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July 22, 2008

The intensity of being me

CoffeeI sipped my overpriced coffee while sitting at a table in the middle of the bookstore cafe, a modest stack of trashy magazines in front of me. All the kids home with their daddy. My little camp out on a busy Friday night. I logged onto Twitter – just to prove to my friends I could tweet beyond domestic life. I'm in Borders! People watching, catching up with the antics of Brad and Angelina!

All was well until she walked past my table.

“You're so calm!” Acquaintance said as she breezed on by. Talk about Hit and Run; I doubt she noticed my mouth drop open in shock. If I had a mouthful of sugary sweet drink, I'm sure I would've sprayed it over all the magazines.

I immediately went into Hyper-Internal Reflection Mode:

What did she mean? I'm not calm? Why!?! How could she say that about me? The nerve!

I stewed for the rest of the night and the next day too. How am I not a relaxed mom? I know I tend to bark orders like a drill Sargent. I repeat myself too. No one could accuse me of being inattentive of what my kids are up to. They're young. Two are boys – 8 and 6 years – and lots of time I feel more like a referee than their mom. The youngest at 3 is a tornado of energy. Give me a minute and I can think of a reason why my 10 year old keeps me on my toes too. Home schooling can be intense if I let myself worry what critical family members may be thinking. Driving at rush hour on Route 78. Watching CNN. There is an election in November that needs my vote and my refrigerator wants cleaning.

Okay, I admit it – I'm not naturally serene, but really, who is nowadays?  Being a mom is an intense job. Duh.

You know what, Acquaintance-in-Borders-Cafe? I'm going to embrace the non-calm mom that I am. Yeah, that's it – and I'm going to improve on her word choice too. I'm intense, passionate. I'm a red-haired, Irish, New Jersey mama lion ready to pounce.

I'm not calm, I'm intense – unless I'm hanging out in a bookstore without my kids. Then apparently my mommy-intenseness is on sleep mode.

An original New Jersey Mom Blog post. Monica's personal blog is Paper Bridges, where she writes relaxing prose regarding life as a home schooling mom with a fondness for books.

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