Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Manic Mommies ‘Escape’ Helps Moms Chill . . . for Two Days Anyway

Harried moms descended upon Newport, Rhode Island this past weekend for the first “Manic Mommies Escape” event, organized and hosted by the Boston area podcasting duo, Erin Kane and Kristin Brandt. The weekend featured low-keyed seminars on everything from tips on how to make healthy meals your kids will actually eat (I bought a “meal make-over” cookbook in the hopes of getting some new ideas on how to get my brood to eat more than pasta, though I admit I’m a serious skeptic) and tips on how to balance your life, to the witheringly sarcastic, spot-on humor of stand-up comedian Dena Blizzard. (For a snippet of her routine from the Manic Mommies weekend, click here.)

During one of the sessions -- dubbed “Mom U.” -- I spoke with three different groups of engaged moms about my book (A Suburban Mom: Notes from the Asylum). And what I found was that – thank God – I’m not the only one who wishes more moms would be honest with one another about their imperfect lives (nary a perfect “Desperate Housewives” mother among us) and I wasn't alone in longing for today’s moms to be more accepting (instead of judgmental) of one another’s varying parenting styles. It was refreshing to meet flesh-and-blood women who agreed with the contention that we, as parents, need to seriously chill the heck out.

. . . Speaking of chilling out, at the school bus stop this morning, my neighbor reminded me that Hanukkah is horrifyingly early this year (starts Dec. 5) . . . just after we finished dishing about the proximity of Thanksgiving (IN ONE WEEK PEOPLE!) when The Spouse and I will host his family . . . and any chillin’ mojo I got from spending a weekend in Newport during the “Escape” with my buddy Gayle just went right outta me.

Erin and Kristin have posted a podcast recorded during one of the weekend sessions as well as a blog entry about the event on their web site. Heather Kempskie, Parents and Kids editor, has likewise blogged about her experiences there.

While driving home from the “Escape” on Sunday, I made one vow: I need to make it a point to spend more grown-up time – without the kiddos – with my gal pals. Many of the women with whom I spoke throughout the weekend said that they oftentimes find it difficult to coordinate a time to get together with their friends, particularly with their kids participating in a bazillion, non-stop activities. That, my friends, has got to stop. If husbands can find time for basketball leagues, softball leagues, fantasy football leagues, poker nights and golf outings (note that I’m not naming any names here), certainly wives can make some time to do something fun for themselves as well, and, no, grocery shopping does not constitute “fun.”

Now, if only I could squeeze in a gals’ movie night, in between Thanksgiving prep, Christmas shopping, Hanukkah, work and Christmas card preparations . . .


michellewaite1 said...

I am reading your book. I heard about it while listening to Manic Mommies. I just love it. I thought my kids were members of some terrorist training group, the way they (especially the younger) seem to live to destroy our house. They now seem quite mild compared to the things your kids have done. I also have a new appreciation of moms of twins. I cannot imagine two trying destroy the house while I go to the bathroom.
Thank you for writing so honestly about you kids and parenting. It is funny and re-assuring that I am not going crazy (yet)
I have to say that I loved your stuff on sleep problems. I have found a "sleep solution" for my three year old and he now goes to sleep at 6:00 and sleeps through the night. All my friends are jealous. I am thinking about writing a book about my technique and having it published so I can earn some money for their college. I wrote on my blog one time about the sleep problems when we were having them over the summer and I said that I hate all books about "sleep solutions" and how I wanted to load them all up in my back yard and burn them. One person e-mailed me back and told the name of her "sleep book". She must not have read the post well or she would have known that it would just be kindling for my back yard bon fire. I do remember that the book had something to do with a "no cry method" and that does not exist in my house. My kids embrace "all cry all the time" life approach.

Mum2smiley boys said...

Just listened to the podcast and it sounded like so much fun!