Wednesday, February 19, 2014

sorry not sorry

i read this article on slate a week or two ago. it was titled "'my life is a waking nightmare' - why do parents make parenting sound so godawful?" in case you can't tell from the title, the author ruth graham is complaining about the "uterus-shriveling posts" of "mommy bloggers" that she feels compelled to read while luxuriating in long, quiet bubble baths. and i get where she's coming from. i really do. before i had kids, the only thing i found more annoying than people gushing about the wonder of pregnancy, child birth and motherhood was people bitching about how hard it is to be a parent. i was like, hey, there's a pill for that! it's called birth control! (editor's note: said pill doesn't work unless you take it as instructed.)

graham also makes a decent point toward the end about the way that the faux "worst mom ever/parenting sucks/my kids are a-holes" genre, written primarily by "good" middle class moms, skews the public perception and draws attention away from real parenting problems. which kind of reminds me of an ex-boyfriend who would tell me, whenever i complained about anything, that i should be thankful i didn't have cancer and or lose my arms in a freak accident. and again. i get it. i've said it myself. we should "choose joy" when we can. but a gal can only step on so many legos before she snaps, you know? and the internet is kind of like your local indulgent late-night bartender, serving you another cold one, pretending to give a shit about your problems, and calling you an uber.

anyway, nobody is holding a gun to your head and making you read this crap. (the same can be said of me reading her post, i guess, or facebook arguments about how global warming is fake and obama is a knyan terrorist... and i know sometimes it's like watching a train wreck, you can't NOT read the stuff. but if it bothers you THAT much, maybe try? i know i do, for the sake of my own mental and physical health.) we'll leave for another day and/or professional therapy the issue of why any of us feel the need to write about our joys or sorrows at length in such a public forum.

this post was shared over 6000 times on facebook and has almost 1000 comments. it induced shock waves of "mom guilt" throughout the mommy blogger scene. (see, e.g., "you know it happens at your house too," whose author felt so bad after reading graham's article, she wrote a post of her own titled "parenting is," detailing the joys and challenges of parenting and attempting justify/explain the "inappropriate parenting humor and foul language" of the (anti)mommy-blog set.) and i get that too. one of my "child-free" friends once said that sometimes he wants kids but then he reads my emails and changes his mind. i felt sooooooo awful. my husband is always telling me to keep my yap shut around people who have yet to experience the "joys" of parenthood: "yeah, it's hard as f*ck, and they'll find that out soon enough. just let them live out these last halcyon days in ignorant bliss." i emailed all my friends who didn't have kids at the time, apologizing and trying to explain the simultaneous heaven-and-hell that is parenthood. (i discuss it at length in another post - the biggest mistake you will never regret.) one of my friends wrote back and said, "you are on crack. get off your high horse if you think your crazy ass ramblings have any actual bearing on our decision whether or not to have children." my other friend wrote, "have you always been this insane? or did the kids do this to you? i will add your points to my list of the pros and cons of procreation." ha. okay. point taken.

however, at the end of the day, you can take bubble baths and naps and buy pretty things with your expendable income and sit on the toilet without someone providing a running commentary of your bodily emissions and the "furriness" of your vagina, so i am unable to muster a whole hell of a lot of sympathy at this exact moment in time.

anyway. sometimes parenting can be difficult:
or disastrous:
or just plain shitty:
but it's not all bad. just look at the potential:
photo source: awkwardfamilyphotos.com

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