It’s been happening for years now. This mythical pedestal we have put the perfect mom on. We all see her differently. Either we aspire to be like her or we violently revolt against her. Putting her there to lash out against it. It’s weird. We see the moms with their pennants at birthday parties and chalkboard signs and we either a) start pinning that shit like it’s hot or we b) start droning on about how “unrealistic” that is. It’s so played out. I’m just tired of it. Some people like crafting…why are we fighting about this?
So either we get a battle of who has the best birthday party (and the posts making fun of said people and moms feeling like they suck) or we get a battle of who can go the longest without showering like it’s some gat damn mommy merit badge system of marytring. “Oh you don’t wear makeup for drop off, well I haven’t washed these yoga pants in 2 weeks”. Congrats? Why is this a thing? Did you just level up in some mommy video game I’m not aware of?
While I think moms trying to put on a show for everyone else no matter what the cost to the family is wrong, the cheerleading for giving EVERYTHING to your kids is just absurd. If you are wondering why I am ranty, it’s this viral video going around. I get the sentiment. I do. I applaud American Greetings for an awesome campaign but it’s a little hyperbolic, yes? Yes. We have all had sleepless nights. Yes. We have been subject to having to serve everyone’s food before ours for a period of time. But the line that rubbed me the wrong way was
“If you have a life, we ask that you give that up.”
::record scratch:: Once again, hyperbole to make a marketing point. I get it but I see this too much already with moms not thinking they are “mom enough”. YOU ARE A WOMAN, NOT JUST A MOTHER. Dear new insecure mom, please don’t strive for a selfless life like this. The list of stuff makes motherhood sound dreadful…and in my case unrealistic. This build up of mom’s who aren’t taking care of themselves is just as unhealthy as these photoshopped models. Now we play the “well I give more to my kids because I never sit down” game? No thanks. I will take care of myself and my family as a unit. No mighty pedestal for me, I suppose.
And this is a pretty big smack in the face to dads and other care givers. I guess they are just babysitting so you can do the dishes? Pretty sure most dads I know are taking on night duty with a baby or wiping off puke from the couch for the 3rd time too. Guess they figured adding “You will be utterly alone with no help” explicitly to their fake job description went a little too far but it came across like that to me. And what about working moms? This basically says there is no way I am carrying for my kid fully if I am at work 40 of those weekly hours, right? Fuck that.
Before we swiss cheese the hell out of my rant with exception cases (military moms, single moms, etc), I still think it is important to take care of you. That might not be going to get a pedicure or hell, going grocery shopping alone but teaching your kids to be independent and the value of other people’s time is something that should be strived for as well. Be it the “ring of neglect” (exersaucer) so you can read this blog post or just decreeing “quiet time” in the afternoons, raising kids who need you and only you for every thing in their lives isn’t the smartest decision in the long run. Those kids are fucking annoying later on…don’t make those kids.
So by all means, go buy your mom a freaking card. I am not against that in the least but do yourself a favor, moms, and be kind to yourself. You don’t HAVE to play cars EVERY time. You don’t have to be the only person making sippy cups. You don’t have to be the only gender at the PTA meeting. It’s ok to play Candy Crush on your phone and block out the rest of the world for some sanity. It’s ok to talk to other adults in the presence of children (and them not interrupt you). It’s ok to stay in the shower 5 more minutes just for the quiet. We are always mothers by nature but aren’t we still humans too? Stop the mommy martyr race. Oh…and go wash your pants.