Monday, June 25, 2007

If You Don't:

-Breastfeed (7 months for first child 10-12 months each additional child. No longer than that.)

-Co-sleep (okay, the little kid made me. I totally disagreed with this the first time around)

-Stay At Home (Work at Home is acceptable for the first child)

-Vaccinate on a delayed schedule (Turns out my pedi does this)

-Choose not to circumcise (I couldn’t deal with it)

-Wear your baby (Bjorns don’t count, they’re for wannabes. Slings, wraps or Mei Teis only. Once again, the little kid introduced this idea)

-Use pacifiers (They’re lifesavers, I’m scared of babies that can’t be plugged up)

-Allow television before 2 (I think you people are crazy, sorry but I do)

-Hate cheesy themed baby boys’ clothes (My kids dress like the mack daddies that they are)

-Research baby gear purchases fanatically (Feeds the shopping obsession and I have to have the coolest stuff)

-Participate in online parenting forums (Mostly about anything other than parenting and often involved in drama)

-Have no more than 3 children (Enough is enough)

-Think Robeez are weird (For boys, they usually are)

-Skip bottles to go straight to the sippy cup (The little kid is advanced)

-Think putting cereals in bottles is ridiculous (except when prescribed for reflux, I *guess*)

-Allow “Crying it out” (No one likes it, but these babies must be trained)

-Throw big birthday parties (Because it is fun for ME, ME, ME)

-Make up creative nicknames, song parodies and games (I may suck as a mom, but I’m a fun sucky mom)

-Encourage self feeding (I like to start at restaurants, less mess for me)

-Swaddle infants (Tie those babies down)

Then you are parenting incorrectly. Sorry, I know it pisses you off to hear it but the way I do it is the only way. I pride myself on not judging other parents but every time I see you doing it wrong, I smirk a little. When I find other people who do it like me, I am enchanted by their enlightenment. We gravitate towards each other and become “Breastfeeding Nazis”, “Crunchy Attachment Parenting Types”, “Stroller whores”, “Car seat snobs”, “Rich, Snotty SAHMs”, and so on and so forth.

Then when one of us says that we enjoy breastfeeding, one of you can scream that formula isn’t poison and not everyone can breastfeed (and trust me, one of us can not, and should not, point out that 99% of women in Sweden can breastfeed). When one of you say that you have to work to pay the bills, inevitably someone from the SAHM side will exclaim that she didn’t have kids so other people can raise them. God freaking forbid someone insult Gymboree or Robeez, because then the claws come out and the clumps of hair start flying.

Some women wear their parenting choices like a badge of honor. Women on the baby bulletin board I frequent have signatures attached to every post that say, “Co-sleeping, breastfeeding, non-vaxing, intact, cloth diapering, SAHM who pees when she sneezes, has 30 pairs of Robeez and who would never put her child in any carseat cheaper than a Britax because my child’s life is worth the extra money to me.” Well then…..Congratulations on that. I don’t really care. If your parenting style makes you feel superior, or like a better mother, then go on with your bad self. The “Mommy Wars” us women get involved in don’t really benefit anyone. Your passionate stance on sail boats and puppy dogs on baby boys clothes (they’re lame, for the record) isn’t going to change another mother’s mind.

When it comes to parenting, every mother thinks that they’re right, that their way is the only way and that their kids are angels because of their enlightened parenting. Coming from someone whose Big Kid was the poster child for perfect babies and whose little kid is the poster child for Satan spawn…a lot of it is luck. A whole lot of it.

By the way, those of you out there that insist on acting like you are perfect, that you have no faults, that you are the ultimate Happy Homemaker (I’m not referring to the super funny blog, just the general “Donna Reed” like character) well, you’re almost always a mess too. Within the last year I’ve become close to lots and lots of women, many of whom I admire greatly, several whom I aspire to be like, but I have noticed that no matter how great *I* think they are, deep down they think they have some sort of their own mess going. Money, marriage, mental health, housekeeping, physical appearance….there is always something else that needs to be conquered. To me, being the “ideal” mother is like juggling with too many balls. I can’t ever seem to get them all up in the air and keep them going at one time. I think as women we relate best to other women who acknowledge that it is hard and that makes us feel better about our own shortcomings. Although telling someone who lets her kid Cry It Out that she’s creating trust issues and will never bond with her child is apparently pretty satisfying too.

So I’m going to suggest we be honest. My signature would say, “Forced into attachment parenting by controlling little kid who makes me nuts, disposable diapering and convenience foods because I’m lazy, crying it out because I’m tired, sitting on the computer because my house is a mess and I hate cleaning it, SAHM because I freaking can, Britax car seat because I’m a snob and no, I don’t pee when I sneeze and if I did, I’d keep it to myself.”

So let’s just try to agree that although we may not do everything the right (read: my) way, that we’re all good moms. Well, not all of us. Britney is not a good mom. If she’s preggers, I’d guess Nicole Ritchie won’t be winning any parenting awards. Okay, I guess there are lots of bad moms, but they are bad moms for reasons other than having to work for a living or putting their kid in a Graco carseat.

Can’t we all just get along?

(I take that last part back, the fighting is way more entertaining than getting along. Besides, many of you offenders are among the socially challenged and therefore lack the perception and intelligence to know that you are wrong almost all of the time and will most likely never stop annoying the rest of us. So you continue on and we will band together to mock you)


Anonymous said...

My dear Ashley-you are so correct. I live in the mecca of judgemental mothers to the SAHM homeshooling, non-vaxing, "is that milk ORGANIC" to the WOHM nanny paying, partying, "why are sahm's so lazy?" It is enough to drive a person, a mother, anyone crazy. Oh and gymboree clothes are hideous as well as robeez. Much love, QM.

the rural rube said...

hmmmm....true confessions, eh?
I love Robeez (and Crocs on my kids, too, for that matter)..and believe that TV has helped shape my brilliant overachievers. Graco seats are fine for my kids and swaddling helped them sleep soundly in their own beds alone from the day they came home from the hospital. I am a working SAHM who encourages self-feeding, self-dressing, self-entertainment and anything else that encourages more computer time for me. Somehow, in all that mess, I still manage to bond with my children. And sometimes Sunday before noon, the perfect apple martini does more than just help. It improves the situation.
Go ahead and judge me. See if I care. I'm one of the ones that are only human. In fact, I help to set a lower standard amongst my mama friends - something that they will thank me for at some point in the future, if they haven't already.

(very funny post, Ashley - as always!!! Keep 'em coming!)


Cate said...

I love your blog, My sister-in-law turned me on to you---I know enough is enough, but I have 4 kids and I am a SAHM..I wear pajamas as long as I can and only get dressed when I must go out...unless its a drive thru andthen I don't get dressed. My kids are out of diapers, 3 are out of car seats, and I haven't breast fed in years, but it is fun to look back and laugh at those of you still stuck there!!
You go girl, and keep up the fun, laughter is the only thing that keeps us from going nuts, and/or killing those sweet little darlings!

Renee said...

I love this list, and I was happy to see that we agree on almost everything. I do have that pesky 4th kid, which I hope doesn't get me kicked out of your inner circle. One problems I foresee is that our boys won't be friends with one another as they get older, because they'll be too busy making fun of each other for their presence or lack of foreskin. From what I've heard (and read on parenting forums), kids spend LOTS of time staring at and making fun of other kids' penises. LOTS of time.

Jennifer said...

You had me until you insulted Gymboree!! I have 2 girls so I love some Gymboree. Appliques on boy clothes are a bit much.

You had to be talking about Babycenter with the drama. That place is a magnet for stupid bitches.

Be happy they just do labels and blinkies. I looked at the Pregnancy Weekly boards and those loons have posted pictures of themselves breastfeeding. I bf both of my kids but never felt the need to wear a patch about it or anything. Maybe a nice sparkly sash would have been good, I love sashes.

Olivia: (mostly) Happy Homemaker said...

Wow! You think I'm funny!?!? I've never been a fan of competitive parenting or faking it. You've got my promise to be honest.

Unknown said...

I could relate to your spoiled milk smell in the car post. ;-) You also have great shopping taste.

Anonymous said...

love the post sister

Christine said...

OMG, If I was still a general pediatrician I think I would frame this post and put it in my waiting room! How fantastic are you???!!! Totally agree with everything here. I don't have kids, but I do love Robeez on my neices, not on my nephews. I'm fine with delayed vaccinating, as long as you do vaccinate eventually, and I think that Graco makes some great car seats.
Thanks for the great post, Ashley!

Monogram Momma said...

Well you know I had to chime in on this one...

First of all, I can NOT agree more about the some of those self-riteous women on the baby board and their stupid signatures. Yes, I have a signature, but mine isn't stupid. I agree with your point that we should all just agree to disagree and for every parent you are laughing at who has their boys in Robeez (um yeah, my boys had sailboat ones, thank you very much but they were gifts so that's not really my fault. Mostly? they only wore little white keds and that was only when they were walking. I am very anti-shoe for babies), I'm personally laughing at the co-sleeping people who are breast-feeding their 3 year olds and refuse to get a babysitter for their kids and remember that they actually have a marriage and a husband too. Forget the lesson their teaching their kids about the value of a marriage and personal space, but whatever. Having a babysitter doesn't make me a bad mom, it makes me a BETTER ONE. Those people are a dime a dozen on the bulletin board, are they not?

And I readilly admit that I do have my own mess going on too. Every mother does. We all have our own shortcomings, but some of us are willing to admit that and others just want us to believe they absolutely love every second of their breastfeeding, co-sleeping, homeschooling, non-vaxing, attachment parenting, BORING LIFE.

And yeah, I LOATHE cleaning my house too and as always, this is another great post from you!

Unknown said...

Sing it sistah! Love your blog, Ashley!

Buford Betty said...

Hahhahahha I love it! I'm not even a mom yet and I love it. Great blog. :-)

My Minivan Is Faster Than Yours said...

I just found your blog and thi sis the first post I read, and I'm CRACKING UP!! Off to read your archives :)

Carie said...

Okay so I will chime in too! Preach it sistah!!