Just the ramblings of a crazy Mom of two beautiful girls (and YaYa to many children that I adore) navigating through my snafu'd life. This blog is my way of 'clearing the cobwebs' and trying to maintain my sanity.
I have a chaotic life full of kids, rebuilding after our house burnt, coffee, my best girls, mornings in my breezeway, blogging, a full time job, screaming kids, laundry, remodeling, Asperger's/OCD Big'K, mowing, taking the trash out, Bipolar w/psychosis and RAD Lil'K, a crazy family, more kids thrown in the mix, bad plumbing, laughing until I pee my pants, electrical malfunctions, and everything else the Big G thinks He needs to throw at me on this ride we call life, all the while trying to survive being a single mother. Because let's face it...every day that I wake up, I am outnumbered!
A very vivid memory from my childhood is of my mother hosting Tupperware parties. The kids shooed out of the room and told to play outside while a conservatively dressed presenter would pass around the latest and greatest in plastic storage. The living room became a lit stage while the presenter choreographed a dance that perfectly combined a product demonstration with a flowing conversation between at least a dozen women craving adult conversation. Women using the kid-less and husband-less moment as a chance to snack on finger sandwiches and exchange war stories from the home front. This was female bonding time. Woman time. Mother time. A time that helped the stay at home mom feel less isolated. There would be a lot of gossiping, laughing, sharing, venting, complaining and in general just some good 'ole hen cackling. The most important thing that happened during this time was something that they did not expect. Therapy.
These parties are fond memories for me. Seeing my mom and her friends looking so liberated. Being able to speak freely. Stories were being told that might not have come out in public. They were sharing tips on raising kids, yummy meals, and dare I say...keeping the husband happy. Comforting a friend who had a bad week. Getting tips and tricks in the kitchen and with the kids. Information on the latest play dates, clubs, and restaurants. Handing recipes over that had been handed down through generations. These parties were not only a great way of seeing a new product but the chance to share mom-isms and experience togetherness.
Word of mouth was the number one reason for the success of the mom parties. One mom would love a product and through WOM spread her experiences with other moms, who would in turn schedule a demonstration. There are still home parties similar to the old Tupperware type. The problem today, in my opinion, is that everyone is so busy! Two parent working households and all the extra curricular activities our children are a blessing but can also be a hindrance when trying to get together with your besties. In the time of Tupperware most households were 'father as the bread winner' and 'mother as the home maker' type deals so finding the time to organize and hold an in home party was not as challenging as it would be in the current time.
Tupperware parties were not the beginning or end of this camaraderie. It just happens to be the party I remember from my youth. You see, now I am the mom. But oh how the times have changed. The Tupperware parties of yesteryear are gone. Finding the time in our age to get together is becoming more and more challenging. In the grand scheme of things I believe that our psyches as moms are affected by not having the camaraderie and togetherness that our mothers had. We are in charge of so much everyday. Not only the child rearing, but the bread winning and bill paying, running to and from school and functions, taking care of the household and sometimes a spouse also!
Recently moving back 'home' and being closer to my lifetime friends and a good part of my family, I was needing a way to have adult conversation and mom time. I love my children, and I know most moms do, but sometimes you just really need that time. For me, scheduling an in home product review is not always a reality. Between my children being master mess makers, and my propensity for owning a lot of stuff, my house may not always be in order. My youngest may be throwing a tantrum and who knows if I even own any pimento cheese or not! (That is a must have for finger sammies! And you know it!) Coffee mornings can be a hit, but that is depending on everyones schedule. And we all know how that goes.
In the last year I have been introduced to a new 'mom community'. Of the online variety. And I have to say...I LOVE IT! I can participate at my own speed, and make time for the many live shows and discussions. Or I always have the chance to wait till the kids hit the hay and watch the prerecorded version. I am a busy mom. But I need this time. So for me new technology meets old mothering.
Twitter has been in the news lately more and more. It is becoming popular. It means change. And where there is change there is misunderstanding and resistance. A lot of people do not understand the online world. It is a way to not only keep your camaraderie and have that mom time, but it is also a way to meet moms and people in general you would maybe not have been able to run into on a regular day. It is a way for the busy world to keep in touch. It is a way to get the word out at the speed of light. There has been debate recently on whether or not social media is intrusive. I was sitting in the E.R. last night. Suffering with an allergic reaction. Unable to actually talk on the phone, and not knowing at which moment I could possibly quit breathing the first thing I could do was tweet out a quick message. I knew this message would not only reach my BFF and keep her aware of my condition but also send up a ton of prayers to the Big G in my favor. Recently Twitter has received a lot of backlash but it is the change that prompts it. I am sure when the Tupperware parties started there was a gaggle of housewives shunning the 'new age' mothers for letting strangers in their house. Eventually the new wore off and everyone fell into line. As change runs its course and something new comes along the fire moves from the thicket to the brush.
Twitter parties and site warming's have replaced the plastic storage mom gatherings. Social media in some ways may seem to have trumped social gatherings. This is not necessarily the case in my opinion. These online parties turn old fashioned word of mouth into a forest fire. One twitter party can make or break a new product. Moms in multiple states get word of awesome products, the latest news, and a new approach to an old problem. Moms are getting together in the same ways they did when discussing how to store last nights chili. We are sharing stories, comforting our friends, discussing products we love and hate, and of course sending up much needed prayers during stressful times. You do not necessarily have to get all gussied up to attend. Usually I can be found sitting in my PJ's and slippers in my favorite chair with a cup of hot cocoa or a soda. Visiting, chatting, answering questions, and sometimes winning products. The living room has remained the stage but the computer has replaced the presenter and hostess. These parties can have upwards of three dozen women all typing at the same time. Discussing a new product or different way to use an old favorite while sharing stories and having much needed adult time. Not having to leave the house or make sure everything is perfect to accommodate company. Getting tips and tricks while being at home and comfortable. Some may argue that staring at a computer, while sitting alone in your favorite chair, is taking the personal touch away from the gathering. I can tell you I personally do not feel alone. I have thirty some odd of my friends right in front of me. They just get the luxury of not seeing my white legs and worn out fuzzy slippers.
There are still products and presenters. Hosts are still an active part of the party. Gone are the worries over stressing what your guests want to snack on or if you should have put plastic wrap on your couch to prevent stains. Gone are the hassles of finding a babysitter and getting dressed up and out of the house. Our world is changing. The way moms communicate are changing. Expositions, blogger camps, and weekend retreats for the social media mothers of our time are replacing the cocktails, coffee, and in home demos of the past.
As our technology becomes smarter it forces us to adapt our lives to accommodate what some people see as an intrusion. When used in the right way and monitored closely, the ever evolving world of technology can be a good thing. Change is in the air. I am choosing to embrace it. With fond memories of my mothers world sprinkled through my childhood I look forward to hearing my children's version of our mom gatherings. Gatherings that may not have led to a house full of cackling hens but still provided the one thing they always did...therapy.
As a bread winner, SAHM, blogger, twitaholic, and generally busy woman...I will take my mom therapy where I can get it. Fuzzy slippers and all.
**Tupperware is a trade marked product of the Tupperware Products Corporation. I am in no way slandering or bringing negative attention to the product. I have quite a bit of it in my own cabinet. It is being used as a memory example from my childhood. For more information on the product visit this link.
Just a mom of two kids. Big K and Lil K. Who make me loco on a daily basis. I have a ton of other kids that call me 'YaYa'. They are my 'stray cats' as my great aunt refers to them. Once you start feeding them they won't go away...and apparently i'm a great cook!
The things I say will not always make sense. I am funny. I am sarcastic. I am educated. (Sometimes I forget this and the ghettoredneckcoonass comes out. I cannot help it. Hushitup!) I am a smartass. I do not sleep a lot. I may be off color at times. I am also harmless. You may not get my style and that is not my fault. This blog is not meant to be anything other than my thoughts. What I say belongs to me and at the end of the day...it's just words. Get over yourself. If you are offended, go away. You have been warned...