Will the Real Mrs. James Please Stand Up?



Have you ever noticed that there are women out there who were born to be grown ups.  They always seem to know what they’re doing; they know everything that’s going on in the neighborhood, or at school.  They usually volunteer for everything, like class mom, cafeteria monitor, or field trip volunteer.  Everyone knows them as Mrs. So and So.  They seem to have it all together.  Well I’m embarrassed to admit that I am not one of those women.  I’m not sure if I ever will be. But I find the older I get, the more I covet the skills required to fill those shoes.

When I was younger, my mother, and all the mothers I knew seemed to possess those skills.  It was what they did.  They got married, had kids, became moms, stayed at home, and became Mrs. So and So’s.  Their roles were so clearly defined; they didn’t think outside the box.  But then came the next generation of mom’s; the working mom, and roles changed, identities changed, and women didn’t want to wear aprons over their carefully pressed dresses, while pouring their husbands an evening cocktail.  Women wanted to be independent, liberal, divorced (if need be).  They didn’t want to Mrs. Anybody, they wanted to be Ms. Somebody, or better yet, just call me by my first name.

Somehow the formality of being a mom shifted into an unknown gear, and expectations were as out of fashion as that evening cocktail with the hubby.  When I was growing up, I didn’t think much about calling my friends moms by their last name, but when I entered my twenties, it seemed a little too formal.  What was the big deal calling someone by their first name?  And as I partied my way through my twenties and into my thirties I grew into a much more relaxed person (maybe a little too relaxed).

As my friends started to have children, I insisted they call me by my first name.  I knew when I had children I wanted to be the ‘cool mom’.  I thought I would be the kind of mom that would have lots of boys, and have all the children at my house.  I wanted to pull my kids out of school, and travel the globe with them.  I used to roll my eyes when my sister wanted her kids in bed by a certain time.  And why can’t you have ice cream for dinner?

Then I had kids…I could probably stop here, but I won’t.  I ended up having two boys, and a girl.  Let’s just say, if they could bottle the energy of boys, we would have no need for fossil fuels.  As for all those extra children in my house,  No Way!  And bedtime, well that’s just the nectar of the gods, and ice cream is for dessert, on special occasions, not including a school night.  I would still like to take my children around the globe, but only if I can be properly medicated.

As I’m learning the do’s and don’ts of motherhood, I still don’t feel like one of ‘those’ mom’s.  I hear my kids calling their friends parents by their first name, and I cringe.  I’m not the class mom, the cafeteria mom, or even the field trip mom.  I have, however, mastered: the disorganized mom, the late mom, and the non-showered look mom.  And when I forget to wear that apron, I then become the food stained mom.  When my husband gets home from work, I’m asking him to pour me that cocktail, and I’m guzzling it down while throwing together some kind of meat paste disguised as dinner.

I have these fantasies of the future where I’m in my sons school helping out and everybody knows my name, and I’m always the first to arrive.  My hair is neat, my clothes are clean, and I’m carrying freshly baked goods, that I made myself.  My children are well behaved, and their manners are impeccable.  And by 7pm, all three wee ones are soundly tucked in their beds, while I’m pouring my husband that long overdue evening cocktail, and we sit together in our his and hers chairs and discuss our day like two real adults would…

Anne Taintor

Anne Taintor

Then, off in the distance, I’m pulled from my reverie, back into reality and I  hear this loud question ringing in my head, “Will the real Mrs. James please stand up?”  I look left, I look right, then I look straight ahead.  Where is the real Mrs. James?

She’s still stuck somewhere between being almost on time, and just about out of cocktail mix.

by Jean James Reposted courtesy of   http://www.inthepowderroom.com

4 thoughts on “Will the Real Mrs. James Please Stand Up?

  1. “if they could bottle the energy of boys, we would have no need for fossil fuels.”—What a fabulous line!

    I used to think I had to do everything, and then I learned that’s not possible. When my kids were younger, I helped out quite a bit at their school. I don’t that much anymore, and I’ll admit I feel guilty about it. I have such admiration for those mothers that give up so much of their time putting together school functions. They are really amazing people, and I’m awed by what they pull off (fall festivals, auctions, etc.) That’s part of my problem–I feel so less skilled than them!

    • Now that my youngest is in Kindergarten I find it a bit easier to attend some of the school functions, but when I do it’s always the same people there, ALL the time. I think parent guilt is worse than Catholic guilt. But I guess in the end it all works out. Thanks

  2. I think the real Mrs. James is pretty awesome. Just the way she is. Anyone who says they know exactly who they are, ever- cannot be trusted, and is quite frankly, a bit boring. 🙂

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