As a mother, I'm obligated to be "perfect" in every way. I'm supposed to effortlessly pop out a few kids and miraculously recover and acquire six-pack abs in three months (or less). I must have a career and also manage to spend every minute with my children. Or I must stay at home and throw myself 100 percent into parenting. I'm expected to give up my independence and my identity. But, since I'm not perfect, sometimes I straight up choose to be a bad mom, you guys. I make actual, deliberate choices to be a less-than-perfect mom. A mom who kind of, sort of, sucks.
Now before you banish me from society, know this: I am fine with the way I am. It is my cross to bear, my scarlet letter, my own shame, and I must face the consequences of my actions, whatever those consequences may be. And trust me, I feel guilty (most of the time). Boy do I feel guilty. I feel it when I'm being a good mom too, though, so that never-ending feeling of relentless guil is more like a security blanket than a state of being. And of course, that damn "security blanket" exists because achieving the level of perfection I am supposed to attain, according to the society we live in, is, well, impossible. It's actually physically, emotionally, and psychologically impossible to be a perfect parent. Just think about how conflicting the ideals of perfect parenting are. What one considers perfect, another may consider horrid.
It's impossible to be a perfect mom because that mom is a myth. Guys, she doesn't exist. Mothers are told perfect moms are a thing, but I believe they are like unicorns: a beautiful notion of a mythical being. The ideals are imaginary, created by those who don't achieve that perfection themselves. One cannot be perfect at anything, really. Even great artists consistently reinvent themselves and often fail. Motherhood in itself is imperfect and I'm embracing that by, well, choosing to be a "bad" mom in the following ways:
In true "bad" mom fashion, I left my baby in the arms of a sitter and threw myself into work only six weeks postpartum. Sure, I needed to go back to work so my family could afford diapers, but I guess we could have downgraded our apartment, made changes in our spending, stopped leaving the house, stopped enjoying any sort of leisurely activity, canceled the internet and our phone plans, and saved enough for me to have stayed at home a little longer. So, this was a choice. A choice I made to be a bad mom.
When I have random days off work (which is, like, never), I still take my kid to daycare. I do this knowing perfectly well that I hardly see my kid during the week because of my work schedule. And you know what? I don't even feel guilty about this one. I don't even feel guilty about not feeling guilty. If I am lucky to have a day off, I'm taking an actual day off. A real day off. A day where no one bothers me, I don't have to make anyone lunch, or put anyone down for a nap. I get like two real days off a year, so I am taking it all in.
I had a girls' night planned for a month and my kid spiked a fever last minute. I mean, do I cancel? You may say "yes," but I say "why?" If you have an equal partner, who is totally capable of taking care of a sick child (a child who is going to be asleep an hour after you leave anyway) why can't you go out with your friends? So, yeah, I made sure my kid was OK and went out with my friends.
(I did feel pretty guilty though, until the first glass of wine.)
I did this a bunch of times, you guys. I admit it. I heard my kid cry and I didn't get up. Some nights I hoped the kid would just stop crying and go back to bed, and other nights I waited until my husband got up. That's right, I faked it. I'm not proud of it. Or am I?
OK, so I was actually sick with a stomach bug and, as a result, no one bothered me. But when I felt better a day later, I pretended I was still sick just so everyone would leave me alone for another day. This is actually a plea for help, you guys. I had to pretend to be ill in order to get some peace in my house. Sure, this is a "bad" mom moment, but is no one sympathetic to my cause for peace and quiet?
We have a lot of extra-curricular activities during the week and, after a full day of work, I would so much rather not come home and drive my kid to her activities. But, you know, this is a commitment we all made and we should totally honor our commitments. There was this one time, though, when I just couldn't bring myself to take her, so I told her it was cancelled. It wasn't. I lied.
I do this often. You see, I curse all the time and when I had kids I thought I had to stop because, I don't know, people get all sensitive about curse words around kids. But then I realized I couldn't change who I was, especially not how I express myself, so the cursing stuck around.
Listen, I try to give everything I can to my kids and do everything I can for my children, but I'm not giving up swearing. Not going to happen. F*ck that.
Instead I bought them. At the supermarket. But they were made in a peanut-free facility, so brownie points for that, right?
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