As I sit here at the coffee shop after dropping Parker off at school, I can’t help but wonder if the other parents think that I’m “the slacker mom.” You see, as they arrived in business suits and dresses to drop off their children, I was in my running shorts, tank top and Nike hat ready to head to the gym. What got me thinking about this was that another mom was at the coffee shop this morning and asked, “are you Parker’s mom?” When I answered in the affimative, she said, “I recognized your baseball cap.” Oh dear. If this were an isolated occurrence, I wouldn’t even give it a second thought, but you see, I’m dressed like this about 90% of the time that I go to his school.
In the parenting world, the slacker mom (or dad) is the one who neither works nor is a stay at home parent. The caveat to this is that their children aren’t old enough to attend public school, so they’re paying for daycare/school. Obviously, I have more jobs than I know what to do with, but I work my own hours and I fit them in around my workout schedule, so it just happens that I’m WAY underdressed at the times that Parker gets dropped off and picked up. It also doesn’t help that I look about 20 years old with no make-up and a baseball cap. So, I’m now the slacker mom who got pregnant way too young. Great.
I find myself slipping in work references whenever I’m in conversation with the parents of Parker’s little friends so that they think I have some credibility. Of course, this isn’t always a good thing considering my line of work. For example, there’s a parent log next to the sign in sheet where parents communicate any special instructions for that day. This is what brilliant me wrote in it last week:
I’m going to be in prison where I cannot be reached by phone. Please contact my husband if you need anything.
I got no fewer than three inquiries of, “what were you doing in prison??” when I picked Parker up at the end of the day. So, here’s the bottom line – I need to work on my parenting image. It dawned on me that it’s going to be an endless parade of meet and greets over the next 17 years or so and my usual aloof self is just not going to cut it. Being an introvert definitely has it’s disadvantages. I’m breaking into a cold sweat just thinking about PTA and Booster meetings, which other parents often use to establish cliques and committees. It’s like high school, part 2. *Shudder* Maybe I can talk the Irishman into going. He’d gain points for being the involved dad and I can avoid interacting with strangers…yes, I think that is a brilliant idea!