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Living in Stepford

July 26th, 2010 at 11:23 am

Disclaimer: this is mostly not financial in nature, and absolutely peppered with off the cuff sarcasm.

My oldest son starts kindergarden next month, and I'm nervous about starting at a new school with new parents and teachers, and not only because not everyone appreciates my dry humor and generally sarcastic nature.

I'm the only working mom in our neighborhood.

Our town is very...traditional. Stepford, Mad Men, Neil Armstrong on the Moon traditional. We don't have a gym or YMCA - we have a tennis club. We don't have sewers because "that's how the government gets into your house." (Actual quote) We don't have an ice cream shop or dry cleaner because it is "too industrial." Everyone uses last names.

At kindergarten orientation, the PTA co-president (we also have a co-secretary and a co-treasurer..?) told the assembled parents, "I know many of you moms are busy with your other children, sports programs and volunteer activities...(and then in a hushed voice) some of you may even work...!"

All of the school functions and meetings have been scheduled during normal business hours -which has been difficult to manage when both parents work. All the sports activities are scheduled for weekday mornings between 9:30 and 11:30 -impossible for us to manage.

I've already had a difficult time connecting with the other mothers. I know there are parents who have made some pretty interesting assumptions about our lifestyle and values based on what they perceive of our family...and it irks me. I am too tired to deal with this ridiculous "Mommy Wars" mentality.

I want to say to these people, "Look. What's important is that the kids grow up into responsible, caring adults with a love of life and learning. Who cares if you make tollhouse cookies while I'm arguing a motion? Your kids are going to turn into adults with dependancy issues, and my kids are going to be underemployed with multiple piercings and bad taste in music. Let's work together with what we've got!"

Also, I would like to go in to the Principal's office and say, "If you don't stop scheduling every freaking thing for a time between the hours of 9 and 2, I am going to be a giant boil on your backside for as long as my kids go to your school."

(For the record, I am not going to do either of those things.)

I am hopeful that we'll be able to make some new friends this year, and that my son's mohawk grows out before the start of the school year. Because if it doesn't, I have no chance of ever fitting in in Stepford.

9 Responses to “Living in Stepford”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    LOL, great post. I absolutely sympathize. I live in a very liberal, fairly cosmpolitan area (Minneapolis), but my family structure (three-person marriage) makes everyone else look Stepford-traditional. So I'm quietly worried about what will happen when our child (eventually children) gets to school age. I just don't want to feel like an outsider, don't want my kid(s) to either. I am tied in a way to living in liberal areas because I don't want my family to be in danger in any way, but even in liberal areas I feel we'll stick out/confuse people quite a bit.

  2. north georgia gal Says:

    Great Post! I completely understand! I remembner when I went to church regularly, all of the bible studies and women's activities were planned for 9:00 am. As a working person, of course I didn't make it. But they seemd to look down on me for not being able to come.

  3. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Wow, that's really weird. How big an area is like this? Is it a small isolated town near a big city? Just hard for me to imagine a place like that in this day and age. Do you have any kind of choice right now in where you live and send your kids to school?

  4. momcents Says:

    Let it go ... nothing matters except that you are comfortable with the decisions you have made for your family. I've gotten to be good friends with a stay-at-home dad (talk about really atypical for our neighborhood) who is just like one of the moms. I'm talking complete role reversal to the point that his wife pays all of the bills and is never at any kid function or party and some of the other moms have had rude comments about his emotional investment and involvement in all activities (hell, he headed up the kindergarten scrapbook project and had a decorative scissor collection that any scrapper would be jealous of.)

  5. baselle Says:

    Well, keep on posting... if you'd like, develop some sort of secret writing tic (or safe word) so that when you are caught & get converted into being a Stepford wife we can figure it out...

    Seriously, this town sounds like a bigger version of high school, mean girls and everything. Blegh! Big Grin

  6. whitestripe Says:

    That sucks. Personally I would grab hold tightly of your, shall we say, 'differentness' Big Grin and don't ever let it go! Your children will be better off for it and able to think for themselves in the future, not follow the masses like sheep, nor hold archaic views on family structures. It's possible there are a few families out there that are likeminded, I would say they probably lay low in a town like yours! Hopefully they come out of the woodwork soon. Starting some kind of campaign (or even just complaining a little bit) about the activity times would definately perk up some ears.

  7. jewels3 Says:

    Seriously, I would move. Life is too short to put up with people like that.

  8. SnoopyCool Says:

    Been there, done that. I work at home with two smaller children and often can't make functions, PTA meetings (scheduled at 2pm!?!), etc. However, our life works for us so too bad for them!

  9. MomEsq Says:

    You guys are great! Sometimes it's just nice to know that we're not completely crazy -and that there are other families and people who appreciate the great things about being a little different. Smile
    Our town is a suburb of Worcester, Massachusetts -a mid sized city about an hour and a half from Boston. There are also a lot of great things about where we live: it's beautiful, quiet and safe; the school is a top performer; and I like the fact that we can participate meaningfully in town government (we have a town meeting system).

    If I take up tennis or start baking casserole, I'll let you know!!

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