’m a #2 through and through. Well, except that I don’t think I could handle B&N. The library is insane enough for me.

  7. One of the main reasons I continue to work is that I strongly suspect that I would quickly turn into Bored Mom. I fight her all weekend long.

  8. I love this post. It makes me laugh and I empathize along with you.

    I am that fourth mom too.

    I can get bored sometimes and I wish I could wear high heels to B&N but my life is so cool and I’m grateful that I can up and go to B&N any time of the day.

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