Keeping Up with Mama Jones-Classic SWM

Putting it into perspective after a fairly restful weekend, I can now see that last week I took on a bit too much all in the name of “perfect parenting” or trying to “keep up with the Jones’s”.  I rest assured knowing that I am not alone in this feat, as perhaps some of you can relate to the feeling of pressure mounting as the Halloween decor went up on other houses lining your streets.  Maybe sales on Halloween candy were calling your name, even though you knew not when you’d have the time to purchase one bag, and of course, there are the numerous Halloween carnivals in various localities shouting, “Bring me your child or else they will never forgive you for not allowing them to play games for prizes worth pennies and hard, expired delicious candy!”  Many of these situations were looming over me as days passed on, which turned into weeks, up until the weekend before the spooky holiday arrived.

Happy, the Pumpkin
Happy, the Pumpkin

However, I managed to fit it all in, and make homemade pumpkin soup and oatmeal cookies to boot.  Really?  Are you SERIOUS?  Of course I am. By the hairs on my chinny-chin-chin and the skin of my teeth, darnit, I did it!  Here’s how, just in case you were wonderin’:

  • Thank you, Internet! I bought Maycee’s Spanish Dancer costume online from Wholesalers for only $25 including shipping, and it was delivered in plenty of time, leaving me a full ten days to spare before Fright Night.
  • Last Saturday after baking cookies and a full day at the ranch I managed to get us home and fed in time for Maycee to put on her costume for the October Family Fun Fest in town, and we also took her little neighbor-buddy.  It was worth it because she won First Place for “prettiest costume” in her age group and got a purple snake with a witch hat.  What deserving little treater doesn’t want one of those?!?
  • Sunday I attempted to work hard in the yard, only to receive a phone call that our horse had collapsed.  The power trimmer unplugged and went in the patio room as I ran inside and told Maycee to put on her boots ASAP.  She whimpered, “But, what about going to the pumpkin patch and decorating for Halloween?”
  • Never fear, once at the ranch we found our horse standing, and she seemed okay. We turned her out to pasture for an hour, while yes, folks, we went to the pumpkin patch and loaded up!  It was the last day of the sale (we go to the same patch every year farmed by a local school), and they were practically giving away the carveable squashes.
  • Back to the ranch we went to check on Fancy, call the vet to set up an appointment for Monday morning, put on her horsey jammies, and feed grain.
  • Finally home at the Yellow Submarine around 7:00PM Maycee took care of the pets while I put on dinner and proceeded to run outside just before total darkness and pull out the Halloween decorations from the spider-infested shed.  Decorating began! Then, the heater went out.  Blasted and Burrrrrrrrrr!
  • We met the vet early Monday morning (Fancy was diagnosed with severe spinal arthritis and edema, boo and double boo).  During my lunch hours on Monday and Tuesday I hit the grocery store to purchase candy, cider, and Halloween goodie bags for her classmates and scheduled the heater repair guy.  Tuesday night I wrapped 30 goodie bags filled with Blow Pops, Candy Sticks, Spooky toys, and Halloween pencils.
  • Wednesday I brought home-made pumpkin soup for me and the other office girls to have for lunch.  YUM!  Oh, and I met the heater repair guy and got the heater fixed (thank the Heater Gods). Wednesday night, at 9:15PM, the pumpkin got carved.  Only Maycee’s and not mine, but I had to draw the line somewhere, har-d-har-har. And, Mama Jones, I’m sorry to say I did NOT roast pumpkin seeds. Well, shoot! I did, however, finish decorating the house in the wee hours of the night.
  • TRICK-OR-TREAT!  By Thursday, I was exausted but completely prepared for All Hallow’s Eve.  I made bean ‘n’ cheese burritos for dinner, Maycee’s favorite and super quick, had the candy ready to be passed out by 6:30, and Maycee dressed and ready to go with her friends-this included red nail polish to match her dress.  I neven somehow managed to find my black kitty ears and tail and painted whiskers on my face.  Of course, we only had 6 trick-or-treaters for me to “Meow” at, which was strange.
  • The kids made bank on the candy…neighbors literally gave them handfuls because of the low turnout of people. I joined up with Maycee and the others about 45 minutes after realizing no more “trickers” were going to show up and had a nice nighttime walk as we completed the rounds.
  • By 8:30 the kids were ready for cider and cookies, which I proudly had warmed up in advance, and our house was cozy thanks to the fine heater repair accomplished.

Mama Jones-eat your heart out.

Maycee in the Middle
Maycee in the Middle

After it was all over, and over at lightening speed it was….I got to pondering why we, as good little mommies and daddies, feel the need to kill ourselves to make “all the right things” happen?  Is it not wanting to hear the complaints or the sadness coming from our kids’ mouths?  Is it the fear of not being as “cool” as the other families or wanting to be the coolest?  Is it to retain some sort of tradition, which is important and seems to be lacking in our part of the world a lot of the time? For me, is it because I don’t want to fall short as a single mom when compared to families where both parents participate?  Is it simply because we are crazy?  I don’t know….some of all of it is my guess.  And, I could’ve bought the pumpkins at the store and skipped the cookie and soup making along with the 30 goodie bags for school. I could’ve told Maycee to wear one of her old costumes, or heaven forbid, put one together from scratch considering all of the surrounding turmoil of the week.  I could’ve given up and cried “UNCLE!” and surrendered to my aching limbs and overloaded brain full of batwings and witch’s brew.  I could’ve boycotted decorating and cider purchasing and dressing up as a black cat for JUST ONE YEAR.   I could have…but you know what I know for sure?

That wouldn’t have been me, and I would’ve been disappointed.

No disappointment here!  $5 worth of harvest fun!
No disappointment here! $5 worth of harvest fun!

Life is short, Readers.  We need to put down the tailgate, kick up our feet, spill the beans, and chuckle our sugar-high heads off.  What tell-tales of “Keeping Up with Mama Jones” do you have to share?




Author: singleworkingmomswm

I love to write, and I love raising my daughter. The two combined have prompted me to create a blog about being a single working mom. Life's a trip, and I tend to take the windy roads.

6 thoughts on “Keeping Up with Mama Jones-Classic SWM”

  1. I had to give up trying to keep up with Mama Jones a few years ago when my health took a turn for the worse. But before that I volunteered in their classrooms at least once a week, went on every field trip, threw Hallowe’en, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter and huge birthday parties while working part time and trying to appease my ex-husband. I remember those days. Some days I honestly miss them, then I remember the stress and I’m glad they’re behind me.

  2. Good gravy, Kasey! I’m tired reading this, and still I can relate. Oh, so many times I’ve tried to keep up with this mom (with a maid and endless money) here and that mom (with the talents of Martha Stewart that doesn’t work/homeschool her children) there. It’s easy to forget that, as moms, we are all doing the best we can. I don’t know what baggage (of guilt), if any, they carry. It really doesn’t matter because my job is to look into the eyes of my children and create memories with them by doing the things that matter to them and to me. No one else.
    Like you, I tend to go overboard to create memories for me and my children. I’m not talking financially, though I got caught in that web for a bit; I’m talking the same laundry list you just detailed. It’s the wanting the perfect cookies, and the harvest festival, and the pot of mulled cider, and friends, and … It’s the wanting those times that, when our children are grown and flown, they look back and say, “Thanks…do you remember when…?”

    Maycee is a mighty lucky girl, Kasey; she got you, a single mom with the super powers of 20 moms. Thanks for getting my wheels going. Time for me to do an inventory check on my motives before the holidays really get busy.

    Much love to you and Maycee and saying prayers for sweet Fancy. XOXO, TM

    1. Ha, ha….you crack me up, Valentine! After Maycee was born and while her dad and I were still married, his family used to have TONS of parties for this birthday, that anniversary, holidays, etc. My mom NEVER attended one. Her attitude: At my age, I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to! I’ve never forgotten the first time she said that to me, and now, having turned 40, especially, where it is applies I use it. When it comes to Maycee, though, I give every single ounce I have or don’t have, usually whether I want to or not, and I’m clear and okay with that! XOXO-Kasey

  3. Boy can I relate! That’s partially why I’m reading this blog so late!! “Mama Jones eat your heart out.” I love it! And I too do it to avoid my own disappointment. We only want for them to have the bestest of experiences so we push ourselves. For me it was Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies and interestingly enough in New York not nearly as many trick-or-treators as usual ……hmm. We had rain but still. On to the next….off, rushing & running to make a big party for my newly aged 15 yr old boy….always on to the next and hopefully taking some time in-between to breathe and chuckle as you say, my friend. Keep smiling. One task, one day at a time. xoxox NY

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