I spend a good portion of my mothering life in a state of “What the fuck just happened?”
The rest of the time I’m like “Wait. I’m supposed to care about that?”
You know, I’m looking at magazines and headlines and websites and since they’re all saying the same thing it APPEARS that these things are central to motherhood and maybe, since those things don’t really interest me, I’M THE WEIRDO.
[Which we all know is true. I’m just sayin’ I don’t think it's on account of my lack of interest Jessica Simpson’s birth plan.]
At first this bothered me. I thought I was the lost sheep among well-adjusted, um, mother sheep? Sorry. That went poorly. You know, like everybody was “in” on something and I was out. Like all the mothers are doing it, Janelle, what’s wrong with you?
It was like high school all over again, when the popular girls seemed to know how to wear make-up and date boys and I was like “let’s drop acid and listen to some Dead.”
What is with me and the bad examples today?
Anyway I admit it, I used to think something was wrong with me because I didn’t give a shit about most of the things mainstream media seemed to say were inherent in the experience of motherhood. It’s not that I have anything against these things, it’s just that they don’t have much relevance to my actual life, my daily experience of motherhood.
But as the years went by and I grew more secure in my own marginality, sagging breasts and generally poor attitude, I started meeting more and more women who can’t relate to “The Very Best Jogging Stroller!!” and “The Mommy Spring Must-Haves!”
In fact, I now know there’s a whole shitload of us in the same “Yeah, sorry, don’t give a fuck” boat.
So, as a helpful little guide (I’m so helpful, right?), I have composed a list of topics I keep seeing but just don’t care about.
Its official name is:
Shit I Don’t Care About but You Keep Talking About Anyway.
(and by “you” I mean “media,” obviously)
- “The cutest [insert holiday] Cupcakes” – Since I never, ever, EVER volunteer for any school-related event, celebration or activity, my need for appropriately themed cupcakes is pretty much nil. Furthermore, if faced with a cupcake need (beyond hormonally induced depression), I usually discover it approximately 8 hours before they’re due, resulting in an angry last-minute trip to the store and boxed cupcakes that are lucky to have frosting. If they have sprinkles I have achieved greatness.
- Best Yoga Pant – I don’t do yoga (though I’m always going to start “next week!”). If I did, it would be amazing and my pride would overflow and I’d be running around telling my friends what a badass I am. The type of pant I’m in would be rather superfluous at that point, don’t you think?
- “Matching Bras and Underwear” – If attending an event important enough that I’m contemplating my undergarments, I WOULD BE WEARING SPANX, which immediately renders the whole discussion meaningless. Do you see the problem here?
- “How to Please my Man in Bed” – Totally got this one already: Have sex with him.
- “How to Spice up My Marriage” – Have sex with him more than once a week. Why are we discussing the obvious?
- “How to Raise Gifted Children” – Honestly, at this point, I’m just hoping they don’t end up crackheads.
- “How to Plan a Week’s Worth of Meals” – I feel like we should start with 2 or 3 days and see how that goes before we get all carried away with “weeks.”
- “How to Get Along with Other Moms at Playgroups” – Should be renamed to “How to spot the mom as miserable as you are so you can get together and talk shit.”
- “How to Entertain Kids.” – NOT MY PROBLEM.
- “How to Engage Kids in Imaginative Play” – Doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose?
- “Baby Sleep Solutions.” – Lies, all lies.
- “Effective Disciplining Techniques” – Yes, thank you for the excellent ideas, which I will try so hard to adopt only to find myself 3 days later resorting to the old stand-by disciplinary technique of “yell, feel guilty, apologize, repeat.”
- “Favorite Baby Toys” – As much as you keep trying to convince me my baby will like [whatever] better than cardboard boxes, cell phones, kitchen utensils and/or the small chokable item she just discovered on the carpet, years of experience tell me otherwise and I no longer believe you.
- “Kate Middleton’s Maternity Outfits” – Also don’t give a shit about the maternity outfits of any other rich, skinny woman who looks better pregnant than I do not pregnant. Kthanksbai.
- Come to think of it, I also don’t care about their baby showers, nursery décor, strollers, weird-ass naming choices, or the $89.00 onesie they just purchased (with the ironic hipster slogan on the front).
- Any article with the word “vs.” in it (“Crib vs. Co-sleeping/Circumcision vs. Non/Bottle vs. Breast)” – WHAT DO YOU THINK I’M SOME SORT OF SADIST? All this article is going to do is result in the most insane horrific name-calling comment section you’ve ever seen. All the crazies come out for these fuckers. Please count me out.
- “How to have a Smooth Transition back to Work after Maternity Leave” - Replace “smooth” with “the least horrifying” or “least traumatic,” and we can talk.
- “How to Organize your House” – Reading an article as a first step to organizing my house is like sending an email to world leaders asking them to please consider world peace at their next staff meeting. NICE IDEA, completely ineffective.
- “How to Keep your Car Clean and Neat” – I’m sorry. Come again?
- “How to Nurse Discreetly” – Oh go fuck yourself.
- “Things you Shouldn’t Say in Front of Your Children” – I guarantee you that ship has sailed.
- “Food in the Shape of cute Animals” – I once made pancakes in the shape of Mickey Mouse. Then I felt weird inside for like a week. I’m pretty sure a vegetable panda would traumatize me for life.
- “How to make memorable holidays” – Um, “memorable” is not the problem. “Enjoyable” is the thing I can’t seem to find.
- “Easy Steps to Potty Training/Weaning/Sleeping alone” – Look, if you’re going to just make shit up, I feel like you shouldn’t be writing articles.
And now, my favorite topic of all time: “How to be a More Confident, Guilt-Free Mother.”
This is pure beauty on account of the irony, because as we all know, the only way to achieve that is to STOP READING CRAP ABOUT MOTHERHOOD.
I feel better already.