This is the midweek edition of Culture Study — the newsletter from Anne Helen Petersen, which you can read about here. If you like it and want more like it in your inbox, consider subscribing. In the days after my very small Thanksgiving, I was thinking about how part of me misses the elaborate holidays, mini-vacations, and weekends of the past, when you’d throw a group of people, usually some conglomeration of friends plus their partner, in a rented house, cabin, a beach cottage, a tent, an RV, and try to figure out how to have planned fun, as a new or old friend group, away from the confines of home and work. If you’ve ever been on one of these trips, you might know that there’s always a figure that I think of as the Vacation Mom — sometimes literally, oftentimes figuratively — also known as the “Cruise Director.”
Always have been. My parents called me the little mom when I was a kid because I tried to mom my little sister. I joked I was the band mom in high school, tying everyone’s ties for them before concerts. I do all the vacation planning for our family. Even in our daily life I’m the one noticing we’re out of plates and we need to run it if we want plates for dinner.
I’m the mom, and I think that’s part of why I don’t want to be a real mom. I do enough mom-ing already and it’s exhausting.