I’m in my third year of perfecting my role as a “faux SAHM” and learning my way around the SAHM sub-culture. I pride myself on the fact that on Thursdays and Fridays, you could *almost* mistake me for a real SAHM. My Berry usually blows my cover and shows everyone “she’s not 100% like us” (but oh well, we’ll take her anyway) because nobody carries a flippin’ Berry in the iPhone/Droid/Smart Phone age unless they have to. Living life as a Double Agent means you rep for both sides – working and stay-at-home moms. To stay in character, you require a different costume depending on the day. Colleagues who’ve seen me SAHM’ing it without makeup and in my play clothes are horrified. My SAHM friends marvel at my Business Mouse getup.
If you work full time, there are all sorts of secret “goings on” that occur during office hours. I have enjoyed being introduced to and partaking in these rituals as I masquerade as a SAHM. The real SAHMs that I hang with are great teachers who found me a fast learner and willing participant. There ain’t no business like this Mothering business and I have bonded with some bona fide domestic engineers who have shown me the ropes.
SAHM Ritual #1: Ride Home Playdate Trade
I am a big fan of the ride home playdate. My SAHM friends introduced me to this nifty rite where your child goes home with a friend after preschool and you pick them up in the late afternoon, whenever your younger napping child gets up. The next week, you reciprocate. We have several of these setups and it never gets old.
SAHM Ritual #2: One, Two, Three: Synchronize!
My daughter’s activities, outside of four days of preschool, are gymnastics, dance and swim. In this scenario, you coordinate with other moms in your preschool to enroll in the same activity at the same time. Genius! One of you can take and the other can pick up or you can swap roundtrips each week. Whatever works. I find that this extends my reach and I really can be two places at one time! Another bonus is that I can schedule activities for my SAHM days and leave the weekends open for sleeping in and playing outside.
SAHM Ritual #3: You Scratch My Back, I’ll Scratch Yours
On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays I’m on an airplane or Uptown in the office. Inevitably, there are times when I need a mom to pinch hit for me and pick up my child or keep them for a few hours.
Likewise, I return the favor on Thursdays or Fridays when they need a place to drop off their child for a few hours. Co-parenting at its finest!
Props to my SAHM friend for giving me the inside scoop so I don’t feel like a poser. High fives to Double Agent Estridge, Double Agent Burbank and Double Agent Cory who rep for both sides. Are y’all picking up what I’m putting down?