Welcome to One Busy Momma! The Blog for Busy Moms by one Busy Mom.....

Welcome to my blog. One Busy Momma is my space to rant about my life and the things that happen in it. I have a crazy life - and instead of focusing on the crazy - I like to focus on the funny. Because if I focused on the craziness - well, I'd have been shipped off to an institution long, long ago. And while, I'll admit, there are some days when being institutionalized sounds PRETTY GOOD compared to making ANOTHER diorama at 1am - I'd rather be right where I am - in my messy house with my not so perfect kids making crooked dioramas in the middle of the night.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Mommy Wars!

So - I get this 911 voice mail and email from Fifi today. She is in an all-out LATHER because "The Emperor's birthday" is coming up and he wants a "bug cake", ("The Emperor" is her son) and Fifi - baker EXTRAORDINAIRRE - cannot figure out how to decorate this cake. This is Fifi we're talking about. The woman who can simultaneously arrange a party for 250 on a yacht off the coast of Santa Barbara, manage international travel for a group of 12 persnickity high rollers, coordinate every aspect of the opening of a new branch in Vegas WHILE training a new assistant. Fifi who has also taken pastry and baking classes in France at whatever the hell that famous pastry school in France is - La Snotty Snooty Snootery de la Pattiserrie. I think that's what it's called. Or maybe Le Cordon Bleu - come to think of it - I think that's the actual name of the place. Anyway - I digress. So here she is - on her way to work this morning, all lathered up about - a bug cake. For a child's birthday party. At Chuck-E-Cheese.

So, like the bestest friend in the whole world that I am - I solve her problem immediately. I say: "Um, why not do what I do and let the BAKER at the BAKERY solve this problem for you?" I shout BAKER and BAKERY at her like she is my 99-year old grandmother. Slowly and very, very LOUDLY. I did not expect her to embrace this suggestion. I expected her to say something like: "Margs - I am Fifi - baker extraordinairre! I do not know of this establishment you speak of - what is a bakery? I am a much better baker than all of the bakers in the Santa Monica area. I am classically trained and my baking puts them all to shame."

Her response was rather shocking. She said, and I quote: "Clearly YOU have not been a working mom for as long as I have, and you do not yet have the guilt of not being there for every school function, every after school activity, every fundraiser, nor do you have the overwhelming need to prove yourself to the Stay at Home moms. All of this will come in due time, young Padawan. Just you wait. So you see, this bug cake HAS TO BE PERFECT, and every child at this party has to think, "I wish my mom could make a cool cake like that.", so that I get a little bit of cred in my favor before the school year starts and I slip into bad working mom decline. Remember - it's NEVER just about the cake."

Hmmmm. So, my Fifi will be spending the weekend with sheets and tubes of fondant and experimenting with all sorts of creepy, crawly creations to decorate the Emperor's cake - which, I have absolutely NO doubt, will be the BEST damned bug cake Santa Monica will have EVER seen. I also have no doubt that Fifi will return to work on Monday with a ruined manicure, hands dyed the color of dirty dish water and circles the size of saucers under her eyes - but that cake will look amazing.

And all of this leaves me with a kind of sad feeling in the pit of my stomach. Why are we STILL fighting the Mommy Wars? In the past 2 or 3 years, so many moms have had to go back to work because of this crappy economy. Jobs and entire industries that were once secure and sure bets have gone up in smoke. Our nation is teetering on the edge of another Great Depression and you mean to tell me that there are STILL women out there who look DOWN on those of us who are out there bringing home the bacon and then busting our asses to get home so that we can fry it up in the pan? Seriously?

Look - there is nothing wrong with staying home with the kids. I did it for many, many years. And I loved it...most days. It's hard, hard work. I'd say that it's harder than many of the jobs that I've ever had! It's certainly the MOST IMPORTANT job that I've ever had - and it still is. But many, many women do not have the luxury of having the choice to stay home with their kids. And there are some women out there who - GASP - don't want to!!! DUM-DUM-DUM!!! Newsflash - that doesn't make them crappy mothers. It makes them human.

I just think that it's sad that someone like Fifi - who is brilliant at what she does, has a million other talents and gifts and - oh by the way- is a kick-ass mother - feels like she has to turn into the freaking Cake Boss to prove something to the Stay at Home moms in her son's school community. It sucks - yet it's reality.

I remember freaking out right before walking out to do a MILLION DOLLAR sales presentation this past March. Why, are you asking, was the Busy Momma freaking out? Was she nervous about the BIGGEST presentation of her entire career? Nope - I mean I was nervous about it - but I wasn't freaking out about it. No - I was freaking out because it was the third grader's day to host the Lenten Bake Sale for charity and as I was not home the night before to bake anything - PC did what any normal, rational male would do - he went to Safeway, bought a box of Ding Dongs, threw them in Bella's book bag and called it a day.

Bella's contribution to the Bake Sale was a box of Ding Dongs.

Ding Dongs.

Here's the problem - we don't hand in premade things like Ding Dongs. Or, shall I say, before I went back to work, we NEVER handed in things like Ding Dongs for the bake sale. Only Moms who didn't care handed in thoughtless things like Ding Dongs. I mean any DING DONG can run to Safeway and get a thing of Ding Dongs, right? We handed in homemade cupcakes with tyedyed icing, or witch cupcakes or other such projects that kept me up into the wee small hours of the morning trying to out do the other moms. For what? What prize did I EVER get for staying up all night long to make 75 cupcakes with little edible daisies on them?

So I'm just as guilty as Fifi in this arena. But here is the question that I pose to you - loyal readers: Are the Mommy Wars real? Do you think anyone looked at Bella's box of Ding Dongs and thought: "Oh look - poor Bella. Her Mom WORKS. She doesn't have time to bake for the bake sale. Wonder what else she doesn't have time for?"  Do you think anyone at The Emperor's birthday party would look at a bakery cake and think: "Oh look - Fifi went to the BAKERY. Well of course, she WORKS - what would you expect?" Do we put this pressure on ourselves?


  1. For the record, I gave each of my kids a whole box of whole Dunkin Donuts for that bake sale. Did I feel like a sub par Mom? Absolutely not. I thought I was flippin brilliant because KIDS LOVE THAT SHIT. And they did. There was a veritable blood bath when the kids lined up to buy the greatest NON-HOMEMADE donuts ever as they were all vying for the same one. I just threw back my head and did my best "muahahahahahahahaha!" Because kids don't really care if something is homemade or not - if the thing fell on the floor and it was sweet and sugary, they'd still pick it up and scarf it down, right? The Moms are the only ones that scrutinize this stuff. Which is total b.s. I have long extracted myself from that rat race doll. And it feels. so. good. Don't drink the cool-aid FiFi. Realize you are doing great every single day.

  2. You are SO right! I called Mrs. BE in a panic and you know what she told me - she said: "Let me tell you a secret. All of the homemade stuff sells last. The Ring Dings and Ding Dongs go first - they sell like HOT CAKES! That's what the kids want. So relax and focus on the stuff that really matters." That is why I LOVE that lady!!!!

  3. I think all the other Moms will look at the ding dongs, smack their foreheads and say, "Brillant!, why did I stay up till midnight making these stupid cupcakes?" I'm with KSpot on this one (she's my baby sis, I taught her well.)