We live in a rather upper-middle-class area in the Mid-Atlantic region. It’s my strong opinion that the pressures surrounding parenthood–and motherhood in particular–are relentless, and in my community most of the mothers are trying to constantly out-mom one another.
The pressure starts before pregnancy even begins, with the deification of motherhood as some lofty, selfless achievement that gets its own holiday, complete with guilt resulting from a potentially complicated relationship with your own mother and your constant review of your own parenting choices.
Social media makes everything so much worse, because moms simultaneously can edit the imperfection from their lives and judge others.
My children are in elementary school, and it’s a great community with a ton of involved parents. I always help when I’m asked, but I’ve never volunteered to be a room mom or taken on any leadership position with our PTO. I think the people who do are great and selfless, because from what I understand it’s a lot like herding cats.
Because we live in the Mid-Atlantic region, we shockingly experience winter weather during the winter months, including snow, ice and sleet. For some inexplicable reason, the school doesn’t build snow days into the calendar. If the district cancels school, that day is made up at the end of the school year. Early dismissals and morning delays are a bit of a better choice, because the school administration has a lot more flexibility when it comes to making up work that’s missed.
We’ve got walloped with a lot of snowstorms over the past few years. (I know! I know! Global warming doesn’t exist!) But every time there is a hint of snow in the forecast, a group of women get positively rabid and aren’t satisfied until there is (a) plowable snow that results in (b) one or more snow days. On Facebook there are a number of similar photos from different people that show up in my feed:
- Children wearing their pajamas inside out
- Flashback to previous winters’ shenanigans, including snowmen and snowforts
- Multiple weather models of the upcoming event, from international satellites that more often than not don’t agree
- Best sledding hills
The posts are all the same: Making Memories! Cherish Every Moment! Here’s How to Keep Snowballs Frozen All Year Round!
The underlying assumption is you’re a better mom if you want your children to be at home with you during winter months–summer vacation isn’t enough–crafting and baking and doing loads and loads of laundry.
And lo, this past weekend, the Snow Gods appeased the Rabid Mamas and granted a season’s worth of snow in 24 hours. The mamas complained that it was over a weekend but again, the Snow Gods looked down on them and found favor. School was cancelled Monday and I just got the text that it’s closed tomorrow, too.
But! The Rabid Mamas are beginning to turn on the Snow Gods. Apparently, there are no more memories to be made after one snow day. There is nothing else left to be cherished. The Facebook posts are starting to complain about spring break being shortened. The sweet offspring whose pajamas were inside out now have cabin fever and are about to kill one another. There are not enough sad emojis to replace all the manic winter emojis.
I like winter just as much as the next person, but my children and I thrive on routine. Even if storms hit on a weekend, lots of things are thrown out of whack, and my house isn’t exactly comfortable until a predictable pattern reasserts itself again. Nine months of school helps instill a routine, and no amount of crafting or Monopoly is going to bring that back until the classrooms open again.