“I LOVE PACIFIERS. I said it. It is how I sleep trained my kid and is the reason I am here today and did not hang myself with a rope made of pacifiers the first three months of my child’s life.”
I thought I’d be cool. Laugh as my baby screeched and head-butt me, as I strained to get him in the car seat. Laugh as he threw freshly pureed organic peas and zucchini in my face. Laugh as he pooped in my hand on the changing table. Well, actually that one I did laugh because at that point, the bar is just so low. But I realize I mostly just kind of storm around the house picking up dirty laundry and throwing things in the sink whilst shooting death stares into the back (and front) of my husband’s head. (I’m not a cool wife anymore either.)
I thought I’d be chill yet high-functioning. Laid back yet efficient. Relaxed yet organized. I’d play in the mud with the kid and wave to the mailman. “Take it easy!” I’d holler. I am not those things. For example: Please tell me there is a secret to changing the sheet of a crib with a bumper without wanting to punch someone. I mean, I pull the mattress up, and the bumper slides down, and I change the sheet, then it gets stuck in mattress death grip. I end up sweating like a prized pig, ripping the whole bumper off and yelling at one of the cats. I get unusually worked up during this process. I storm back into the living room as if I’ve just repaved the driveway and roll my eyes at my husband when he asks, “What the hell were you doing in there?” because I’ve decided he wouldn’t be able to change a crib sheet and reattach a bumper if his life depended on it. Yes. I said a bumper. Nobody freak-out. It’s a breathable mesh bumper, and I continue to use it because A) the baby has gotten a limb stuck more than once and B) it helps keep the pacifiers in the crib and not on the floor. And nobody call me a “pacifier mom.” Because motherhood is some weird fake competition, and I’ve actually had that hurled at me as an insult. Calm down. I LOVE PACIFIERS. I said it. It is how I sleep trained my kid and is the reason I am here today and did not hang myself with a rope made of pacifiers the first three months of my child’s life.
Pacifier mom. Christ on a crutch.
A few “You’re a Good Mom” mantras have been making their way around the internet, and they make me cry. And that fact makes me cry again. We have to take it to Facebook with memes to let women know they’re good moms? I didn’t pay attention when the term “mommy wars” became a thing because I was far from being a mommy, and I guess I was convinced if I became one, it wouldn’t be a thing in my life. But just like the patriarchy, becoming a mom and becoming an object of criticism is engrained into our society.
“I thought I’d be chill yet high-functioning. Laid back yet efficient. Relaxed yet organized.”
I’m not a super mom. I don’t know anything about being a mother. I don’t know how to juggle a job, a husband, a baby, laundry, dishes, daily nourishment, and keeping toilet paper stocked in the house without making mistakes. I’m freaking out daily that I’m not molding my boy into a proper human. He hits himself in the head with his fist! Do you realize how much that makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong? How can we do this to each other? How can your momming need to be compared with my momming, and why would you condescend me? And for the record, nothing anyone else says can make me feel worse about myself than I already do when I do something wrong.
I’m not a cool mom. I’m not a cool wife. And I most definitely am not as cool as you. Aren’t we all on the same team? Or are you going to pretend being a parent isn’t hard? I happen to know for a fact that you can post a billion adorable shots of your baby on Instagram while suffering from debilitating post-partum depression. I don’t want to pretend it’s not hard. So if being a cool mom means attending every school function without batting an eye, or doing cross-fit with your baby on your back, or pointing out things I do as wrong because they’re not how you do them, then fine- take it.
The good news is, as of this very moment (mark it down!,) I am relinquishing myself of any negative mommy comments that come my way. I hereby announce that I don’t give a shit what you think. If you’ve ever found yourself on the receiving end of unsolicited parenting advice that made you doubt yourself, I suggest you do the same.
I’m not a cool mom, and I don’t want to be.
“I don’t know anything about being a mother. I don’t know how to juggle a job, a husband, a baby, laundry, dishes, daily nourishment, and keeping toilet paper stocked in the house without making mistakes.”