“Worst mom ever.”
“Bad mom alert”
“Mom of the year.”
Have you said these words? Usually followed with a smile or a laugh to a friend who “gets it.”
I’ve only been in the mom club for a little over 11 months and as I am exposed to more mom culture, I notice, and am guilty of, the self deprecating humor of being a parent.
The sarcastic classic line of “Mom of the year” to warn friends that you realize giving your child a cardboard box to play with while you finish the last 20 heart wrenching minutes of Grey’s Anatomy is not included in the good parenting book… but you do it anyway… and you’ve done it countless other times. And you’ll do it again.
That example is from me. Yesterday, to be exact.
Today at the gym a friend said to me “I am so burnt out of my kids that I am not even going to pick them up after class, I’m just going to go to the cafe and get a coffee until their 2 hours at the daycare is over. I’m such a shitty mom.”
Yesterday at the grocery store a 2(ish) year old was crying because he didn’t want to be in the cart. His mom smiled at me and said “Mom fail.”
Last week a stranger I follow on Snapchat took a picture of herself drinking a glass of wine at 2pm on a Monday with her child playing with toys in the background and captioned it “bad mom alert.”
I don’t get it.
Nobody said these sassy little comments with 100% truth. I know. We all get that she’s not actually a shitty mom, or a bad mom, or a failing mom. And she doesn’t actually think it either. But why is it NORMAL to say something so deprecating, so… totally unfair and mean about ourselves to excuse something that is totally and utterly NORMAL? Maybe that’s why we’re saying it in the first place. We want some comradery… to feel normal at times when we feel out of our minds? We might be looking for permission…?
Permission. That’s it.
To leave your kid in daycare extra long because you want to drink coffee in peace.
To require your wild child to remain in the seat of the cart at the grocery store, despite a small tantrum.
To know it’s okay to drink a glass of wine at 2pm if you’re having a rough day… or if you’re having a good day… or if it’s daytime… or nighttime… or any time.
To not have a bandaid in your purse when your kid skins is knee.
To let your child entertain himself while you finish whatever you are doing.
To not have lost the baby weight yet.
Or to have lost it all really fast.
To not shower today.
To not wash the nasty buggers off you kids nose because he will freak out and you don’t want to fight him today.
To be the hot mess mom you are.
We all are. I have yet to meet a mom who has all her shit together. There will always be the mom who is more organized, skinnier, cleaner… than you. She will make you think twice about how well you’re doing. She wakes up early to clean her oven #No. She stays up late to organize the kids playroom #No. She folds fitted sheets… #FuckNo.
But she isn’t perfect. And neither are you. We don’t need to be so self deprecating that we actually call ourselves failures. Or make another mom second guess how well she’s doing. What good does that do?
I know, it’s not on purpose. We are smiling and laughing it off, right? I get it.
But the girl that called herself a shitty mom at the gym for not picking her kids up right away after class… you made me wonder if I, too, was a shitty mom when I did the same thing the day before.
The mom at the grocery store, when I saw you I thought, “wow, she’s sticking to her guns. Good for her. That looks hard.” But when you turned to me and said “mom fail” it made me wonder if people actually view that as a mom fail… will they view things I do like that as a fail, too?
The snapchat friend that said “bad mom alert” for having a glass of wine at 2pm while her daughter played on the floor, you made me second guess all the times I’ve done that exact same thing and made me wonder if people actually thought I was being a bad mom for doing it.
What you’re doing… as far as I’m concerned… is NORMAL. It’s OKAY! Do not apologize. You don’t need permission. You do you, girl! Take advantage of the childcare. Stick to your guns in the grocery store. And pour a glass of wine in the middle of the day. I’m not judging you. YOU DESERVE IT. And frankly, your not so perfect lifestyle makes me want to be friends with you.
So please, quit fucking saying you suck. You don’t suck. I don’t suck. None of suck. We are not failures. We are not bad moms. We are fucking awesome.