Last week we had the 20 week ultrasound, but we didn’t find out the sex of the baby. And no, I’m not “team green.”
Please don’t call me “team green.”
I want off your team. I want off all cutely named mothering “teams.” I mean seriously. Is there some sort of secret mafia of mothers hiding in some bunker somewhere, sitting around all day thinking up cute shit? Baby sprinkles! Push presents! Gender reveals! Team green!
I’m team “Fuck your teams.”
I’m team “Just trying not to yell today.”
I’m team “What’s that shit on the floor of my car?”
Sometimes, I’m team “WHO ARE THESE CHILDREN AND WHY ARE THEY EVERYWHERE?”
I suppose I could be on the “attachment” team, since I dig homebirth and breastfeeding and baby-wearing and co-sleeping, but don’t you DARE call me an “attachment” parent because check this out, people: I fed my third baby FORMULA.
Oh yeah. I did.
Hello, my name is Janelle, and I supplemented my third kid with devil dust.
I tried pumping while working. I really did. I did it for months. I wanted to slam chopsticks in my eyeballs. Hauling the pump day in and day out. Cleaning it nightly. The TERROR of not having enough milk. Forgetting it in the car and having to throw away the liquid gold – hours of work and toil, gone. It spiraled down the drain with my tears and soul.
I was going insane. For my own well-being I had to let go. And yes. I admit it. When she was 7 months old I sent her to the nanny’s with a couple sacks of formula and it was the greatest fucking moment of my life.
Incidentally, she nursed until she was two. Just sayin’.
Maybe I could be one of those eco-hippie-mamas because I use lemons for deodorant and make my own hand salve, but I use plastic diapers, people. PLASTIC. Also cloth. But also plastic. WHAT ABOUT THE LANDFILLS? And I use Lysol cause frankly, I like the smell. And I don’t wear all organic repurposed hemp from local vendors and sometimes I eat Costco polish sausages.
Which reminds me, get me off the organic non-GMO health team. Another no-go. I try. I try not to eat processed foods. I try not to eat a bunch of sugar and crap and whatever.
But see above re: Costco. Also donuts. Also ice cream.
You see? You see the problem here? I can’t live up to your damn expectations. I can’t hang.
Keep your labels off my pathetic ass!
It’s not that I have anything against attachment moms or eco-tree-huggers or health people or Team Green or any of them, it’s just that the SECOND you stick that label on my forehead is the SECOND I FALL DESPERATELY AND TERRIBLY SHORT and walk around feeling less than and like I’ve betrayed something. My people. My team.
See, these teams, they’re gonna want me to abide by principles. They’re gonna want me to be consistent – adhere to guidelines and tried-and-true methods. But I can’t. I just can’t. I’m a great starter. Terrible finisher. Profoundly inconsistent. Excellent intentions, invariably poor execution, particularly in critical parenting moments.
What? What’s that you say? These are all loose guidelines to be tailored to each individual family? LIES.
You and I both know that if I walk into an attachment parenting group announcing that the day I handed the babysitter a couple sacks of non-organic formula was among the finest moments of my life is the day holes are burned into my forehead from the death stares of the happily nursing.
Oh yeah I know. I’m exaggerating. Of course I am. None of this is that serious.
Except that I am deadly fucking serious. I want off all teams. ALL OF THEM.
I want nothing to do with any branch of parenting that has a name, approach, brand, label, representative book, magazine, spokesperson or Babycenter forum name.
On T.V. and in books and magazines and Facebook they all look so comfortable in their teams, so secure in their identities as this or that “mama.” Their smart parenting choices and thoughtful discipline techniques.
The other day I looked at my kid and asked, quite seriously, “No for real, what the hell is wrong with you?”
I apologized, but still. I’m pretty sure that move ain’t in Parenting from the Heart. Dr. Sears is officially not supporting that tactic.
Yesterday Georgia watched approximately twelve episodes of Handy Manny. Do the math, people. Do the math.
She should be playing with Amish carts and brown-skinned Waldorf dolls bought on Etsy, but instead she’s singing “Todos juntos!” with her face 4-inches from her brother’s Kindle Fire.
And yet, here I am, 20 weeks pregnant with my 4th kid, hanging out with 3 perfectly healthy, thriving older kids, walking along happy as can be, mostly.
Team “Always falling short.” Team “I cook sometimes.” Team “Twice a year I do crafty shit.”
Team This is What I’ve Got.
Team Join Me in Reality.
We’ll throw our hands in and cheer and stuff. And then show up late to all the practices, or forget them altogether.
And realize finally in a moment of total desperation that maybe we’re all on the same damn team anyway, so who really fucking cares? We’re just calling it different names to feel a little better about our shortcomings, our wanderings, our profound lack of direction, going nowhere, perfectly. A bunch of fucked-up mothers doing the job. And doing it well.
Or sort of well, depending on the day.
Team “On my own with you, doing whatever I do while you do what you do and we both try to not ruin small people.”
Yep. There it is. My people. My team.
Glad you’re here.