The Definitive Guide to Manic Moms

Man'ic: adj. characterized by frenzy, uncontrolled by reason

Archive for Techniques

Symptom: Using “Reply All” in E-Mails

The rampant use of “Reply All” in the propogation of useless e-mails is a particular MM characteristic. Because manic mothers are endlessly trapped on a merry-go-round of social events related to their children, they constantly need to communicate with and coordinate many separate groups of people.  The result: a manic mother cybersphere filled with such pithy missives as “On my way from yoga!” or “Will bring celery next Wednesday.” 

There are several contributing factors to the prevalence of this habit: 1) an effort to be helpful by letting everyone know what’s going on, 2) a lack of awareness of the volume of e-mails that some people are dealing with, 3) a basic lack of understanding regarding e-mail etiquette. 

A better use of technology for communciation regarding large group events using these types of message would be Twitter – the status update medium.  In general however, this technology has not been adopted for these purposes.  A school auction meeting Twitter feed, for example insertmanicmothergoodcausebusy-workmeetinghere@twitter.com, could go a long way to reducing the volume of status update e-mails.

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Symptom: Using Themed Shopping Cart Seat Covers

Mothers who are stewing in the culture of maternal anxiety know that a child’s exposure to a food store shopping cart, especially the handle, is only slightly less dangerous than letting the same child play with a petri dish of Ebola virus. 

It used to be that a shopping cart seat was eyed warily or even wiped down surreptiously.  The Shopping Cart Seat Cover (SCSC) has changed the field of play. Think about this for a moment:  plush (comfortably padded), sanitary (anti-bacterial), multi-functional (multiple pockets for snacks, wipes, phoned, keys)  covers can sit in FOOD STORE CARTS for 30 or so minutes.   For a cool $20.99 the SCSC will stop any and all threats in their tracks or actually make them mobile – depending on your perspective.  For the design-minded, the covers come in Hawaiian, Silky Oriental, Black Toile and Sexy Leopard patterns.    A small price to pay for a santiary stroll through the aisles.

Actions: Responding to The Man Plan

Here’s something every manic mother knows: NEVER let a man make a child-related plan with other people.  If he does, it’s known as “The Man Plan” and includes one or more of the following elements:

1) It’s inefficient.

2) It creates a scheduling conflict.

3) It doesn’t take into account the feelings or desires of one or more children.

4) It involves having to relate way to many details to the man/men in question.

5) It makes more work for the women involved because it has to be discussed and reorganized.

There are three primary manic mom techniques for responding to a Man Plan:  

Passive aggressive polite:  Women who have to deal with a Man Plan don’t want to appear ungrateful or angry, so they tentatively mention possible problems, but claim that “it’s really not a problem” to execute the plan.  Men hear this and think “Great!” Manic mothers know this is code for “This is really a problem. Who the hell came up with this idea?” 

Pretend ignorance: This response to the man plan just ignores it completely. “Oh, I didn’t know he said that! Ha, that’s funny.  Moving right along…”

Aggressive aggressive:  “No. This way is MUCH better…”