As a geek, you're no stranger to struggle. Social isolation from most of your in-person world. Online communities where you finally find your people, only to have the whole thing collapse under the weight of too many flame wars and personality conflicts. The disappointment/rage every time Hollywood butchers one of your favorite books, yet knowing you kinda have to watch whatever follow-up travesties they produce just to see how they treat the rest of the series. Then when you become a mom, you get all new issues to deal with; struggles every geek mom knows all too well.
It's hard out there for a geeky mama. If you're pregnant, it can limit your cosplay options, and your hormones can make you cry even harder over anything even remotely emotional in your favorite books or movies. (The mere mention of Dobby from Harry Potter was enough to set me off in my third trimester.) Once your little ones are around, you have a whole host of other issues to deal with. How will you make time for all your favorite stuff when your kids are either too young to get it, or it’s too violent or inappropriate for them to see? What if your partner isn't on board with your fandom? What if you’re the only one in your family who wants to spend entire weekends at drum corps competitions?
In other words, I'm sending a three-finger salute to anyone who recognizes any of the following. We’ll get through this, I'm sure. If anyone can weather the ups and downs of parenting, geek-specific or otherwise, it’s those of us who've obsessed over tales of strength and heroism for our entire lives, and who have dealt with other people not really getting why we’re so serious about our obsessions.
The Fear That Your Child May Be Sorted Into A Different House From You
My stepdaughter is a Gryffindor, like me, and so far it seems like my toddler is as well. But who knows, really? I could live with Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff, no doubt. But what if, by the time he's old enough to get his Hogwarts letter, it turns out that his courageous, compassionate streak is less dominant than the scheming, wicked self that emerges every time I try to brush his teeth? I mean, sure, there are some good Slytherins or whatever, but let's be real; no Gryffindor mama really wants her kid to be a Slytherin.
Having To Choose Which Fandom To Represent On Halloween
The introduction of the buddy Pokémon on Pokémon GO made my choice a lot easier this year, but what about the years to come? Halloween is a big deal, and there are only so many years where you'll exercise so much influence over your kid's costume. The pressure to really make the most of those Halloweens can be super intense.
When You Have To Wait Literally Forever To Introduce Your Kid To A Lot Of Your Faves, Because Inappropriate
There are lots of, ahem, "adult themes" in many geek standbys, to say nothing of violence, which basically means geek mamas spend years sighing and saying, "You'll get to enjoy it when you're older," when our kids ask us about something we're really interested in. (Hell, I’m not really even old enough to be watching Game of Thrones, so that’s basically never going to happen, kids.)
This also means a lot of time spent praying for a bedtime that may never come, so that we can play games or watch shows and movies we love.
When Your Partner Goes Hard For Another Fandom You’re Not That Into...
Sorry, my love (and probably most of the people reading this), but I'm just not super into Star Wars. I mean, I enjoy them, I'm just not going to camp out for the first showing or dress up or anything, or get all jazzed when a new trailer is released.
...Or Is Totally Indifferent To Or Even Against One Of Your Favorites...
My stepdaughter and I are die-hard Harry Potter fans. My husband is not. Together, we have fiiiiinally gotten him to read the first two and a half books, nearly three years into our marriage. Having to censor ourselves to avoid spoilers, and constantly having to explain casual references we make in conversation, is kinda exhausting.
...And Tries To Draft Your Child Onto Their Side
No, our toddler is not going to be Yoda for Halloween, when I've already decided he's going to be Pikachu. I gave birth to him, therefore I get to pick his costume until he's old enough to be annoyed that I'm trying to pick his costume. That's just the rules of nature.
When Your Partner Hasn’t Even Read Harry Potter, And You Question Basically Everything
I basically rely on concepts and metaphors from Harry Potter to communicate, so I'm not entirely sure if or how my partner even understood most of what I was saying when we first started dating. But now that we're raising kids together, the stakes are even higher.
I get that he's trying, and he has finally started to read the books. Conversion after marriage is better than nothing, I suppose. However, I still worry about how we can raise our children with the right values if we're not both firmly grounded in the important lessons Harry, Hermione and Ron learned while battling evil in and outside of Hogwarts.
When You Want To Go To A Con, But Can’t Decide If It’ll Be OK To Bring Your Toddler
Some things are just more fun sans kiddos. Of course, when you add the cost of childcare to the cost of making your outfit, getting tickets, and everything else, the whole thing can get pretty expensive. Sigh.
When Your Toddler’s First Cosplay Totally Owns Yours
I mean, if you're standing next to a toddler who's just killing it, like this teeny tiny Jon Snow, you might as well be wearing an Invisibility Cloak (crossing content, I know, I know) 'cause nobody can see you. They're just too cute and amazing.
The Fear That Your Child May Come To Think They’re Too Cool For All This Stuff
One of our biggest struggles as parents is having to come to grips with the fact that our kids are, in fact, totally autonomous people who will someday get to make important decisions on their own. Those choices include what hobbies to pursue, some of which may not even revolve around books or technology or trading cards or anything. They may even decide that none of our geeky pastimes are for them, and we'll just have to watch them go off and...I dunno, play sports or something? I'm not sure. But I do know it will hurt a little. Grieve as you must.
As much as it breaks our hearts, we just have to hope that we've raised them well enough to make the right decisions when faced with tough choices, like whether or not to try drugs, or whether or not to continue talking with someone who repeatedly refers to Katee Sackhoff's character in Battlestar Galactica as "Starbucks." (The answer is no, my child. No.)