I am so tired of “Mommy Wars”–thinly veiled attempts to demonstrate uber-female status and validate one’s worth at the expense of your sister down the street. It’s like some outmoded mating ritual. Wanted: male who values puffy ankles and ability to open stroller one-handed to share mini-van.
If you work, you’re heartless and non-nurturing; if you stay home, you’re unskilled and needy. If you don’t breastfeed, you’re denying your child all that is good and holy. If you do breastfeed one day past the socially-acceptable 1 year point, you are twisted and sentencing your child to a lifetime of therapy. And if you don’t have children, well, clearly you are sub-human.
Yawn. I count it among the small miracles in my life that my children are alive and functioning. I have been lectured on my choices from pain management during childbirth and not breastfeeding my (adopted) son to writing my children’s thank-you notes, and the proper application of sunscreen.
I see the sneers and hear the tsk-tsks at dinner as one child screams with hands over ears that he will not go to the bathroom–the flushing may be too loud, and the other cowers in the corner in mortal fear that the grapes on his brother’s plate might sprout legs and march like Hitler into Poland onto his plate. Or, as I see it, a typical Tuesday night.
The “experts” (almost always men) are fabulous about totaling our inadequacies, but women are far, far worse. No conversation on the playground is really looking for a viewpoint on pacifiers, it’s a size-up, plain and simple. And Facebook is a perfect platform for projecting your most ideal/unreal self and daring others to top it. It’s far more pernicious than airbrushing a swimsuit model.
Here’s my FB post in honor of Mother’s Day: I concede the Mommy War. I sometimes really suck as a mom and human being. I go full-out Tiger Mother at times on grades, art projects, and piano practice and at others can barely muster interest to proofread the book report. I hate Hobby Lobby with a white-hot intensity. My kids have been to McDonald’s. They have tasted the forbidden nectar of Sprite. They have been subjected to restaurant high chairs and have licked the Target shopping cart. They play video games, watch TV, and torpedo down the driveway on a skateboard head-first. I have passed off a cheese stick and stale tortilla as lunch. They don’t have scrapbooks chronicling their every bowel movement, and leprechauns don’t wreak havoc on St Patrick’s Day in the Milhizer house. I have clearly missed the mark for the ideal.
And yet, they live. And they are smart and funny despite it all. I even got a poem extolling my virtues and comparing me to a beautiful turquoise Bluebonnet. Beat that, bi-yatch!