Being a mother means carefully arranging and balancing priorities. It's a delicate business, like stacking teacups and saucers on the back of an elephant who is placid at the moment, but'll take off without warning and at any time. When you find yourself in such a precarious (but exhilarating) spot, pretty soon you find yourself necessarily focused on very particular issues. Things that once preoccupied you? You cannot even begin to care about them anymore. So, it comes as no surprise that there are more than a few IDGAF moments every mom knows because, well, there are some things you can't even. You have lost your ability to even.
It's not that moms give up on life and happiness and ambition once they have a kid or anything. It's just that the pursuit of any one of those things is going to look a hell of a lot different post-kids. We have the awesome (and absolutely terrifying) responsibility of living our lives and, in essence, living our kids' lives for a while. Not, like, controlling every aspect of their day-to-day existence in a creepy or controlling way, or reliving our own childhoods vicariously through them. We are, however, making decisions for them (from how to raise them to what to feed them to what to prohibit them from) that will affect the rest of their lives. We constantly have to think about our kids in the long-run, and when getting them to the end of a day in one piece is exhausting AF, the "long-run" can seem nothing if not daunting.
So, please pardon us if we stop caring about things that most people just take as a given. Except kidding! I don't need your pardon or permission: I stopped thinking about anyone else's opinion, like, five years ago. That's just one of the things a lot of moms DGAF about.
When Your Kid Is Crying And You Know They're Totally Faking It
I spent the first several months of my children's life honing my ability to discern why they're crying. They're hungry. They're sleepy. They're gassy. They're scared. They need a cuddle. They're cold. They're hot.
After those first few months, I began to realize when my children were screwing with me for attention or to manipulate me emotionally. Within a few weeks of them learning this skill, to the point that they could summon tears on command, I was wise to their shenanigans. Now, IDGAF because they don't actually GAF. They're just being jerks, and it doesn't matter where I am: home, the mall, the grocery store, a school event; I let them scream and let randoms think I'm a "mean mommy." Other parents will be able to see exactly what's going on and they won't judge me for not caring about my big faker's fake crying.
When All Your Pants Have Elastic Waists
Who has time to button pants? I certainly don't. I definitely don't have time for the button on a pair of skinny jeans to be digging into my tummy while I'm sitting on the floor playing blocks with my little one. I'm neither a masochist nor a moron. If buttons on pants are part of your life plan, good on you: they have no place in my America. #leggingslife #theyaretotallylegitimatepants
When Your Kid Is Eating Something Off The Floor
The giving of f*cks regarding one's child eating off the floor is a steady decline. When they first start doing it, you will likely make a valiant and speedy attempt to wrestle that stale Cheerio out of their gummy little mouth because germs. Within a few months or so, you'll be telling them not to ask for another snack until they've eaten all the Cheerios off the floor, because we don't waste food in this house.
OK, not that bad, but still. It's so not a big deal after a while. A little dirt will only build up their immune system, right?
When You Decide That "Screen Time" Is Not A Dirty Word
I had very big and important ideas about how much TV/tablet interaction my child would have when he was an infant, down to how long he could be in a room with a TV on, whether or not he was even watching. Then, as so many moms do, I gave fewer and fewer f*cks until, one day, my children were marathoning Sesame Street and Curious George.
Elmo? Grover? Abby and Rosita? George? Your role in enabling me to get literally anything done is invaluable and sincerely appreciated. IDGAF that my kids loves you all probably more than they love me.
When You're Co-Sleeping And Your Baby's Diaper Leaks, And Rather Than Wake The Baby To Change The Sheets You Just Throw Down A Towel
There are two kinds of people who wake a sleeping baby: monsters and idiots. I am neither. I mean, seriously, bringing this child into bed with me wasn't entirely altruistic. Do you think I like getting kicked in the face and sleeping on the edge of my mattress? I do not. However, sleeping uncomfortably is better than not sleeping at all, and letting the tiny dictator sleep with me gets the job done.
So, if they pee through their diaper and leave a little wet spot? Well, urine is sterile. Toss a towel over wherever they sprayed and deal with it in the morning. You'll be fine. I'll be fine. It's fine. This is my life now. My f*cks were shed around the same time as my placenta.
When Your Kid Has Decided Pants Just Aren't Their Thing
Everyone goes on eccentric little kicks from time to time. Like when your friend cuts all refined sugar out of her diet, or the couple times a year I resolve to wear makeup every day (ha!). Kids get struck by the same kind of weird inspiration as the rest of us. The difference? Well, your kid's usually want to only watch one particular episode of Sofia the First; carry a particular stuffed dog everywhere; decide they only want a cheese stick for lunch for, like, a year; emit ear-splitting shrieking just for fun of it.
Then, of course and among my favorite of these peccadilloes, is "the naked phase." It's definitely a thing. I can't tell you how many times I've looked over to my child and thought, "When did you take your clothes off? How long have you been naked? Because, thinking back, I think it's been a while, but I don't remember the transition from fully clothed to nude at all." Do you know what I do as a result? Nothing. Who cares? She's a toddler. As long as we're not in public or we don't have company she can be as naked as she wants. IDGAF.
When Your Child Has Dressed Themselves
Once they have exited the constantly getting undressed phase, your child, like mine, may well enter the "dressing themselves" phase. The other day my 5-year-old son went to the grocery store in an Elsa dress and Storm Trooper mask, with a Batman utility belt, Superman cape, and snow boots. Did I ask him to change? No. Why would I? There are precious few years you can go in public dressed like a costume box exploded on you without it drawing attention or concern. Besides, this kid is obviously living his dream.
When Yogurt And Goldfish Crackers Are Totally Dinner
I tried. I tried, I tried, I tried, but I ran out of f*cks to give about my children eating the kind of perfectly balanced healthy diet I yearned to give them around the time I had to throw out the 900th serving of quinoa and broccoli that they were just never, ever going to try to eat.
When All Your Clothing Has Busy Patterns To Hide Stains
Whatever my children spill (and whatever leaks out of them) is going to wind up on my clothing. Discarded food, boogers, crafting materials I feel like a Jackson Pollack canvas; it'll all be on the front of my pants by the end of the day.
Wearing solid colors is a fool's errand. Camouflage that crap with very busy patterns. Bonus: it will make you look breezy and cool, as though your IDGAF attitude is chillaxed and casual, instead of a basic necessity that proves you've given up on having nice things literally every again.
When Your Hairstyle Is Strictly Functional
Whether you're talking a mom bob, a top knot, braids, a ponytail, a rolled updo, or a super close crop, mom hair is hair that cares almost exclusively about one thing: can I mom like this? The flat iron, curling iron, blow dryer, rollers, and other coiffure equipment have been hiding under your sink for about as long as you delivered.
Someday we may see them again. Someday.