Friday, August 23, 2013

Mommy Wars Smackdown - I WIN

I do my best thinking right before I go to bed, and then if I'm on my game, I remember to text it to myself before the genius departs my body forever. This time I remembered to text myself, and for that, you are welcome.

This post is intended to make light of the mommy wars. Don't take any of what follows personally. It's not an insult to anyone, and is done with the goal of raising awareness of the fact that we're so busy fighting over who is right that we are more worried about what people think OF our parenting than we are of whether we're actually making the right choices for us and our families. You know what I'm talking about, the battles constantly raging between all varieties of mothers, for every reason under the sun, stoked and poked by the media at every opportunity, making us simultaneously feel like we're doing it all wrong and like we must be doing most of it right somehow.

I'm over it. For real. Most of it is manufactured and artificial. Most of us don't go around in real life telling other moms, our friends and our foes, what they are doing wrong in our opinions. Throw in the internet and suddenly everyone has an opinion, and everyone feels compelled to express and defend it, even if it requires them for some bizarre reason to discount every other opinion in the world.

It's all bullshit.

No one wins these wars. And we all lose. Even and especially when we think we win.


I've been a mom for a while. I haven't seen a child through the teenage years yet, I haven't had to teach anyone to drive. None of my kids are dating and I don't have to worry about college or weddings or any of the stuff that will come later, but I've lived through a shitload of things that people seem to have opinions about.

So, here's what I've learned.

Planned pregnancies are great - when they work out in the time frame you want. When they don't and it takes you longer than you plan to get pregnant, something happens and you become a crazed lunatic who cries every time she sees a pregnant woman or baby and feels compelled to pee on a stick five days before you know they will be accurate. Then four days. Then the afternoon of the fourth day. And so on. Planning is great. It can also make you certifiably insane. Unplanned pregnancies are great too - once you get over the shock of it all. The oh shit I wasn't thinking this would happen but it already did and how much did I drink last weekend??? That. Not that I'd know anything about that. Nooooo.

Natural childbirth is great. I've done that. It's scary as shit when you do it without planning to, and it's ungodly painful, but if you're lucky it's over quickly. You know what else is great??? Pain meds. Fentanyl is good shit. It doesn't take the pain away, you just don't care anymore. I've had epidurals. One never worked, but one did. And thank you lord sweet baby jesus it did. I am not less of a mom because I didn't feel every millimeter of that kid exit my body. They still let me take her home from the hospital. Honest.

Breastfeeding is fabulous. I did that. Unless you are exhausted. Or stressed. Or have bleeding nipples. Or have to take an entire bottle of supplements a day just to boost your supply. Or if you are tethered to a pump 24 hours a day. Or if you have a preemie that can't figure out how to latch for six weeks. You know what else is great? Formula. Without it, my kid would have been labeled failure to thrive. Without it, one of my kids would have been in the NICU because of hypoglycemia. Without it, I would not have been able to make long roadtrips alone without stopping all the time and it taking twice as long.

Cloth diapering is awesome. I've done it too. It's environmentally friendly and the little covers are so adorable until they are covered in the explosive diarrhea of a sick kid. Then it's nasty and disgusting and you'd give anything to just throw it away, but you paid $23 for this designer cover and goddammit you are going to salvage it. You know what else is awesome??? Disposables. Especially Pampers swaddlers. I could sniff those diapers all day (before they are filled of course). I told you guys I have issues.

Making adorable little crafts to give family members is tremendously rewarding. I did that and the people oohed and ahhed. You know what isn't awesome? Glitter on your dining room floor for the following six months or paint smeared on your living room walls or clothes that got ruined or kids who eat crayons. That all sucks donkey balls.

Homeschooling is something I never anticipated doing, but did. And it was great to be the one in charge of my son learning. It was fun to help him learn when he wasn't trying to convince me all.freaking.day to play baseball instead. You know what else is great??? Him going to kindergarten so that I can pee alone for the first time in over 12 years. That's pretty fucking fantastic.

I grow a lot of my own vegetables. I would totally be the lady with backyard chickens if it was allowed. I try to buy organic food whenever possible and cook almost everything from scratch because it's super awesome to be that health conscious. You know what else is great??? Spagettios. Because sometimes the organic food that you bought at the beginning of the month totally wiped out your food budget for the month and kids don't actually care because they love spagettios.

I have a kid with ADHD who isn't medicated. I have one who is. I'm an advocate for not medicating kids who don't need it, and I'm an advocate for medicating the ones who do. It's just logic, not a reflection of the quality of someone's parenting. But whatevs. Logic bad, judgment good. Argh, argh, argh.

I have kids who aren't quirky. And that's great. I don't ever have to worry about them fitting in socially or spazzing out and freaking out their friends or being judged by other kids' parents. I have kids who are quirky too, and you know what's great about it??? Not only do I have to know them better and they have to know themselves better, but they write me stories about flying hamsters. And that's rad, even if it means that occasionally someone hyperventilates in a perfectly good department store.

I've been a SAHM. I've been a working mom. They both suck. It's not a contest, so stop acting like it is. You know who wins for the worst gig anyway??? It's not either one of those categories. It's the WAHMs. Yep, I've done that too. Holy balls, it sucks to work at home with kids...especially when they are toddlers and touch all your stuff and eat your papers and need food all.the.damn.time. They ignore you when you aren't busy but scream like dying cats when you need to make a phone call.

I could go on and on for days listing the things that we are told we have to fight about as moms. The point of this is that no one is right, we're all doing the best we can, and if we fall for the notion that we are actually supposed to give half a shit about what someone's opinion of our parenting is, we aren't doing ourselves any favors.

Do your thing, I'll do mine.

We can both trust that the other one is doing the right thing.

We cool?

Cool.

11 comments:

  1. Omg you speak so much truth. It is also so freakin funny to read. Keep it coming. People need to quit acting like they are so damn perfect. I dont give two shits to what people think about me or the way I raise my kids. If people have such righteous opinions they can pay my bills so I can care.

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  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have never been able to understand the lack of understanding and empathy between moms. But when it's there....it's the greatest thing in the world!

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  3. I'm actually crying because this is how I feel. thank you so much.

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  4. Natural childbirth was hell for me. HELL. Which is one mommy war I'm tired of fighting. For some women childbirth is glorious and they leave the hospital glowing and apparently if you aren't one of those women you suck. I love your writing. This one especially.

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  5. I freaking love you lol you just wrote all my thoughts

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  6. Sounds good to me! Everyone should be able to do what works best for them and their family. If everyone lived and raised their children in the exact same way, we would be robots and life would be meaningless!

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  7. Sounds about right :)
    I've realized the more children I have had, the less I feel "authoritative" about the "right" way to parent.
    Each child has brought me different challenges, personalities, and life stages- and what worked for one didn't work for another or what worked when I had one child wasn't so practical anymore.
    Thank you for this!

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  8. This is perfection. I've been there done it all who has time to fight, judge or give a shit?

    I just love you!

    Smooch!

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  9. I don't even have kids yet, but I see all this nonsense being thrown around all the damn time. THANK YOU for being the voice of reason! (and for defending spaghettios.)

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