Posts Filed Under stupid shit mothers do

I have an idea: Let’s stop telling women how to give birth

by Janelle Hanchett

I recently read an article cleverly titled “You should get an epidural” (I know, I know I should have stopped there) that told a story about some “natural birther” who was rude to the writer in a grocery store. Apparently she asked the writer – WHILST STANDING IN A CHECKOUT LINE – how she planned on giving birth then shamed her for wanting an epidural. This is almost unbelievable in its fucked-upedness (yeah that’s a word).

Who the hell would do that? I’d like some stranger to ask me when I was visibly pregnant “how I planned on giving birth.” I’d be like, “On your face, asshole,” and leave.

But that’s irrelevant. The point here is that in response to her outrage at being told how she should give birth, she wrote an article telling women how they should give birth.

Because this is how we do in the interwebz.

Why god WHY?

She implies that women who want unmedicated birth are trying to “win” something and attempts to discredit the real and valid reasons people opt for unmedicated births by bolstering the benefits of epidural and invalidating the “science” stating that epidurals “slow down labor” with the words “but I’ve talked to a few doctors who say it speeds it up!”


Can we all please stop making shit up at random and calling it “evidence?”

Yes, that includes you, lady on the internet who declared that not leaving the placenta attached until it falls off on its own is an act of “violence.”

Yes, I read that. I read an actual human writing those actual words. I can only imagine how fun she is at dinner parties:

Non-Violent Placenta lady: “Oh! You just had a baby. What, pray tell, did you do with the placenta?”

Normal person: “Well I cut the cord and the doctor like, took it away.”

Aghast and appalled, Non-Violent Placenta Lady breaks down weeping right there next to the triple-cream brie.

I have an idea: Somewhere between one must let the placenta fall off untouched in soft moonlight and a choir of angels and FUCK THESE ANTI-EPIDURAL MARTYRDOM WANNABE HEROES is the land of Not Being a Dick.

Also known as, informing yourself and doing what is best for you and your baby and body and family.

Also known as, not caring how strangers birth their babies.

Also known as: Not being a dick.

Always, we’re back there. It’s like Oz. All roads lead to it.

This seems so reasonable, and yet, the nonsense prevails. We pick and choose data and statistics and studies. And we all know how I feel about those. We strategically ignore and omit and focus on this information over that information to prove our points and back our game.

There are valid and real and intelligent reasons to opt FOR and AGAINST epidurals.

And yet, rather than treating both options as sound decisions, there are actual people CRUSADING for and against the use of epidurals. Straight up ON A MISSION. People arguing that all women should have medication. People arguing that all women should have homebirths. To me, they’re all missing the fucking point.

Everybody keeps talking about women’s empowerment by demanding women do things THEIR way.

Am I the only one who sees a problem here?


Look, I gave birth four times, each time without an epidural and twice at home. Yes, I wanted a birth without an epidural, and yes, I wanted that adamantly, for myself. Not for you. I truly could not care less how you have your baby. In fact I can’t really think of anything that affects me less than how strangers have their babies.

I wanted births without epidurals because I am a control freak and wanted as much power over my body as physically possible. I wanted to move freely and birth how I wanted. I was MORE afraid of losing that power than I was of the pain of childbirth. Of course I do not looooooooove the pain, and I certainly didn’t “dance my baby out” (some hippie suggested I do that), and I may or may not have wanted to kick (gently! I love you!) my midwife on account of her infinitely soothing voice, but I was not really concerned about the pain.

Not because I am a martyr. Not because I believe Eve must be punished for her sins. Not because I’m anti-feminist and not because I hate doctors and not because I think YOU should do it. That’s just my preference.

Wait. Seriously, stop calling me a fucking martyr. I am not a martyr. Martyrs are heroes. I am not a hero. What am I fighting for? WOMEN ACROSS THE LAND?

Stop. There is nothing “heroic” about my choice. I was not particularly brave and I was not impressive and I was not trying to “prove a point” and I am not anti-epidural.

Which brings me to my next point: Having an epidural is not cowardly, unnatural, or un-“womanly” (whatever the fuck that means). In the past, I have used the term “natural” to describe “unmedicated.” I don’t do that anymore. It’s a loaded term. I apologize for not realizing that sooner. (On that, the writer of the article and I agree.)

To me, we’re all brave. And I don’t mean that in some cute woo-woo way. I mean it truthfully: We face a thing we are a little (or a lot) afraid of. All of us have grown up in a culture of fear surrounding childbirth. How that manifests in each of us will be unique, but universally, we face the unknown. Whether through surgery or birth at home or in a hospital, we face something infinitely new, with stakes higher than anything we’ve ever faced. And we have no choice. We walk in. We handle it.

That is bravery.

I felt safest with the littlest intervention as possible.

We get to define that for ourselves.

All this shit-slinging about choices is nothing more than self-righteousness masquerading as “helpfulness.” It’s not about other women. It’s not about new moms. It’s about THEMSELVES. It’s about their own damn choices. It’s about pretentiousness and insecurity.

Fun fact: People secure in their choices do not feel compelled to run around screaming how other people should be like them.

Oh, and BTW. If you’ve never had a child: Shut the hell up with your demands on my vagina/uterus/offspring. No, really. Shut the actual fuck up. Nobody cares.

I see people who made choices like mine treating women who get epidurals or planned caesareans as some sort of strange subspecies that barely loves their children let alone possesses the spiritual depth necessary to raise them. They act as if Ina May Gaskin is THE GODDESS of motherhood and we all must embrace her or die alone in parental wasteland.

Perhaps I’m overshooting the mark a tiny bit, but seriously.

You know what? Yes. I believe our maternal healthcare system is pretty fucked, and I believe it needs to change. But that will not happen by running around spewing orgasmic birth as The Only Way.

We have one job. We know what it is.


You know what I want? Women to have equal access to information and education to make informed choices that work for them. I want women to have doctors and midwives who explain the pros and cons of choices openly and honestly, treating women like they have brains in addition to vaginas. (I know, revolutionary.) I want women to be treated like humans, not cute little pets. I want women to be respected, validated, and heard. I want women to be the central player in the birth of their babies.

I want women to have POWER, however they define it.



We’re all warriors here. We can own that.


let’s be real: it’s all about the fucking newborn breath. omg newborns. I NEED ANOTHER BABY.

Please may I just excuse myself from this interaction? JACK DANIELS.

by Janelle Hanchett

Sometimes I’m at the park or a kid’s birthday party and I end up in a chat with another mom, and that’s cool, I like to chat. Sometimes though, within moments, it becomes clear that we aren’t here to “chat” but rather engage in a pissing match to determine WHO EXACTLY IS THE BETTER MOTHER.

You. You are the better mother. No comparison. Now can we move on?

Round II: Who has the better children.

You win, lady. You’re better and your kids are clearly WAY better.

I don’t want to play.

I don’t care how “gifted” your son is (A master of standardized testing?! Oh Em Gee!) and how your daughter plays tennis and you’re taking her out of school because surely she is going to the Olympics.

She’s not going to the Olympics. Nobody goes to the Olympics.

Or maybe she will. Whatever.

My kid told me the other day she wishes she could take her ear off so she could “chew on the squishy part.”


No seriously I don’t care about your kids’ grades and I don’t care about how they skipped this and that and whatever the hell.

I chose my kid’s school based on the quality of their special ed program. Wanna talk about that? I didn’t think so.

Do I seem angry? I’m not.

But I am TIRED. Tired of that feeling. Tired of that “oh here we go” realization like a wave over me. Here we go, into the bullshit. Into the masquerading, the fronting, the posturing, omitting and censoring.

Pretty sure I just dropped my 3rd F-bomb.

I TRY people I TRY.

Not really actually.

If I manage to withhold ill-timed expletives, I pretty much immediately say something I probably should have kept inside. Usually I think I’m being funny. Or, I think I’m commiserating with another mom.

(She does not think I’m funny.)

For example, I may say: “Lord do they EVER stop talking? I told them yesterday if they don’t stop talking for 5 minutes I’m going to saw my own ears off. I thought that was something of a win. Out of shock they stopped talking for 2.5 minutes.”

“Well developmentally it’s important to engage your children in age-appropriate….”


I think I’m just old. I have fewer fucks to give with each year that passes, and I started with a limited number, I assure you. And I have 4 kids now, which means all my parental delusions of grandeur have been reduced to “Why does my car still smell like old apples?”

Yes. That is my kid standing on top of the monkey bars and NO, no I don’t care that he’s there and YES, yes I know he could potentially fall but can you not see what’s beneath him?

Sand. Motherfucking SAND.

Look, if I had known we were gonna do this I would have remained on the bench gazing lovingly into my iPhone so you could have judged me from afar. But you engaged me and I thought “Oh, okay, human interaction. But now I see my whole role here is to help you establish your superiority.”

The problem is I have nothing to prove. I mean I’m like on the ground. I’m just like here. Being a human.

We’re at the park, stuck here with tiny insane half-naked sticky dictators, WHY MUST WE PLAY the ‘Who’s got the biggest penis’ VAGINA STYLE game?”

This is not fun. Can’t we just be friends?

No, no we cannot. Clearly, because you just launched into telling me about how your 3-year-old taught herself to read.


No? Well, I’m so glad you explained how the Paleo diet altered the course of your lives.

I’d totally get behind the Paleo diet if it allowed more frosting.

I do like bacon though.


Let’s talk about Bikram and barre.

I’m still in maternity clothes and had my baby a year ago. Now do you or do you not have a croissant to go with my head-sized iced coffee?

My face says “I’m out.” I mumble. Uh huh. Yeah. Wow. Sure.


Your baby slept through the night at 3 months? Sleep trained since birth? AMAZING. Mine is 12 months and nurses approximately 94% of the night and yes it sucks (haha see what I did there?) and no I’m not planning on doing anything about it. But thank you for the book recommendation.


Do you ever feel like you just don’t want to play? You know, the games? The human games (because of course men do this too)? The one-upping, the let’s establish hierarchy and determine who’s best? The stroke my ego while I diminish yours?

Whatever it is. All of it, but with the nice clean polish of friendly banter.

I just don’t understand WHY we have to do it. We’re both humans standing here with kids and bodies and minds and life is hard and parenthood is gorgeous AND bullshit and you and I both know you don’t know what the hell you’re doing any more than I do so why can’t we just let THAT be? Why can’t we just hang out in “I feel your pain” land and enjoy the adorable little monsters bolting around?

I know. I know this is just small talk, but if we can spend 20 minutes in a passive-aggressive verbal gymnastics, we can just as easily spend 20 minutes in LET’S BE REAL with each other.

I wish I could say: “I am a super fucking friendly person. You’ve got nothing to prove with me, lady. I’m just here for the kid silence.”


And if that doesn’t work, maybe we could have a code word, so like-minded moms like me (and probably you if you’ve read this far) can call to one another as a form of rescue. Like a mother life raft. Something we can shout when we’re cornered by Over-Zealous Preschool Mom or Why Aren’t Your Kids Dressed in Organic Hemp Mom or Attachment Parenting Zen Goddess Mom and then, when we hear it, we can run to each other’s sides and be like Was I paged? 

Maybe “Jack Daniels.” Quick, probably not going to be said often at kid events. Catchy. Memorable.

I can see it now:

Her: “I chose xxx school because of the GATE program because Johnny skipped 2 grades.”

Me: “Jack Daniels.” (Looks around nervously.)

Her: “My husband is a physicist and next week we’re going on a vacation to New Zealand with the nanny but I’m just having a really hard time packing Waldorf-approved airplane play bags for the kids!”


Her: “Do you have health insurance because you know what your kid is doing is really unsafe and clearly you don’t care.” (that actually happened.)


And then you’ll come to my rescue. And we’ll be friends.


Sweet. See you at the next kid thing.



Rocket’s face: Me during the one-upping conversations.


HEY, my writing workshop is open again. 

Begins July 22.

Here’s what people are saying:

“I’m much more confident about my writing after taking this workshop. I feel like you really showed me how good my writing can be and how to get it there. And it was a ton of fun! Made some great connection, personally and professionally.” – Jessica G.

“I loved the class; it was the perfect kick in the butt to just go ahead and WRITE ANYWAY!!” – Brynly B.

“I felt like I was hearing solid, professional, practical advice to move forward. I 100% met my goal for the class. I have been wondering if I could or would write in the future, I didn’t know what my content should be and now I know my plan. I learned how to continue to improve and found some people I could reach out to for some criticism as well. People I trust…I felt very safe.” – Tracy M.

JOIN US. It’s already half full!


Hey teenage girls: You are not the worst

by Janelle Hanchett

Recently I read (yet another) thread on Facebook that went like this:

Main post: “Teenage boys are so hard.”

Comments in thread: “You should be glad you don’t have GIRLS.”

At least you don’t have GIRLS. OMG TEENAGE GIRLS.

They are THE WORST.

Insane, emotional, slutty little things. Mean. Irrational.

I’m paraphrasing, but you know the story.

Get your shotgun out. Lock em up. But goddamnit why are they so ANNOYING?

I have a daughter. She’s 13. I don’t see it. I don’t see the horrible. I don’t think I ever will. Tell me I will. Tell me she’ll be “the worst” in a few years.

Dear humans:

What would happen if we dropped the storyline that teenaged girls are “the worst” and just let them fucking BE?




Well, since we’re on the topic, American teenage girls, I would like to provide a few guidelines for keeping yourself safe and navigating these awkward teenage years:

Do not wear revealing clothing like short shorts or leggings because boys just can’t control their hormones at this age and your skin makes them want to rape you. Yes, this is your problem. This could get complicated because you may have sexual feelings too and maybe WANT to show a little skin and explore the sensual side of your existence – OR MAYBE IT’S JUST A HOT DAY AND YOU ARE ACTUALLY PHYSICALLY HOT –  but this makes you a slut.

so don’t do that. nobody likes a slut.

Yes, that’s right: What’s unavoidable in boys is equally unavoidable in girls but in boys it’s expected (and possibly celebrated as a sign of virile heterosexuality) but in you it’s just dirty and shameful and your virile dad will need to protect you with a shotgun from virile boys whose parents dressed them in onesies at 6-months-of age that read: “Lock your daughters up.”

Now’s the time, daddy.

Lock.Your.Daughters.Up with those wild breasts and vaginas JUST OUT THERE FOR THE TAKING.

On to the topic of friends: Don’t be a “mean girl.” When boys have problems with their friends they are humans having problems with friends, or “assholes” or bullies, but when you do it there’s a special classification called “mean girl” because we need to make sure we establish early on that you are catty, simple-minded, and trite.

Newsflash “mean girl” is not actually a thing.

Assholes come in all genders.

Speaking of assholes, hormones rage in male and female teenagers, resulting in mood swings, tears, uncontrollable emotions and rage, but when you do it it’s a result of your vagina and uterus and menstruation and ohbytheway you’ll carry that with you your whole life. The irrationality. The emotionally unstable. When men cry we either deem them “pussies” or laud their gorgeous sensitivity. (Oh yes we’re screwing them too but that’s a different blog post.)

Have you dropped out of math yet?

Good. Stick with literature. Our emotional brains function better in those tender humanities.

Anyway, in short, teenage girls, this is why people hate you and why you read Facebook threads of grown-ass adults lamenting your existence and claiming you are WORSE than “boys:” Because you’re crazy and mean and irrational and emotional and slutty and your potential to get pregnant and evoke the (obviously unavoidable) rape drive in boys makes you a liability to yourself and your family.

Welcome to femaleness. Welcome to womanhood.

Welcome to the motherfucking jungle.

Oh shit wait! I forgot. How to not get your throat cut by strangers (this is from an actual list of helpful citizens on Facebook who commented on the occasion of a woman getting her throat cut by a stranger on the street):

  • do not get out of the car at nightFBbFBa
  • learn self defense
  • always carry pepper spray
  • do not know bad people
  • don’t be a prostitute
  • do not go into bad areas of town
  • don’t walk alone ever on a street ever.

(Why are they virtually unconcerned about the human who MURDERED another HUMAN? Well shoot your guess is as good as mine.)


(good times.)


Lemmetellyousomething my girl:

I don’t see this and I never will. Oh okaaaaay I see difficulty and I see pain and I see emotions and I see the hormones and the silliness woven with grown-up-ness and I see myself.

I see your father.

I see a child. I see a woman-child. I see a woman-child becoming woman. I see emotional turmoil. I see upset. I see rage. I see building moats in the sand and looking for seashells and painted nails and pedicures and long lean muscular legs and new curves and unruly curls on rainy days.

I see perfection.brokenness.gaping faults.attitude.

I see the difficulty of any kid that ever lived. I see all the boys and girls.

I see helpful. lazy. I see easier than my 4-year-old. independence. separation. wit and sarcasm and naiveté.

I see myself.

I was a teenage girl. I didn’t know the world hated me. Maybe because there wasn’t social media.

I see exploration. I see changing. I see life. I see a couple text messages to boys and a few discussions about this one and that one and I see you learning navigating working to understand other humans, life, sex, bodies, school, futures, loveheartangerragepainhystericalLaughingFriendsSiblingsFamilyandTomorrow.



Heyyyy daughter, I don’t hate you. I don’t think you’re slutty or evil or mean. I expect you to be irrational and emotional just like I am sometimes, and your dad is sometimes, and your brother and every other person ever.

I want to lock you up, but not because of your gender.

I want to hide you away from the idiots. I want to hide you away so you never think you are the worst. So you aren’t ashamed. So you aren’t embarrassed. So you don’t gaslight YOURSELF when you’re emotional and unstable and irrational in your room away from the family for a few moments telling yourself “Well here I am just another faulty female fulfilling those prophesies all over the internet.”

And I don’t want you to not see that you are growing up in a clusterfuck of rape culture victim blaming female-body shaming (all hail the thigh gap) – WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN – and it isn’t you at all at all at all. It’s us. Them. Them. Them.

We plunk you down in an insane world then belittle diminish fault and blame you as you struggle to find your place in an insane world.

You are me. You are him. You are her.

You are not the worst.

You are the motherfucking best.

Ours, at least.

If you read it, all that nonsense, don’t believe it.

Believe this. Believe it to the end, and I’ll see you on the other side, kid.




My dear friend Sarah Maren and I are teaching a writing & photography intensive workshop in Sacramento next month and it’s going to change lives. Well, maybe not. But it will be fun, and you will become a better writer and photographer.

8 spots left.


(also, how cute and innocent do I look in this drawing?!)


Things I’m supposed to care about but don’t, Christmas Edition

by Janelle Hanchett

Motherhood is continually urging me to give a shit about things I couldn’t care less about. Actually wait. No. Not motherhood. The hype surrounding motherhood. Websites, magazines, television, my damn Facebook feed.

It expects me to care about things like Elf on the Shelf, for example. Nope. Don’t care. I think it’s weird and a lot of work. “Hey kid, this creepy ass elf is gonna sit here and watch you and if you’re bad you get nothing because you’re bad bad BAD.”

Generally speaking, I’m the worst behaved person in this house, so why the fuck would I turn it into some Santa-big-brother-watchdog panopticon? Plus, they have the rest of their lives to feel like they’re being watched by the establishment. (Oh yeah, I read Foucault too, bitches.)

But here’s the thing: I also could not possibly care less if you use Elf on the Shelf. No really. I can think of fewer things less relevant to my life than whether or not humans make a flour snow angel with a plastic doll on their kitchen floors.

So when I read some article expounding on the pros and cons of Elf on the Shelf, all I think is WHAT THE HELL WHO CARES? And then all these parents growing irate, yelling and screaming and name-calling. Get a fucking hobby.


But the worst is when somebody comes up with a “new issue” that must be addressed. A new one. A new concern. Something serious. Something The Super Conscientious Mother discovered and is now writing about to inform the unenlightened masses, the implication being, of course, that if you’re a conscientious mother, you too will be concerned with this issue and change your behavior accordingly.

Behold, I give you, “Why we should leave the smaller gifts to Santa.”

Look, if it's made into a meme, it's real and important. Don't deny.

Look, if it’s made into a meme, it’s real and important. Share that shit and be The Conscientious Mother.

Yes. That’s right. We all have different incomes, and since Santa isn’t real (sorry to bust that one to you if it’s news), rich parents may have Santa brings lots of stuff and poor parents may have Santa bring not much stuff and then the kids go to school and talk about what they got from Santa and the poor kid says “OMG mom Johnny got lots and I got nothing and now I’m sad.”

And so, obviously, we should all make sure Santa brings socks. Because Santa’s a dick. Damn it. You see? This is my problem. I care so little about this nonsense I can’t even be serious about it.

Here’s the Facebook status update about which the aforementioned article was written: “Not all parents have a ton of cash to spend on making their kids [sic] Christmas special, so it doesn’t make sense to have Santa give your kid a PlayStation4 [sic], a bike, and an iPad, while his best friend at school gets a new hat and mittens from Santa.”

Look, if some kid got a Playstation, a bike and an iPad from Santa, they’re a fucking Kardashian and our kids aren’t going to school with them. And “big” is relative, right? I mean I grew up with a single mom and every year we had one “big gift” and one year it was a fish tank and I thought that was about the coolest thing I ever received in all my damn life because I was kind of used to small.

And parents buy kids the big gift that makes sense in their family, right? I mean you don’t really have to spend that much money to get a kid a gift that rocks their world. And seriously when does that conversation even happen? Kids go back to school 2 weeks after Christmas and this happens:

Kid one: “What did you get for Christmas?”

Kid 2: “Tons of shit nobody needs. What did you get?”

Kid 1: “Tons more shit nobody needs.”

I’m paraphrasing, but isn’t that pretty much how it goes? For real if your kid is old enough to decipher between parent gifts and Santa gifts, inquire and assess how it goes down at his homie’s house, then come home and pontificate about the inequalities of Christmas morn, your kid is old enough to find out that Santa lives “in the heart.”

George believes in Santa wholeheartedly. She also claims she has a “weiner shooter” and was relieved to finally become an ironworker officially (see photo to the right), so she can “help daddy with his work.” FullSizeRender-2

Her next favorite gift was a $5.00 bubble blowing machine I picked up on Groupon.

And yeah, maybe there’s some jealousy and maybe there’s some sad with the older kids. I see how the Santa fantasy potentially result in a kid’s hurt feelings, but I gotta level with you here, the only response I have to something like this is “Oh give me a fucking break.”

Maybe I’m a horrible person. Maybe I’m a self-centered ass with no concern for the pure hearts of innocent children. But I have no interest in bulldozing the path in front of my children to attempt to save them from the pain of reality. Some people are rich. Some aren’t. We aren’t. And if that requires a conversation about The Fat Man and why he brought Phil a WiiU and Rocket a $90 robot, well then I guess that conversation happens. And better yet, what if the Bastard Red-Suited Unequal Distributor of Resources triggered a conversation about being grateful for what you have? For being happy for others? For truth, perspective and empathy?

Maybe we talk to our kids about jealousy, about the ego’s attempt to control and take and get more. Maybe we talk about the way we think Stuff will bring happiness, the never-ending process of “As soon as I get this one thing I’ll be happy.” And how it never works. Let’s talk about capitalism and consumerism and materialism and waste (which I fully support during Christmas, FYI)! Really, the possibilities are endless.

Or maybe we just say “Yeah, I don’t know kid, I don’t know why that happened, maybe Santa’s something of an asshole.”

But seriously. All this bullshit hovering and helicoptering and clearing and bulldozing and setting up and protecting and making just right, how does that even make sense? At what point will somebody make the maintenance of my kid’s happy feelings their life’s work? They won’t.

How long will my kid live on earth before he feels jealousy? Before she realizes some people are better off than her? And what good am I doing them by running around like a bored squirrel on meth making sure nothing ever hurts them?

None. I’m doing them no good. How the hell do you prepare a kid for life by protecting them from life?

I want to protect my kids from danger, from real, permanent pain. That’s my job. That’s my work and I fight like hell to make that happen.

But a stab of jealousy? A realization of the difference of incomes? A momentary feeling of I’M NOT GETTING WHAT’S MINE? Yeah, sorry kid. That’s life, and it sucks sometimes.

Sometimes Santa’s a dick.

Now let’s go see how this robot works.


Arlo wants to know why all he got was a fucking teething ring.


Do you want to get back into writing? Maybe you write shit in your head all the time but never “put pen to paper?” If so you should probably join me for my first 2016 Writing Workshop.

One spot left in January morning session. February evening session is the only evening session I’ll offer of this workshop in 2016 (too many batshit kids in the evenings).

Email me with questions:

Or just sign up.


The No-Bullshit, No-Drama Friendship Manifesto

by Janelle Hanchett

I think mothers need a no-bullshit friendship manifesto.

That way, we can go into new relationships knowing we’re in agreement on a few critical factors, thereby avoiding the awkward situation in which you realize one person is into drama and the other isn’t. I’m never into the drama. I think I’m too old. Or tired. Or there’s just so many more interesting things to think about.

Like Michael Scott from The Office, for example. What’s more interesting than him?

You know what’s amazing? Friends who aren’t into drama.

I actually don’t have any of the other variety. I think I either scare them away or I run away. One can never be sure.

However, I often hear about mothers getting on other mothers’ cases for perfectly reasonable mother-behavior like being a fucking flake. And I’m baffled.

It ain’t right!

This aggression will not stand, man.

As if we don’t have enough to deal with. As if kids and domestic life partners and jobs and uteri aren’t enough of a damn problem, some people think “You didn’t call me back in a timely manner so now I’m mad at you” is a logical addition to the list. We can’t do that to each other. We just can’t.

So behold, the No-Bullshit, No-Drama Friendship Manifesto:

  1. I will not get on your case for not texting me back in a timely manner.
  2. I will not get on your case for not calling me back in a timely manner.
  3. This is because I will soon be the one not calling and texting you back in a timely manner.
  4. If you tell me you’re going to call me back “in a few minutes” I understand I may not hear from you for 3 days.
  5. I know this is not because you don’t love me.
  6. If I need you for real, I will harangue and harass you until you acknowledge me. This process includes, but is not limited to: calling, texting and emailing (repeatedly), instant messaging, tweeting, tagging on Instagram, showing up on doorsteps, actually leaving voicemails (!) and/or contacting spouses.
  7. This will not annoy you because you know you’re a fucking flake.
  8. This will not annoy me because I know I’m a fucking flake.
  9. If you don’t RSVP to my kid’s birthday party for 3 weeks then call the morning of the event and say “Uh, yeah, um, sorry, but can we come?” I’m not going to express profound irritation through a suppressed sigh and deep pause, rather I’m gonna be like “Yeah that’s cool, but do you have any candles? I forgot the effing candles.”
  10. And I’m going to be happy you came, because we’re friends.
  11. When my kids are acting like shitheads and you’re like “Hey child, No.” I won’t get all righteously indignant. Instead I’ll look at you in gratefulness for dealing with the little bastards so I don’t have to.
  12. When you get pissed at your husband, I will agree he is the most sorry d-bag to ever walk the planet and we shall plan for the day when we live on an all-female commune with organic produce, llamas and wool spinning-wheels. And redwood trees. And the ocean.
  13. Even if you’re clearly the asshole.
  14. When you swear in front of my kids I won’t care. Because obviously.
  15. The dinners you make uniformly blow my mind.
  16. Whoever has the youngest (or worst behaving child) at the moment gets to make decisions. We all understand that children are often foul, insane little creatures and it needn’t even be mentioned that we DON’T BLAME YOU.
  17. Maybe your house is clean. Maybe it isn’t. Maybe who gives a rat’s ass?
  18. When I say something stupid that could be conveyed as insulting or whatever, you’re not going to get all overly sensitive and weird, calling mutual friends and psycho-analyzing what, exactly, my problem is (probably going back to childhood), rather you’re going to call me out on it and then I’m going to apologize and we’re going to move on, LIKE ADULTS, because occasionally adults say stupid shit, the end.
  19. When you say something stupid, I’ll either do number 18 or, and I know this is revolutionary, I’LL LET IT GO.
  20. We tell each other the truth (except the asshole part when fighting with domestic life partners).
  21. When my jeans are sagging, you’re going to lovingly take me shopping. Or you’re going to not notice. These are the only two options.
  22. The only time I’m going to one-up you is to prove I’ve screwed up worse than the time you’re currently feeling terribly about.
  23. I will not give helpful parenting advice. You will not give helpful parenting advice. WE ALL HATE THE MOM WITH HELPFUL PARENTING ADVICE.
  24. I understand that “on time” means “not as late as I usually am.”
  25. When our conversation gets interrupted nineteen hundred and forty seven times by one kid or another and that thing I was going to say that was so funny and interesting is forgotten entirely, I won’t get hurt feelings.
  26. When I borrow a baby item, don’t return it, then, 2 years later, when you ask for it back and I’m like “Yeah I don’t think we have that anymore,” you’re like “oh okay” but then, 4 months later, when I find it in a bin in my garage, you’re like “It’s cool.”
  27. Because we’re both fucking flakes, except when it matters.

And we’ll know when it matters, because WE ARE FRIENDS.

And when it matters, we show up no matter what with whole heart, or fist, ready to build or struggle or soothe. Ready to hold or make or remake, maybe for the hundredth time.

We show up with tears and sweat and annoying kids and food, laughter and some yelling, a cracked voice and a steady ear.

Because we are friends.

We let go of the bullshit and just love. And if there isn’t love, we let go of the charade and find some real friends.

Because really, what the hell else is there? Just a bunch of humans bumbling along.

This week, my ass was saved by one of these friends. There’s something spectacular about this, all of it, the no-bullshit friendship.

The soft place and rock. When it matters.



Shrek BFFs