|The Confessions of a "Stage Mother"|
|Written by OHmommy|
|Monday, 28 July 2008 19:00|
Wikipedia defines a stage mother as...
"a mother of a child actor. The mother will often drive her child to auditions, make sure he or she is on the set on time, etc. The term sometimes has a negative connotation, suggesting that the individual is prone to obnoxiously demand special treatment for her child, or suggesting that the individual has placed inappropriate pressure on her child to succeed. Some believe that a stage mom is vicariously living out her own dreams through her child."
This stage mother is exhausted.
Last week, after finding child care for Jay and Fifi, I dove downtown with Lola for a "Go-See." This is where dozens of children and mothers wait around to audition for a job and meet the client face on.
I sat in the waiting room surrounded by dozens of 4 year old girls dolled up for a party and mothers in suits and stilettos. I was in jeans, tank, and cute wedge heels and Lola in a summer smock. Amidst perfection, I became a little self conscious and quickly spat on my hand, wiped Lola's chin, straightened her hair, and tried to iron out her smock with my hands.
You can spot a new stage mother by how nervous she is and the anxious tone of voice she uses with her child. While the mothers conversed with one another and compared stats, I played hide and seek in the waiting room with Lola. We have been modeling for over four years. I could care less if Lola was booked or not. I know that if she was chosen I would have an incredible amount of perspiring work ahead of me and had to find a sitter for the other two.
Lola entered the set skipping and smiling.
We never heard from our agent. The weekend went by and I thanked God we didn't get booked because I still had not gone grocery shopping, or renewed my expired drivers license, or even started to shop for our European vacation taking place in 14 days.
Phew. I had two kids in camp this week and was ready to relax a little.
Monday AFTERNOON, as I waited for Jay's camp to let out, my cell phone rang. She was chosen. "Is Lola available to shoot tomorrow?"
"What? Tomorrow, as in less than 24 hours tomorrow?" I cried to my agent. "I need to find a sitter. I need.... ohmyfreakinggoshican'tgeteverythingdoneontime are you serious?"
"Yes. So is she available?" The agent explained. I turned around and asked Lola is she felt like modeling and of course she was up for it, she loves the attention.
"Yes. I guess. What time is the shoot and what is it for?" I banged my head against the steering wheel. Trying to think of who could babysit in such short notice.
"It is for a catalog. She will be holding an item and perhaps it will on the web or perhaps in the catalog. They do not know the time yet. I am working on the details and contract right now and will email them to you as soon as I know."
At 6pm, I got an email, asking to bring along winter dresses. Oh dear God. It's July. And. I have no winter clothes that fit Lola. The kiddos were nearing that magical hour of the day where meltdowns are frequent. I grabbed the phone and started to call all of my girlfriends.
"Can you pick up Jay from camp?"
"Can you babysit Fifi all day long?"
"What did Anna wear last Christmas season? Do you have anything that is dressy, simple, and classy in the colors of red, green, white, or silver?"
"Actually, can you come HERE and babysit Fifi at home, she will nap better?"
"Hi. What did Kate wear three Christmas seasons ago when she was a size 5?"
"Are you sure you can pick up Jay. I will write a note."
My kids are screaming, I am shouting into the phone, running around trying to locate tights and hair bows, making a final list of what I need to purchase when I finally get the kids in bed for the night.
Two blessed souls dropped off last year's Christmas clothes. When the kids were finally in bed, I ran off to find winter shoes and perhaps one more dress. Babies 'R Us had Halloween costumes, but no sign of Christmas dresses. Old Navy was getting rid of all their summer dresses. Talbots Kids closed 10 minutes before 9pm. Last stop, my Target.
Target had a red corduroy jumper, winter tights, and black ballet flats. Bless you Target. They also had mini ice cream sandwiches, baby shower cards, and Windex. Oh yea, and a cute new shade of lip gloss.
This mother is tired.
It is way past my bedtime and I need to:
1. Pack one child for camp.
2. Clean and prepare the house for a good friend to come over and babysit. Thank you.
3. Pack Lola's modeling bag with clothes, bows, shoes, and tights and enough snacks and activity to keep a four year old girl happy for a full day shoot.
4. Set the alarm to shower sans kiddos and find something clean to wear.
Is it all worth it?
Kind of. It really is pretty awesome to walk pass a billboard and see your child. Every time we pass by the paint section at Home Depot we wave to Lola's ad. If you happen to find a birthday card with the picture of a cute blond girl picking her nose, let me know. If you happen to be shopping for insurance and get paperwork from an Insurance company illustrating a fake family of four with a ridiculously cute boy, let me know. The clients rarely let us in on what makes it to print.
I usually lie to friends and say that we save all of the money "for college." I will be honest with you. We use the money. We use it on all of their enrichment programs. We have one income and it would not be possible for us to afford private swim lessons, tennis, ballet, ice skating, piano, gymnastics, fancy horse camps and outdoor adventure camps.
And besides. Lola came home from horse camp in love yesterday and decided that she wanted to have a blond girl horse to ride to school everyday. Oh vey.
Is it all worth it? Yes. My kids have a wonderful life. I agree with Wikipedia, I am "vicariously living out my own dreams through my child." When I was Lola's age I spent the summer living in Austria with my parents in a halfway house/hostel, waiting for our green cards to allow us to immigrate to America.
I dreamed of riding horses. My daughter does.