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And Now, a Pleasant Mom PSA

A dangerous, moronic habit brought to light.

Texting while driving is like mentally going through your grocery list while you’re having sex.

It’s like filing your nails at a wake. It’s like applying lipliner as you state your wedding vows. What I’m saying is, some things are meant to be done on their own.

And speaking as The Pleasant Mom, let me say I’ve come to realize it’s particularly important for moms to release the blackberry vice-grip and focus solely on driving. Not because children learn from our example and before we know it they will be behind the wheel. Not because they’d rather us talk to them about their day then scroll through our Facebook live-feed one more time. And not because as moms we should be able to recognize more than anyone the precarious value of human life. No, because when you text and drive as a mom YOU ARE A TOTAL HORRIBLE SUBURBAN MOM CLICHE COME TO LIFE.

I recently figured out that people can see you in your car (I’m kind of spacey). I’ll admit I veer toward Clicheville if you catch me at the wrong moment behind the wheel. With my iced coffee and my snacktraps and my GPS and my radio and my arms reaching for that dropped toy—I fancy myself some sort of Mother Octopus who is taking care of business at every spare moment. In reality, I’m a danger to myself and others.  

And let me tell you something about octopi. People don’t generally like them. They are creepy and overbearing and suction-y. Have you ever heard someone refer to Octomom in a flattering manner?

My conclusion with all this car multi-tasking madness? At best someone is judging me as an invertebrate and at worst I am seconds away from taking someone’s loved one from this world forever.

I don’t think most people can go to the second one in their minds because it’s utterly unthinkable—so I’m hoping it will stick if we go with the fear of social shunning: let them judge me for my screaming kids, with their messy faces and their tangled hair, for my braless PJ attire and scratched sunglasses—but please, don’t let them think of me as a “mom-driver.”

That’s why from now on I’m putting my phone deep in my purse where I can’t reach it as long as I am in the car. Please join me fellow two-armed, one-brained mothers and others with backbones! Because it turns out by promising to put down the phone every time we drive we can accomplish two things at once: saving lives and saving ourselves.

Gail Burlakoff August 19, 2011 at 02:26 PM
Maggie, this is great! Thanks! I love your column/blog/whatever it's called...and have fond memories of you and your girls at "Here We Are Together" at the library. Keep on being who you are--a terrific Pleasant Mom! :-)
Maggie Rogers October 25, 2011 at 11:32 PM
Gail I just saw this lovely comment - thank you, it made my day! We miss Ms. Gail!

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