How to Mom Wrong

October 9, 2010

*Allow me to share a brilliant, biting rant about the dizzying dos and don’ts of parenting by my friend Holly. Thanks, Spring.*

To all my new mom/soon to be mom friends (and you are legion!), I just wanted to let you know exactly how you’re going to screw up and raise your kid badly.  In the last six months, I have learned from the internet, strangers at the store, family, friends, medical professionals and books that I am a bad mom because I:

  • Only bathe her twice a week.  That’s not enough.
  • Bathe her twice a week.  That’s too much.
  • Pick her up if she’s been crying for more than five minutes at night–she’s manipulating me and I’ll never get her to sleep through the night.
  • Wait five minutes before picking her up when she’s crying at night.  She’ll be damaged emotionally forever if I ever let her cry at all.
  • Am breastfeeding her at six months except for one meal a day, which started two months ago.  She should never have been allowed to touch any other food at all until at least six/seven/twelve months.
  • Am breastfeeding her at six months except for one meal a day, which started two months ago.  She’s far too old and I’m being creepy and gross and she’s not going to gain enough weight if I don’t start giving her rice cereal in bottles and actual meals.
  • Breastfed her in a restaurant.  That’s not something people need to see.
  • Breastfed her in my car.  Feeding a baby is something to be proud of and I should have made a POINT to feed her in public.
  • Let her sleep in bed with us when she was having a rough night.  That is deadly dangerous and she will die immediately.
  • Only let her sleep in bed with us when she is having a rough night.  It is unnatural for a child not to sleep with her parents and she is going to become an anxious adult.
  • Acknowledge that having a newborn is really difficult and exhausting and emotionally draining.  I’m being a bad example to you, my breeding peers, and unnecessarily scaring people and being a bad role model as a mother.
  • Try to stay positive about things and look on the bright side of momming.  I’m being a bad example to you, my breeding peers, by creating unrealistic expectations and not letting people know the TRUE difficulty of motherhood.
  • Tell her she’s pretty.  The beauty myth suffocates women and I shouldn’t impose it on her so early.
  • Tell her she’s smart.  If I make her TOO confident in her intelligence, she’ll wind up arrogant and lazy.
  • Gave her an unusual first name.  People will make fun of her!
  • Gave her a common nickname.  I’m taking away her uniqueness and teaching her to compromise herself to make other people comfortable.
  • Eat (and therefore feed her) mostly organic food.  I’m being an elitist.
  • Eat (and therefore feed her) mostly organic food.  It should ALL be organic.
  • Work part time.  I should be at home with her full time for the first few years.
  • Work part time.  I should be earning more in order to make us more financially stable.

Other fatal mistakes I have made are including her dad too much, not including her dad enough, getting married, not being married long enough, having animals in the house, losing too much weight while pregnant, gaining weight while pregnant, not having an abortion, only having one kid, dressing her in girl clothes, dressing her in boy clothes, and not going to church.

I hope you can learn from my tragic tale of woe so your child will not turn out the dog chewing, banana eating, frog crawling, HEY! saying, people-loving, practically perfect in every way trainwreck mine did.

Love,

Holly

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5 Responses to “How to Mom Wrong”

  1. Michele Says:

    I started to fall into the trap of calling myself a “bad mom.” For all of the reasons above + at least a million other ways that I will screw up my kid. Then someone turned me on to the phrase “mediocre mom.” And it stuck. I don’t want to be supermom as they are scary crazy. And bad mom is really quite harsh, cuz dammit we are all really trying to do the best we can (and I personally have had my own bad mom experience, so am relatively sure that I’m better than that- too low of a bar, perhaps, but I can still exceed it). So mediocre mom it is. I’m going to fail and I’m going to win and I’m not going to do either one so much more than the other, so I’m taking the middle road and accepting mediocrity (and probably mis-spelling it too- f that, y’all get what I mean!) It’s nice to shrug off the pressure and stop beating myself up. Relax. Enjoy. And strive for mediocre!

  2. Courtney Says:

    Parents ALWAYS fuck the first kid up. 😀 Just kidding, of course! Good entry, Holly!!!

  3. carly Says:

    I am just glad that I’m not the only screwing my kid up! hehehe.

  4. Allen Linville Says:

    My wife and I screwed up BOTH our daughters just as you are doing. The eldest is now in the 3rd year of a history degree, studying overseas (scholarship, and the youngest is an honours with distinction high school student on championship-winning basketball and soccer teams. They will never lead a normal life.

    It’s enough to make me pull out what little grey hair I have left!


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