Is this the new normal….

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

     We all know that motherhood today is quite different from motherhood in the good old days. Moms today are way more involved.   On paper, it seems like this is a good thing. We take interest. We pay attention. We know what are kids are doing in school and afterwards. Over the years, we co-ordinate teams of experts pretty much from "mommy and me" to "college counselors"   to make sure that the kids have a talent in something, can swim and play sports, never fail a class and get into college. 

   The term is helicopter mom. I don't think that I am one of them but I certainly have to stay on top of everything that the minors in my home are doing, tell them what to do most of the time and yell about stuff a lot.  Maybe I am hovering a bit but it is too late to stop now. We are almost at the finish line.  Over the next three years, G-D willing, both of my kids will get accepted to college (in another city)  and I can be pretty much done.  Sure I'll have to fund their lives, but not continue to manage their lives, right? 

   When I went to college, my parents drove me up, dropped off my stuff in my dorm room and then headed to their hotel bar for some celebratory cocktails. I'm sure that they were toasting each other to something like  "one down, one to go".  I did not want them to unpack or decorate my dorm room and they did not offer.  I wanted them to leave town and let me start my life.   Obviously I depended on them for the rest of college for financial support (and once in a while advice) but they were not involved in my day-to-day operations during my University years or anytime after that.

Mug from nordstrom

    These days, it appears that the helicopter moms don't land when their kids go off to college. In fact, they seem way too involved.  According to my research, which mostly consists of the reading of Facebook posts of my friends, mothers today not only drop their kids off at college on the first day, they must help them decorate their dorm rooms so that they look Pinterest worthy. This does not appear to be a one shot deal either. Some of my friends move their kids into their new digs every single year of college and help them decorate.  Huh? I don't think that my parents even saw where I lived after my sophomore year at college. They just kept sending checks. It was the perfect arrangement. 

    Then there are the weekends visiting. Not just once a year. These parents are heading into college towns for multiple visits per school year. I love my folks but I specifically recall that when they did visit, it seriously put a crimp in my style.  Sure the annual visits which included some fancy meals and some shoe shopping were great but I was happy when they hightailed it back home so I could continue with my college life.  And it was not just me. I don't ever remember any of my roommates or sorority sisters getting more than one visit a year from anyone in their families, if that. 

     Another friend whose son is a college freshman bragged that her son and she text all day long.    I think that it is great that they communicate but isn't he supposed to be making friends and learning how to play beer pong. If he wanted to talk to his mom all day, maybe he should have saved her the $60,000 a year (this is a true figure) and gone to community college. 

     Even worse, a Facebook friend of mine posted photos of herself  at her daughter's law school orientation.  I went to law school and I don't remember ever meeting (or even hearing about) anyone's parents unless they were hiring law clerks. Is my friend going to sneak into court for her first trial? Will she yell at the Judge if he rules against her baby?  Let's hope not.

    Another friend's son recently got accepted to college. This was exciting news because he did not always seem to be the college-bound type. I called her up to tell her how jealous I was that she was done with the college planning and  to say "Mazel Tov! Congrats! You did it! The bird is leaving the nest!" Instead of being excited she is already fretting about what she is going to line up for him after college. "What is he going to do for the rest of his life?", she cried.   

    Seriously, isn't that what kids are supposed to figure out in college.   

* I reserve the right to delete this post in the very near future when my sons become college bound!


Is there a term for this?

Saturday, April 4, 2015

         I was once a working mother. A super busy trial lawyer one. I sometimes left the house before my baby woke up and got home after he went to sleep, so I was also a very-guilty-feeling-working mother.

   After I found out that my live-in-nanny was pretty much a crazy person, I instantly quit my career and I was then a stay-at- home mother. I was all in. In one fell swoop, I went from carrying a briefcase to pushing a double stroller around every single mall in South Florida during the especially hot and rainy summer of 2000 to keep the three of us from going crazy.
t-shirt available at

   I then became a hybrid of the two. I work out of my house.

    I deal with all of the stay-at-home mother stuff like doing a million loads of laundry (per week!), cooking, carpooling, homework,  being on the PTA, class projects, extra-curricular activities, attending teacher conferences and school events,  finding SAT tutors, and on and on and on and on.

    I also have two paying jobs and write this blog (for free) and do all three from my home office which happens to be located in my bedroom.   I've had a successful eBay consignment business for over ten years and a couple of years ago I started do some freelance trial consulting for a few attorneys that I know.  

    It would probably be easier to just hire a live in housekeeper and go back to work full time. I'm sure that getting a job outside the home would be more lucrative than to do all three of these other jobs at home.  

    I really do like being a stay-at-home mother though. I like the flexibility of being able to be present for the fun stuff that happens during the work day like events at school but more importantly, I need to be around when things are not going well like when someone needs to go to the doctor or needs mommy to make grilled cheese for lunch when a bad cold hits. With my kids now teenagers, I  think being around to make sure everyone is keeping in check is also not a bad idea. 

   However, when you work out of your house, no one else thinks that you are really that busy.  Everyone from my friends, to the other PTA  moms, to my very own large extended family, seems to forget  that I am working during the day. While you would never call a business executive during the day to ask him to drop what he was doing to help you out at the book fair because three mom's canceled, it seems to happen to me on a regular basis. 

    Can we coin a new term for me that will tell everyone that I actually work during the day, especially during school hours? I will print it up on business cards under my name.  "Work-at-home mother" sounds too much like "stay-at-home mother". "Domestic Engineer" is a fancy name for a housewife.  Please help as I am stumped.

Make a little extra cash...

Thursday, April 2, 2015

I used to try to write these types of posts on a regular basis, but I've been so busy selling on eBay that I have not had time to blog very much. I started to compose posts on how to start selling on eBay but they are not complete yet. Check back soon.

In the meantime, these are items that I recently sold in my two ebay "stores".   These are things that you may have piled up around the house and are considering donating.  STOP! You may have cash in those closets.  Many of my consignment clients think that I can only sell high end designer goods for them, but this is not necessarily true. Sure, a Chanel handbag will bring in the big bucks, but common items, when in demand, can bring in some mad money.

For example, I sold two pairs of my own old 
FitFlop Sandals this month for over $50 each. They were in good condition, but they were not new.

That's 100 bucks to buy new shoes! 

This cool vintage Ralph Lauren belt was in the "donate" pile of one of my clients. It sold for $80


Another client is moving and digging in to the depths of their clutter and pulled this gem out. This looked like a high school graduation present from the 70's. It was never used. It quickly sold for $67! 

A friend's kid loves Lego sets. He builds them once and then leaves them around the house for adults to step on. I now sell them for him. Even incomplete sets like this one bring in decent money… It sold for $100 and his feet are much happier.

My point here is that sometimes even unglamorous items sell for decent money. 

I've been an eBay Top-Rated Seller since 2000. I sell on consignment. If you live in South Florida and are interested in consigning items with me, e-mail me at
My eBay "stores" are SouthBeachChic and CasaChic

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