Mom Life Hacks To Help You Cut Through People’s Crap – Scary Mommy

Mom Life Hacks To Help You Cut Through People’s Crap

So the other day an administrator from my daughter’s school (where I’m a class mom) offered me the job of chairing the annual fund committee for 1st grade. I politely thanked her for thinking of me, but declined her offer. I’ve been down that volunteer highway-to-hell road, and frankly, I ain’t got time for that.

Giving birth to my now 6-year-old daughter in my forties has given me the ability to cut to the chase. There are things worth doing (like speed-eating Doritos while binge-watching Orange Is the New Black, whiling away the hours shopping in the local Bermuda triangle land of Target, and plucking the gray hairs out of your eyebrows) and then there is stuff that will eat your kishkes out if you let it. So, in the interest of saving your sanity, I’m happy to share a few hacks that I’ve learned along the way.

Trumping Annoying Customer Service People

Your child is starting up a rollicking game of “Mommy, find my socks,” and while you are willing to “play” (which, let’s be clear, really means yelling “find them yourself”), you first have to figure out why the doctor charged you double for an office visit, or explain to a clueless rep why you will not be paying for the calls to Guyana on your phone bill.

Sure the person you are speaking with might be speaking to you from a call center located further than you will ever travel in your life, and/or may have the passive aggressive instincts of a spurned ex-lover (“hold, please”…cue insultingly loud elevator music that whispers a big fuck you in your ear over and over again). Guess what? They don’t hold all the power. You do. Simply say, “I want to speak to the manager.” If they argue, repeat it, over and over and over (you know, like how your child asks “Are we there yet?” every five minutes of a car ride). Once the manager gets on, tell him/her the story and use the word “unacceptable” liberally. Trust me: you will get what you need and fast.

Disgusted With Getting Dissed?

You know how it goes: During a play date (also known as moms drinking wine together while their kids run amok), one of you complains about how it’s so exhausting shopping for the right tutu for her precious snowflake and the other one makes a rude comment. So, if you are the one getting dissed, before you break your wine glass off at the stem and enact a suburban mom’s version of West Side Story, listen up.

Here is my tactic (learned from a former boss I like to call Elizabitch) for salvaging the play date and your self-esteem without losing your shit:

Unless the mom who made the comment is the “Queen Bee Mom,” ignore her. Just act like she never said anything and continue on with the conversation, focusing your attention on the other moms. Do not engage. However, if the person accosting you is the leader of the group, you MUST hold your ground. If you can’t argue back in a way that would make Socrates proud (and really, who can?), just look at her with a sort of exhausted mien and say “Whatever” in a bored tone. Repeat as necessary. Then change the conversation.

If she gets all up in your face, then respond with wonder (as in, I wonder why she is such a lunatic?) and walk away from the situation. Later, do not (DO NOT) rehash with your friends. Take a cue from Elsa and just “Let It Go!” You will save precious time and energy by not bothering with that nonsense.

Beat Gift-Wrapping Woes

When it comes to birthday parties, I’m all about buying a cool gift for the kid. But that’s where it ends. You want that crap gift-wrapped? Hell, no! I think gift-wrapping is a complete waste of my time. (And I suck at it.) Besides, just imagine what you could do with those days, months, and years you’ve spent applying stick-on-tape to those oddly-shaped gift boxes (and the ends never stay down). It’s a form of mom slavery I don’t buy into, and neither should you.

All you need to do is find a local Barnes & Noble. If you sign up for the B&N gift card, you get free gift-wrapping. Or find another store that wraps up those presents for you all fancy, especially when they do that thing with the ribbon and the scissors that if I did it would look like I took a shaver to my daughter’s paper mâché project.

Get Out of My Space

Don’t you hate it when someone in public broaches your personal space (and the place isn’t crowded)? I have a little trick I do that keeps all those subway and bus space moochers out of my way, and you should try it, too. When someone is standing so close to me that they can measure my bra cup size (and seem about to), I make space for myself very quickly by coughing, sniffling, fake sneezing and creating phantom phlegm.

Added bonus: I get to stay where I am and it’s kept me out of uncomfortable conversations with creepy strangers (I don’t have to say anything to get them to move away – which they do, often with a look of disgust on their part). It works especially well during flu season.

The Door Grab

I get it. Your hubby or partner wants some sexy time, and scheduling that is like planning for a visit from President Obama (what with security details and traffic control – and that’s just for the kids). Want to save time, get the job done, and make him feel like the stud he imagines he once was (you know, before marriage, kids, and you)?

Wait for one of those nights he is working late. Get your kid (or kids) to bed, take a shower, put on your cutest lingerie (or who am I kidding, softest t-shirt) and the minute he walks through the door, grab him and jump him for a guilt-free quickie. Don’t be an idiot and let him know that you planned the seduction. He’ll feel so desired that he’ll think kindly of you for days, and you’ll be done in time to binge-watch Odd Mom Out on Bravo.

Like I said, as a midlife mom, my time is valuable. And, whether you are a midlife mom or not, so is yours.

So follow my advice, sweet bitches!

Because time waits for no mom.

Estelle Erasmus is an author and widely-published former magazine editor-in-chief who writes about a journalist’s transformative journey raising a young child in midlife on her award-winning blog Musings on Motherhood & Midlife. You can also follow her on Twitter.