Posts Filed Under stupid shit mothers do

15 signs you need to GTFU

by Janelle Hanchett

I agree with this dude who said parents need to calm the fuck down.

I would like to add that people need to grow the fuck up. From this point forward, we shall use the acronym GTFU. Sometimes, that’s the simple answer. Calm the fuck down, GTFU.

Personally, I’m pretty tired of people walking around as if they’re grown up, only to commit some fatal juvenile act outta the damn blue, signaling a formerly unknown, totally unmanageable well of immaturity. It’s actually rather disturbing. You’re hanging out with somebody all chill and shit thinking “Yeah, look at us, two adults.” And then boom! It happens and you’re all “Oh, wow. I was wrong. You’re my tween.” Possibly my toddler.

I mean come ON, I’m immature. But even I have figured out a few things during my years, and my bar is low I assure you. Some things just aren’t right, and whether we want to or not, at some point, in some areas, we simply must GTFU.

So in the interest of helpfulness (not really, I actually have no interest in being helpful at all), I have compiled a list of behaviors that really signal a need to GTFU.

This list is not comprehensive.


1. Finding yourself disturbed for more than 12 seconds by something you read on The Twitter. Check this out: There’s real life and there’s social media.Twitter falls into the category of “social media.” Social media is known to be the gathering ground of all idiots of the world, because not only are they idiots, they are INVISIBLE IDIOTS, which empowers the shit outta them. So, since it surpasses standard dumb exponentially via the blessing of anonymity, social media weirdness needn’t compel serious introspection or offense, but rather one thought and one thought only: What the hell is wrong with these people? And then you get back into real life.

2. Getting unfriended on Facebook results in days of thought and emotional turmoil. If you’re pissing people off, you’re doing it right. Well, usually. Unless you’re Rush Limbaugh or a proponent of this website, which promotes the equal treatment of white people (because that’s obviously always been a problem). There’s no way anybody on that website is doing it right.

3. Involving yourself in every corner of your kids’ lives, telling yourself it’s “for their good.” Look, the rest of the world knows you need to GTFU, because really, it’s all about you. You have not realized your childhood is over. Ship fully sailed. Please stop controlling your kids to bolster the value and meaning of your own existence. We are now in grown-up mode, where we reflect on past mistakes with a mix of nostalgia and horror as opposed to attempt to FIX them through innocent children. Get with the program!

4. You are offended/disturbed/made to feel funny by women breastfeeding in public without a cover. Masturbate, watch porn, move to Denmark. DO WHAT IT TAKES TO FIX YOURSELF.

5. You are in your 30s and think it’s acceptable to smoke weed and play video games all day while your partner goes to work.

6. You are the partner of number 5 and defend him(her?) to your parents by saying things like “But we’re in love.”

7. U write all correspondence like ur texting.

8. You play Candy Crush. Dude I’m totally joking. Just got addicted to that shit last week. However, if you play Candy Crush and send repeated requests for it, you may need to GTFU, realizing that most people with brains do not play stupid candy games on their iPhones. And if they do, they deny the shit out of it. So deny your shit like the rest of us! (for real though, lately, my house is so messy I choose to sit on the couch and wait for more Candy Crush lives as a new form of denial.)

9. When you’re angry at a friend, you prefer The Passive-Aggressive Unfollow rather than an actual conversation. Look. Good old face-to-face conversations tend to be more effective than a silent click and seething disdain. While I can get behind the “unfriend” as joyfully as the next guy, if you are going to remain a fixture in my life for reasons beyond my control, can we just talk about our issues directly rather than dance around “follow” lists?

10. Wearing sweatpants with words on the rear.

No wait. Actually I’m not done with the Passive-Aggressive Unfollow thing. You see here’s what makes your move childish and infuriating: YOU KNOW THE UNFOLLOW WILL IGNITE A CONVERSATION so it isn’t that you don’t want to talk, it’s that you want to poke me and prod me until I say “Okay, FINE, what is it. Why are you mad? How can I make this better?”

Newsflash: That’s what kids do. GTFU.

11. Yelling at check-out people instead of managers. Everybody knows it’s not their fault. We’re all watching you yell at the pimply faced 18-year-old Target check-out-guy nursing a hangover and general malaise are thinking one thing: “What sort of asshat thinks it’s this kid’s fault the headphones were marked on clearance and now they’re not?” GTFU.

12. You have a beard like this guy.


I’m kidding. If you have a beard like this guy, you have reached the pinnacle of manhood. You have no further to go. Stop now while you’re ahead. YOU WILL NEVER GET MORE GROWN UP.

13. Judging people’s maturity by their facial hair. OH FUCK YOU. It’s a reliable maturity indicator.

14. Making duck face in photographs, seriously. 

15. Dismissing entire pieces of writing on account of one typo. Grown-ups have been the asshole, probably on more than one occasion, who suddenly for absolutely no apparent reason emails “there” coworkers and gets a reply from them, reads it, notices the typo in shock and horror, requesting immediately that those same coworkers hold her head in a full toilet bowl until she stops squirming.

Life is no longer worth living.

Okay if you think grammatical errors or looking like a douchebag signals the end of the world, you should probably GTFU, because actual grown-ups have realized we’re all douchebags who do the wrong thing, piss people off, and people piss us off.

And rather than pout and freak out and unfollow each other, we can just talk about it, like big people.

Or we can write about it on our blogs, sure the offenders won’t see anyway, CAUSE THEY’VE ALL UNFOLLOWED YOU.


I need to GTFU.

Leave me alone. I’m need to go play Candy Crush in my sweatpants with words on them while I unfollow people who were mean to me on Twitter.

And then I’m going to try to follow my own advice, which would be way easier if I didn’t hate advice like a fucking 16-year old.

No but really. The passive-aggressive unfollow thing is super uncool. I stand by that one with every shred of my immature heart.

Things that break my soul: Back to School Teacher Gifts

by Janelle Hanchett

Just when I think I’m doing okay as a mother, some soul-sucking invention launches itself in my face and screams “Oh no, bitch. You’re still wrong. You’re never gonna get this right.”


I saw those five horrid words strung together for the first time a few days ago and thought “Wait. That can’t be a real thing.”

It must just be some bullshit created by Target or Walmart to sucker us (through guilt) into buying useless crap for people who are probably wishing we’d all stop buying them useless crap. It’s an invented thing like “Sibling Appreciation Day” or health insurance company customer service. It’s not real. It’s an idea that nobody actually gets behind.

But then I see real live grown-up humans talking about ideas for Back to fucking School Teacher Gifts and I die a little inside because now I have irrevocable evidence that at least a few people think it’s a real thing.

Which means, of course, once again, I’m the freak.

Check it out. I’m gonna say this once and I hope it’s clear: I will never, ever buy a goddamn Back to School Teacher Appreciation Gift.


Because I’m a horrible human being. Let’s start there.

You know how my mind goes?

Why the fuck would I buy an “appreciation” gift for a teacher I do not yet appreciate? I mean seriously, how does that make sense? She could be like the worst teacher in the world. She could play favorites and my kid could be the non-favorite.

Or wait. Maybe that’s it: Is this gift to butter her up in advance so my child is undeservedly favored on account of the cute wooden apple paper weight I gave her on the first day?

Fuck that noise.

If my kids are loathed or adored it’s gonna be at their own hands. Master of their fates and whatnot.

Oh, come ON. I know it’s a “nice gesture,” and I know teachers are working way before the first day of school, and I know they don’t get paid enough and are doing some of the hardest work imaginable. Some of the teachers in my life were life-changing. Wonderful. I actually just tried to email my 5th-grade teacher a couple months ago to thank him, because he told me I had a talent in writing, and that I should always follow it, and he sent a story I wrote called “The Pig Family” into a local newspaper and it got published, and for the rest of my youth I thought in the back of my mind “I’m a writer. I’m a talented writer. Mr. Zuniga said so.” It’s like he said it and I believed it and it never left me. And look what I’m doing now, folks. How do you thank somebody for that? I love that man.

And some of my kids’ teachers have blown my mind with what they were willing to do for my kids. My daughter had a teacher last year who stayed after school on Fridays to read freaking Charles Dickens with her. Every week when it happened I just wanted to stare at her because I couldn’t believe the patience, devotion and kindness. My son’s teacher last year made my boy with dyslexia feel safe, protected, capable and confident in the classroom, and she did it purposely and knowingly, and he blossomed because of her, her insight, her gentleness, her care for my son. How do you thank people like that? My heart explodes. You better believe they got a letter from me at the end of the year.

Incidentally, I once threw a slumber party for 7 girls and had to sleep for like 9 days after it to deal with the shock of the annoyance of that many children. I have no idea how they do it.

But let’s be honest: Some teachers are mediocre. Some teachers totally fucking blow. Some show up every day dragging their scowling asses to the classroom because they are 7 years from retirement or have no better career ideas. I had a teacher in junior high taunt me for being the slowest runner during P.E. Honestly it was cruel. She did it front of the whole class, told me she had heard good things about me and was excited about having me in her class, but now she knows I’m nothing special. Ouch. And in 7th-grade, when my face was full of pimples and I was already a geeky poor kid.

What a bitch.

I’ve had teachers drone on endlessly about NOTHING, day after day after day, so clearly not giving a shit it’s ridiculous. I’ve had teachers only pay attention to the athletes or cool kids. I’ve had soul-sucking teachers.

So why do I have to get all excited about the possibility of a person doing their job well? I have an idea: How about you do your job well and then I will express my gratitude for it once I’ve developed a genuine respect for you?

Shocking stuff here.

See, I told you. Horrible human being.

Now, let’s back up.

Even if I had a heart, even if I could theoretically get behind this whole Back to School Teacher Gift nonsense, there is no way I could handle that shit logistically.

I had a hard time getting all the stuff on the four-mile-long, brand-specific, color-inch-line-spacing specific $100 supply list. [It was really only a page, but it felt like four-miles and it was definitely $100 for the two kids.]

Do you really think I can handle some “thoughtful little something” in addition?

I’m just trying to remember to make lunches, people. WORK WITH ME HERE.

Oh just buy a Starbucks gift card, you say?

Right. Yes. Easy. Except that we’re broke, and it’s rude to get something below like $10.00, right? I mean $5.00 buys a coffee, maybe two, but not even enough coffee for two people. So it’s really gotta be $10.00, because if we’re showing appreciation, what the hell does $5.00 say? “I almost appreciate you?”

“I sort of appreciate you?”

“I appreciate you but not enough to spend actual money on you, which brings us back to the whole ‘almost’ thing?”

But if I get $10.00 cards for both of my kids’ teachers, I’m $20.00 IN THE HOLE and them I’m just bitter, cause I can’t really afford that, particularly since I just spent $100 on supplies. So now I’ve started the year off spending money on a human I’ve never met in HOPES that he’s a decent teacher and won’t abuse my child or turn him into a Republican (That was a joke. Come on it was FUNNY. I’d much rather my kid turn into a Republican than one of those elitist, out-of-touch privileged yuppie liberals who think they’re all enlightened and against-the-system when actually their whole life is founded on the system they learned to hate in that liberal private girls’ college. I mean honestly. Is there anything worse? You’re right. Rush Limbaugh. Actually, nevermind. It’s up in the air.)

Nope. Rush is worse.

Back on track, Janelle.

I hope their teachers teach them to FOCUS.

So then I tell myself “Rage against the machine!” Fight the system! Live on the edge! Reject the Back to School Teacher Appreciation Gift!

And I think I’m secure in my decision, until it pops up again on my newsfeed. Again there’s an advertisement. Again there’s an Instagram of these super cute Mason jar cookie mix things with a paper-bag tag that says “Thanks, teacher!” and some raffia and a joyful mother exclaiming in the comment “I saw it on Pinterest!”

And I feel like a total asshole.

And I wonder what the hell is wrong with me. I mean really, “Why am I such a dick?”

I think I was born without the appropriate mothering gene, or at least the one required to participate in illogical activities grounded in niceness and generosity.

My God, there is something wrong with me.


Rage against the Back to School Teacher Appreciation Gift!


Here's something for your damn Pinterest board.

Here’s something for your damn Pinterest board.

You blissed-out moms are ruining futures

by Janelle Hanchett

Occasionally I get a comment or email from some “well-meaning” human explaining to me that I really should stop saying such horrible things about my kids and being a mother because my kids “will read it someday” and it will “hurt their feelings” or “make them sad” to find out their mom felt that way.

And I see this attitude throughout the internet, in comments and articles critiquing those “shit-talking” mamas.

Yesterday I received a comment that encapsulates this perspective so well I have to share the whole thing: “Janelle you are trying so hard. I do wonder though, after reading some posts ( which do make me laugh!) how your children will feel reading them in the future: for example the one about your ‘ insane toddler’ or the one where you admit you hate playing with them. Lots of mum’s think this but no one actually says it. You think it’s just a vent and no harm done but you can never truly erase things from the Internet. For your children to one day know how you really felt about their childhood is so sad. Please write some more content your kids can be proud of. I say this with love so that one day you don’t have a poor relationship with your grown children. They deserve better than that and so do you. Think what you are sacrificing for others’ cheap laughs. I hope one day family life will bring you the joy it truly can be. All the best.”

Now, I have no interest in criticizing this commenter in particular. We could attack her for being condescending and oddly interested in the life of a stranger (which is all totally true, of course), but what I want to look at is the attitude behind this comment. It’s everywhere. She is mouthing a viewpoint deeply ingrained in our society.

And I want to tear this shit down because it’s nonsense, and it’s ruining futures.

To me, the most terrifying part of this comment is this: “Lots of mums think this but no one actually says it.”

Oh, lord.

This ain’t good. So what you’re saying is: Though many mothers experience the struggles you talk about, think and feel the same way, they have internalized the societal expectation that they SILENCE themselves for the good of their children.

They have learned to SHUT THE FUCK UP because they have uteri and have “made the choice” to join the sacred tribe of motherhood and therefore, they uphold the sacred values of that calling while simultaneously erasing themselves on its behalf.


We don’t let our kids know “how we really felt about their childhood” because we do not matter.

But check this out, my friend: How is dishonesty and lying and the perpetuation of mysogynistic expectations GOOD for my kids?

How am I doing my daughters and sons any favor whatsoever by pretending reality is something other than it is? Hey kids, join me in this falsely constructed world, because society says it’s the way we’re supposed to act. Even though it’s not true, and WE ALL KNOW IT’S NOT TRUE, we do it anyway…just because!

Haven’t you blissed-out mamas ever heard of Sylvia Plath? Haven’t you people thought about WHY it is that so many women suffer from post-partum depression, kill their kids, lose their minds, SNAP one day over a batch of gluten-free cupcakes?

And all the family is dead.

Do you ever think your blissed-out bullshit attitude contributes to women hiding themselves in shame as they pretend and pretend and pretend it’s all good and right and fun and rewarding…until they can’t pretend anymore….and Boom. Done.

They’re dying inside. But they can’t say a word.

Because they’re mothers.

And motherhood is sacred, you know. And they might hurt their kids someday. And they love those kids so desperately they wouldn’t take that chance. So they hold on, in silence, with bowed heads and contrite hearts but a fire in their gut that won’t stop burning, a red, raging, insane mass — because maybe they’ve been lied to, or maybe they’re the only defective mother in the world – the one who isn’t infinitely fulfilled and hates playing Monopoly with her kids and thinks PTA meetings are pits of despair and can’t seem to get the house clean and organized when everybody else can..right? She walks around the schoolyard with a smile and a gagged mouth and freshly washed capris, but she pinched her baby that morning. The truth sits like bacteria eating her soul, a little more each day.

But she can’t say a word, because it might hurt her kids.

She tells herself she’s sacrificing for her children. She holds on with all her might to society’s promise that this is what’s best for them and they’ll thank her someday and they’ll be good people in a good world she’s made.

But one day they’re gone, moved on with their lives and yeah, they love her but now she’s 45 or 50 years old and her truth has never been spoken and her life’s half over and all those kids don’t even know.  They’re in a new place but she’s just there, STILL. Wondering why, and how it is she was erased just as she was starting to live.

She probably wonders if she could have told the truth after all, and been a little freer, lived a little stronger, maybe helped her daughter who seems to be struggling with the same shit now, but she can’t say anything because it’s too late now. It’s just too late now.

So they both go on, alone, thinking things but not saying them…

You know what? This is HER LIFE TOO and she is a PERSON not a SHELL. She is a PERSON who acts as MOTHER. She is a mother though not ONLY MOTHER.

You’ve tried to make her “only mother.” You’ve tried to eliminate her.

And you’d sooner see her die than speak her truth.

Well let me tell you something, you fucking rainbow ribbon mamas walking around with butterflies of love flying out your asses: You’re killing people.

Not only that, you’re delusional. You’d rather live in a fucking fantasy world than face the truth, which officially makes you a damn nutcase.

Put this in your pipe and smoke it: I’m doing my kids a FAVOR by telling them the truth. That way, when my girl has her first baby and feels that death of self, maybe she won’t suffer quite like I did. Maybe she’ll know she can call her mom and talk to her about the real, the grit, the nasty, raw ugly truth.

And maybe I can help her with the truth of my own life.

Maybe my son will give me a call in 15 years and say “Mom, I think my wife is going through what you did. She won’t get out of bed and it’s scaring me. She says she doesn’t want the baby. Mom, what should I do? How did you get through this? I want to help her.”

And he’ll have the power and courage and knowledge to face the nasty, raw, ugly, life-saving gorgeous truth. That’s what I want to give.


BECAUSE IT’S REAL, moron. And therefore it is right. It may be harder, but it’s right. And it’s the only way to become free. Why waste our time devoted to a fantasy? Why waste our lives perpetuating lies, even though we have daily evidence of reality, of the truth? Why do we justify a constant disconnect between what we’re experiencing and what we portray to the world?

Is there a faster track to insanity?

Maybe you don’t find motherhood difficult. Maybe you love it through and through and it works for you 100%. If that’s the case for you, rock the fuck on!

But don’t tell me I should adopt your experience even though it isn’t mine, that I should lie and cover up my truth because it might “hurt” my kids someday, as if you have some monopoly on motherhood because you happen to be living an American-approved Hallmark movie.

Sometimes I hate motherhood. Other times I don’t. How is that hurtful? And even if it is hurtful, who gives a shit?

It’s true.

I don’t care if honesty is the “best” way to parent. I don’t care if telling the truth results in the “best” outcomes. All I know is this: THIS IS WHO I AM.

And I love my kids with every fiber of my being. My love for them pulses like blood through my veins, like the very blood that sustains my life.

And if that’s true, which it is, why would I ever doubt the validity of my occasional loathing for them? That’s true too, and it’s happening in me, and I’m an alright human who loves her kids.

It isn’t wrong because I’m not wrong. I am a human being with a good heart and strong mind, trying my best in a world I barely understand and I’ll tell you right now I would give my life for my kids. Since that’s true, I have nothing to prove.

So why would I shirk from the REST of the truth? Why would I admit the loving part but deny the rest?

Because I’m scared? Because I think it’s wrong? Because it would break my grown children’s hearts and souls to know their mama loved them desperately AND occasionally considered launching herself into oncoming traffic to escape the sound of their bickering?

No, that can’t be it, because, hmmm…


It’s exactly how they feel about their fucking children.

do not talk about motherhood

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

by Janelle Hanchett

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.


Cheers to one more milestone I won’t be celebrating!

by Janelle Hanchett

One of the most baffling aspects of motherhood is the way it seems to obligate me to get excited about things I’m really just not that excited about. Like I’m supposed to get all into it because I’m a mother or something, but really I just watch other women get excited about it and wonder if I’m missing something.

You know like “When did that ship sail, cause seriously, I barely give a shit.”

For example, parent-teacher conferences. I hear women talk about them like they’re the biggest deal all year. You know what I think when I get that notice home? “Damn, how the hell am I going to wrangle the toddler while I sit through this thing?” Or, “Shit. One more thing to do.”

I mean I can write the whole thing for you right now anyway. Here it goes: “Your daughter is way above grade level in all subjects but has a hard time working with others and waiting her turn to talk. Your son is performing below grade level in all subjects but is a natural leader and a master at P.E. and everybody loves him.”

And all these “milestones” that I’m supposed to start jumping up and down shouting “yippee!” – first crawls, first words, first whatever – obviously these are kind of fun, and I’m excited in a “I’m glad my child is progressing” kind of way, but I’m not like tearing down the house with glee. Ya feel me? [Seriously, Janelle, rhyming?]

Because all these “milestones,” while glorious in their indication that all is well with the offspring’s progress, also mark whole new insane levels of work and chaos.

Crawling? Yipee! Now I have a MOBILE maniac.

Walking? Now I have a fast, mobile maniac.

Talking? Start of the slippery slope to the day when she NEVER EVER FUCKING STOPS TALKING. EVER.

But one of the things I felt comfortable in my disdain of, one of the “milestones” I thought I was safe to not get excited about, at all, in fact pretty much loathe, was potty training. I mean, who likes that? Nobody. It’s not fun. It’s not amusing. It’s not even cute. It involves crap and work and pee, and cajoling, and angry blog posts by judgmental women who hate the fact that I bribe my kid with chocolate chips.


So you can imagine my surprise when my homies emailed me an actual invitation to a “potty training party.”

A what what?

Oh yeah, you heard me. A party. Celebrating potty training.

Like, one you’re supposed to attend. Fiesta. Shindig.

You get it.

Here’s a quote, in case you don’t believe me: “Let’s get potty training started with a party! Come and join us for a day celebrating this inevitable milestone! We’ll have snacks and drinks for all, and a lot of fun!”

What the WHAT?

Beyond the excessive use of exclamation points, which already makes me want to die a slow death in a cold basement, the idea of celebrating POTTY TRAINING is about the most obscure concept I’ve ever heard of. It’s like oxymoronic. Or Ironic. It can’t be real. BUT IT IS.

It’s like having a party to celebrate menopause. Or hemorrhoids. Or how about a little shindig honoring a recent hysterectomy? (although wait. That one may have potential.)

You know what potty training looks like in our house? A naked toddler pissing on the floor then running up to us gleefully exclaiming “I peed in the potty!” Or Rocket laughing his ass off from the other room, barely squeaking out between squeals of laughter “Georgia’s pooping in the dollhouse!” Or it’s seeing the toddler begin to urinate on the couch, yelling “NOOOOOO!!!!” (like in one of those Hallmark movies where the dude protagonist watches the main chick die), and (in similar slow motion) bolting across the floor to stick her on the potty, which is, incidentally, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FREAKING LIVING ROOM (because potty training seems to turn you into white trash, TOO) meaning we all get peed on and the floor is covered but the actual potty contains approximately 5 drops of urine, the sad remains of the cross-room journey.

For obvious reasons, I delay this shit (ha.ha.) as long as I possibly can (because OMG the work involved), but eventually it becomes so obvious that it’s “potty training time!” that I start looking bad at playgroups (um, because I totally go to those), so I start sloughing the work onto my husband, telling him he better get on it and pronto, as payback for the fact that I carried the urinater in question in my womb for 10 months and now pee on myself when I sneeze. Also he still doesn’t know where we keep the strainer.

Only fair, says I.

Dude, I’m not kidding, we’re so bad at potty training the toddler HERSELF asks us to remove her diaper so she can poop.

Judge not. Or judge. Whatever.

So HOW THE HELL am I supposed to comprehend a PARTY celebrating the “inevitable milestone?”

It ain’t easy, I tell you.

After we commiserated for a bit on the bleak state of humanity (what has the world come to when we’re having parties celebrating potty training?), my friend did some sleuthing and discovered that the event in question is this thing created and “sponsored” by Pull-Ups (oh yeah, you thought it couldn’t worse, didn’t ya?), and if you want to have one of these little shindigs, you “apply” for it and Pull-Ups chooses you based on SOMETHING (I can’t even imagine) and they send you a bunch of Pull-ups for your kid and guests, party hats and all kinds of other nonsense. There’s even a “potty training DANCE” everybody can do together! I just vomited a little in my mouth.

So basically, in having one of these parties, you become not only a threat to all that’s holy, but also a tool for the marketing antics of corporate America! Gooooo Huggies!



Only I’m making my own damn invitations. Otherwise, my people won’t be interested. Here they are.

You coming?