Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Reply For The Alpha Mom

I have been thinking about the wonderful comment you left in reply to A View From The Non-Alpha Male.

At the end of your comment you asked: "Why are people so quick to judge."

I said that the Register-Guard article rubbed me the wrong way then did not articulate the reasons. I just went ahead as any bully would do and just put in that I would like to vandalize your house. My reaction was more to the article than it was to you so, maybe I should just puke on it. (it went into the recycle bin like all the other old papers)

From the article I perceived you as being someone who feels as successful as a parent as she felt at her career. Careers and parenting are, as I am sure you well know, completely different areas; not even comparable. The article suggested that you have pulled this parenting thing off with the help of technology and the ability to make play dough (Do you have a recipe for this? Is it edible?). This is why I judged you the way I did, that you commented the way you did, so early in the morning, makes me doubt my judgement.
To feel successful or even to have the appearance of being a successful parent is one that many parents covet. The marketing companies and diaper fabricators and the television companies know that and want to exploit it so that they can continue to be profitable. In my small family I have found that there is nothing that anyone can sell me that will make me feel on top of things. In fact technology tends to limit those precious parenting moments when you ...(gotta change a diaper) say " ahhh all is right with the world lets sing Khumbayah. " (We really did sing that yesterday)

Once you feel like you have a handle on things the rules change. One year Dr. Sears tells you that everything is fine and don't worry about your 6 month old's cough; then suddenly you are sitting in the principles office wondering why your 4th grader mouthed off to the teacher. (That happened; not with the same kid. There is nothing that can really prepare a person for parenting, I agree that some things can make it easier on a person: foolhardiness, confidence, a relaxed attitude, (yes the house is a wreck; but hey my kids are happy), someplace to get away from the house and relax (a good meditation hall works well for me).

With two kids at the ages of 1 and 4 (Same as mine) I am sure that you know quite well what I am talking about.

1 comment:

alpha mom said...

Okay, first off--yes the play doe is edible. My daughter made it black and my son proceeded to poop black for a few nights afterward. He thinks it's delicious I guess.
It's very easy and we make a fresh batch every few months. If you put it in a sealed tight container it last much longer than store playdoe. Here's the recipe:
4 cups flour
1 cup salt
4 cups water
4 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup cream of tartar (Market of choice sells this in the bulk section)
Mix everything in a saucepan and stir over low/medium heat until completely formed and is no longer sticky. Allow to cool(ish) and then add food coloring. The color gets deeper the next day so don't worry if it's not a deep saturated color at first.
I pre measure everything and have my 4 year old combine it all in a large bowl before I put it on the stove. When it's ready she put in the color. This a a great rainy day project. (can you tell I art directed for Nickelodeon for years! I used to make HUGE batches of green slime for them).

Second, thanks for the response. I'm torn because I just came up with this word as a brand name for my friend, Isabel Kallman's, company and I'm really happy it's in the lexicon and people are talking about it. That means I did a good job. I don't even mind the negative comments because I figure that's just part of floating ideas out there into the greater either...everyone has a unique perspective and it's fun and informative to hear them. But I am saddened that the media seems to have buried my ideas about the moms who inspired Alpha Mom (who, BTW, is the primary caregiver and CAN be dad)in favor of pushing their own product driven agenda.
This concept was never meant to polarize moms (or dads), there's enough of that already. I truely think that a sense of humor, some elbow grease and a can-do attitude is the recipe for a better life.
For me the Alpha Mom in every parent comes out when you make (not buy) your kid's halloween costume, you burn your own CD's of amazing music for your kids to listen to in the car, you get inspired to paint a dino mural in thier bedroom, you grow a vegetable garden and enjoy the bounty or throw the best damn pirate tea party this side of Penzance. AND you use these moments to share and learn about your kid-- and yourself through them.
Don't get me wrong. Unlike you, I do have a weakness for the shopping. But because I do not have a big budget I include creativity and resourcefulness in Alpha Mom attributes. I often see cool stuff that I think "I could make that" or how can I get that effect on a budget? I'm a big fan of thrifting, hand me downs and Target. Eugene is cram packed with creative parents doing their own thing. I salute them.

The oddest thing for me is that the people who seem to bother to respond, like yourself, are so thoughtful and clever and witty and I think, "You, yes YOU are the very model of the sort people that inspired me..people with strong passionate voices". I hoped that instead of being pitted against one another we could stand united as a new breed of progressive parent.
Blah, blah..I gotta get some sleep.
But thanks for the feedback and the update. It was a pleasure.