Sex and the City sometimes leads to mommies in the city – and it does so now more than ever, with a 26 percent rise in the number of 5-year-olds in New York from 2000 to 2004 – and growing.
In addition – as everywhere – breeders are trending to stay put, close to their hip hoods post push (or likelier, C-section), instead of heading out to the ‘burbs like their parents before them. It’s both banal and a phenomenon. And being New York, it (like all banalities and phenomena) Must Be Discussed.
One place where this happens is the teeming discussion board Urban Baby ,
and you can lose yourself for hours parsing the screams and whispers of the virtual Manhattan Mother (or the San Fran or Seattle one, for that matter). That stat above comes from the long & penetrating, ahem, article on the same in New York Magazine
, which covers the Urban Baby phenomenon in plenty of detail, and uses words like ‘dark’ and ‘chilling’ and ‘class war’ a great deal.
This week, I’ve met a lot of actual Manhattan mommies and, a bit like JBJ said, grilled ‘em all.
I’ve met the glossy, great-titted wives of big banking types who seem untouched by invisible children and some, in the same sitch, who are more hands-on and ‘real’, waiting to down tools and upend wine bottles for Drinks After Work come bedtime; I’ve seen working shared parenters and single mothers getting divorced and part timers and casuals who all scramble. Heroes. I’ve overheard working mommies on street corners who ‘see him for half an hour in the morning and two hours at night – he’s my number one priority’ and I’ve cuddled cute, ice-cube-sucking babies in sunny backyard bars in Bk whose parents are trying to enjoy themselves as much as their infant will allow (I know; I’ve tried too). And I’ve blanched at the annual cost of a good, full-time nanny who (in addition to light housework) will feed your kids breakfast, bathe and pyjama them at night and, if needed, teach the 3-year-old multiplication and shape recognition to get him through the Gifted and Talented program test at the local elementary school ($40K).
In conclusion? There are no conclusions. And there can be no ‘judgement’. (That happens anonymously, and viciously, on Urban Baby). Maybe just one truth: money helps. And ok, one more: It’s probably easier in a small country in the South Pacific. The money bit is something that nobody on Urban Baby could disagree with. And that alone kind of puts a different complexion on the dating scene.
Just when it was all getting ‘dark’ and ‘chilling’, along comes Sh*tty Mom
the forthcoming book-of-the-Twitter Stream (#ShttyMom
) that celebrates doing just enough
and contains chapters giving sage advice on such modern dilemmas as How to Bounce Back After You Ask the Wrong African-American Mom Which African-American Child is Hers, whether you should Stop Texting if Another Mom Yells at Your Kid and what to do When Seeing an Infant Triggers a Mental Illness that Makes You Want to Have Another Baby. Good stuff.
Here’s one of my favourite songs for alllll the sh*tty moms out there…