I Want A ‘MOM’s Club’ (alternate title: God Help My New PTA)

I took my eldest to Kindergarten today. While the emotions are ravaging my mind and soul tonight, I can’t help but exhale a bit.

He did great. He seems great. Life moves on.

So while the Mom in me grapples with time passing and children growing, the woman in me is rather pissed off.

Expectations are killing me.

As most of you know, I work.

I work like millions of Americans and like millions of other mothers and fathers.

What is making me angry, and what I can’t wrap my head around tonight, is why my parenting expectations are so much higher than my husband’s.

He works, too.

But there are special ‘clubs’ at school for Dads, catering to ‘finding opportunities for father’s to participate’ in school functions. Me? It’s just expected.

So there I was, signing up for a few volunteer positions (because if I didn’t god only knows what doom it would spell for my child or our future at a brand new school) and my husband is afforded the luxury of ‘Dads Club.’

Which, mind you, he nearly skipped signing up for because…you know…he works.

I realize there are larger things at work here like society and culture and biological predispositions…but stay with me.

As a thinking person I realize that regardless of work, I need to be involved in my child’s school. It’s not convenient. I have a million other things to do, but ‘work’ is not an excuse to get out of it.

The only thing that makes this even slightly manageable – I work from home. What about the millions of mothers who leave the house to work daily? Who punch a clock? And is my work diminished because I DO work from home?

You just work from home…you can come sell cookies and help organize the fundraiser.

Why are all these working women expected to participate, while their male counterparts are given a pass? Or a special fucking club, like if they show up they are already 10 steps ahead of any other working father on the planet.

Reminds me of the Dads (of which my husband is one) that actually change diapers and give baths and suck out snot with the bulb thingy. You’d think they had walked on water from all the praise they received for participating in their child’s life.

Every time I think we’ve made progress, I am confronted with the reality of our society expecting everything of  women when it comes to raising children. Nevermind there is another capable adult in the mix.

Oh, that guy? Yes well, he works.

No one thinks anything of raising an eyebrow if I dare text on my blackberry while sitting at a school function, yet those same no ones don’t even glance when the guy in the suit gets a call during Kindergarten RoundUp and he spends 3 minutes whispering into his cell.

Obviously, he’s a guy. In a suit. It MUST be very important.

Me? Oh you know, not much at all. Just feeling like not paying attention to my child’s teacher momentarily to do something as UNimportant as reply to Barack Obama and John McCain’s staff.

It has nothing to do with gender roles or societal norms. It has everything to do with being a parent.

Which is why, at my very first PTA meeting, I just might have to ask for a MOM’s Club. You know, to find those ‘opportunities’ for involvement in my child’s education.

Or maybe I’ll just sign up for the Dad’s Club.

School’s in session.

Spoiled, Not Stupid

BlogHer ’08 squees have faded and hundreds of powerful women bloggers are now back home with their families.

Companies are furiously entering new email addresses into their databases and I am going through the three totebags filled with everything from gift cards for photo prints to thumb drives to toys for my children.

I’m used to it.

I’m not impressed.

I’m spoiled by the big stuff. The video game sytems and the hottest electronics. The humidfiers and the loaner hybrid SUV’s.

I’m spoiled.

But while I revel in my swag, I fully realize these ‘gifts’ are bribes.

I’m not stupid.

The assumption that I am, pisses me off.

Just like any business, some people will act professionally and some will not.

Just like any friendship, some people will latch on to a person to use them and some will not.

I’m not stupid.

There is an assumption floating around the internet that we silly mommybloggers have no idea how to handle all this ‘fame’ and ‘fortune.’

We are taking free stuff and not being transparent when we write about it. We’re taking free stuff and thumbing our noses at any offering that isn’t the best and most expensive.

I’m not stupid.

I’m wondering if the tech bloggers were all called spoiled when they started getting the new notebooks via UPS. I’m wondering if the fashion writers were called spoiled when new designers sent over their spring lines. I’m wondering if any publishing site, anywhere, at anytime, for any reason was called ‘spoiled’ when they were sent the ‘newest’ or the ‘latest’ or the ‘most recent innovation.’

I’m not stupid.

It might make some of these larger names or sites or companies uncomfortable that this Mom of two in her PJ’s, drinking her morning coffee, conducts the business of blogging from her laptop while the rest of the industry toils.

I’m not stupid.

I’ve spent 3 years now wondering why you didn’t take me seriously. Annoyed you refused to acknowledge the revolution occurring. Pissed off I had to jump up and down screaming to have you notice me. Then, while being called spoiled, I realize something;

We do it better. We do it easier. We do it on our terms.

You are jealous.

I’m not stupid.

Hate. Criticize. Do whatever makes you feel better. I’m going to conduct the business of mommyblogging. The best of my community will continue to rise, the less transparent will fall. The typical cycle of any new medium will play itself out from rockstar, front page headlines to being replaced with the next best thing.

I’m not stupid.

And while it all plays out, my spoiled self will have paid some bills, met some amazing people, engaged in some unreal opportunities, all while you called me spoiled in my oversaturated market.

I’m not stupid.

I will also continue to do what I do, WHY I do it- for this hobby that became a business, but was always about my friends, my life, and my community.

I’m not stupid.

Spoiled…but not stupid.

Obama, Me, And BlogHer’s Questions

My exclusive sit-down with Senator Barack Obama for BlogHer.com

Senator Barack Obama & Erin Kotecki Vest -Yes ME!

Senator Barack Obama and Erin Kotecki Vest of BlogHer.com

Senator Barack Obama answered the questions drafted by the BlogHer community in an exclusive, one-on-one, video interview in Roseburg, Oregon.

More to come-check BlogHer for the video as I travel from Eugene, Oregon home to Los Angeles.

Thank you Senator Obama!