Posts Filed Under stupid shit mothers do

Playdate calling cards for the rest of us

by Janelle Hanchett

So that whole Push Present post, along with the brilliant comment by Stephanie over at Momma Be Thy Name (if you aren’t reading her, you should), got me thinking about “playdate calling cards.” So of course, like any sane human, I Googled that shit. I know, I’m a thinker.

I found out all sorts of interesting things. Not really. To be honest, it’s a rather insipid topic (which fully explains why I’m writing about it, right?).

I pretty much only learned that they go by multiple names: “mommy calling cards,” “mommy playdate cards,” and, for those into the whole brevity thing, “mommy cards.”

First of all, don’t call me “mommy.” I thought we’ve been over this.

Secondly, do these things exist because it’s too difficult to put somebody’s number in your fucking cell phone? Or is it just to be cute, even, perhaps, what I might call Excessively Cute? and you know how I feel about The Excessively Cute.

These are deep questions. Can’t be answered at one sitting.

However, while contemplating this inane topic, I realized that I could perhaps get behind the whole “mommy card” thing, were they not called “mommy cards,” not quite so damn cute, and didn’t imply that my ENTIRE IDENTITY can be conveyed by the words “mommy to Ava, Rocket and Georgia!”

So basically I pretty much can’t get behind them. Or I could, if they were recast into some totally inappropriate, renegade version, you know, something we might call “Cards to weed out the women who wouldn’t want to hang out with me or my offspring anyway.”

Not particularly catchy.

But alas, all the “mommy cards” I saw said variations of the aforementioned statement “mommy to ____” followed up with contact information. Some of them said “Let’s have a playdate!” at the top.

Now these simply will not work for me, so I figured I’d make a few that would.

I could hand these to women who chat with me at the park, seeing the in-public, well-behaved (more or less), not-saying-“fuck” version of me. [I try not to say the F word around other people’s children. Or my own, though that’s always a bit sketchy. Let’s change the subject.] And then, they would have fair warning that I am THAT type of mother with THOSE types of children…and then, she can run.

FYI, I don’t drink anymore, on account of the last one being TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY THE WAY I USED TO ROLL.

Sorry for the all caps. It’s a disease.

You know, now that I really think about it, I think I really, really like the idea of these things.

They are just so damn versatile. Don’t you think?

But seriously. Stop calling me “mommy.”


The Push Present Post (as promised)

by Janelle Hanchett


What the hell happened up there with all that alliteration? How cute.

Anyway, let’s talk about “push presents.”

Unclear on the concept? Doubting the little voice in your head whispering the likely definition? Can’t quite grasp the implications? Well, just for funsies, let’s borrow Wikipedia’s definition (this is a BLOG, after all, not some academic research paper)… “A push present (also known as a ‘push gift’ or ‘baby bauble’) is a present a new father gives a new mother when she gives birth to their child.”

Setting aside all criticism of the heteronormativity being displayed in the aforementioned definition, let me just say that if I hear the words “baby bauble” ever again I’m going to vomit on my keyboard without restraint.

Anyway, before I looked it up – you know, delved deep into investigative journalism for the sake of this profound post – I suspected I would hate the idea of a “push present.” Just call it a gut feeling. However, after reading the following drivel from “Linda Murray,” this gut feeling materialized into a concrete disdain for the entire concept of “push present,” and the distinct awareness that I would punch my husband in the nuts if he attempted to give me one.

I mean seriously, if THIS is what it is, I don’t want anything to do with it:

“According to Linda Murray, the executive editor of, ‘It’s more and more an expectation of moms these days that they deserve something for bearing the burden for nine months, getting sick, ruining their body. The guilt really gets piled on.’ Other sources trace the development of the present to the increased assertiveness of women, allowing them to ask for a present more directly, or the increased involvement of the men in pregnancy, making them more informed of the pain and difficulties of pregnancy and labor.”

OH HOLY MOTHER OF GOD do you really think some GIFT is going to make up for the fact that I now pee on myself when I sneeze, my tits kick it near my belly, and my stomach  bulges like an overflowing cupcake? (Also, Linda Bite Me Murray, “ruining their body?” REALLY? Screw you.)

Oh, honey, yes, I just endured morning sickness, a pin-sized bladder, waddling and back pain for nine months, culminating in the most excruciating few hours of my life, during which time I rallied the strength of 10,000 women to push a gigantic baby out of a barely-participating vagina – I shit on a table, got hemorrhoids and rips in inhumane places, and I now face cracked nipples, dripping breastmilk, emotional turmoil, no sleep and a lifetime of guilt and responsibility [having just become somebody’s MOTHER]… but that white gold ring you got me? Oh, yes. That makes up for it. I now see how appreciated I am. I see that you totally “get it,” sweet cheeks. Thank GOODNESS I’m appreciated.

What do they think we’re fucking stupid?

On what planet does the purchasing of a trinket or furniture or jewelry indicate a man’s “involvement in pregnancy” or make them “more informed of the pain and difficulties of pregnancy and labor?”

You want to show me you care? You want to give me a “push present?” Here. How about one of these:

Love me. Go to work. Don’t cheat. Wash the fucking dishes. Take the newborn OUT OF THE HOUSE so I can actually sleep (cause the living room ain’t cuttin’ it sunshine). Understand that I need my mother more than I need you right now. Realize I won’t have sex with you for at least 2 months and possible 6 more after that. Let my friends come over. Don’t ask me what I “did all day.” Hold your baby. Wear your baby. Learn to put him to sleep. Stand by my side.

Love your child. Be a father. Sit with me for a moment and gaze at this perfect creation.

Spend the rest of your life as my partner and friend and lover, raising this little being we just created.

How’s that for a damn push present? suggests some “amazing” gifts for women who “rocked Labor & Delivery,” [and they suggest we should “start dropping hints” to our “hubs” – What is wrong with these people?!] such as rings with the kid’s birthstone, necklaces, a fancy rocking arm chair, a family vacation, a big screen TV, and, my personal favorite: PLAYDATE CALLING CARDS.

I can’t even inch near the topic of “playdate calling cards.” Not enough time.

As often happens, I believe I can best summarize my feelings about receiving one of these items as a “push present” with a graph, or two.

First of all, it appears that a push present is intended to show the mother what a badass she is, to congratulate her on a job well done. Well, here’s my thought on that:



And really, here’s the bottom line: there’s nothing wrong with buying somebody a gift. I get that. HOWEVER, the reality of the situation, for me, is as follows: I don’t care what my husband were to buy me, it would not mean shit next to the newborn baby I am holding in my arms.

I made a pie chart to demonstrate.


You feel me here? I almost find it demeaning…as if some item, some material good, some PURCHASE could “thank me” for carrying and birthing a human being, for becoming a mother, for the courage and strength and power contained in a woman giving birth, could recognize the sacrifice I have made and will make for the rest of my life…and, perhaps most offensively, that this item would do so more powerfully than the child herself.

So yeah. For now, I’ll just stick with the baby, as the greatest fucking “baby bauble” in the world.


Check it out. There are two types of mothers in the world…

by Janelle Hanchett


Look, I’ve given this a lot of thought. I’ve mulled it over and analyzed it from fifty directions. I’ve considered and contemplated and questioned. And as you know, I spend a good deal of my life contemplating irrational theories with no importance whatsoever, so it should come to no surprise that I have come to the following conclusion…

There are two types of mothers in the world: those who say things like “baby sprinkle,” and those who do not.

What the fuck is a “baby sprinkle?” Yes, Exactly. That’s why we’re friends. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Evidently, a “baby sprinkle” is the celebration you have for your second baby (and subsequent ones I imagine). You know, it’s not a full shower. It’s a “sprinkle.” Isn’t that cute?

No, no it is not cute.

Well yes, actually. Actually yes it is cute. It is so cute it’s dripping cuteness from its every pore. It’s so cute it makes puppies look deformed. It’s the cutest fucking thing I’ve ever heard in my life.

And if you said it to me (as in “I’m having a baby sprinkle!”) and you were serious, I would look at you as if you just told me you found a large elderly man rolling in peanut butter on your front porch.

And if I said that to any of my friends “I’m having a baby sprinkle!” they would know I was full of shit, because we don’t say things like that. And then they’d probably say something like “I got a sprinkle for you, bitch.”

Or some other wildly inappropriate innuendo.

And though it may sound like an oversimplification, I’m pretty sure I’m on to something here. There’s no way people can have an ambiguous reaction to that term. You don’t just hear the words “baby sprinkle” and walk off like nothing happened. You either say “Ooooooooo that’s so cute! I’m totally doing that!!!!”

Or you look at them dumbfounded and slightly afraid, making a mental note of the exact details of the situation so you can tell your friends about it later.

In other words, there are women who say shit like that and there are women who make fun of women who say shit like that.

No worries, though, because they make fun of us too. We all make fun of each other. We’re a very mean, judgmental bunch.

Just doing my part.

To illustrate, I made a graph. I like making graphs of my deep life theories. Feels very official.

You see I added “push present” to the graph. That’s because I believe there is a striking similarity between women who say “baby sprinkle” and women who say “push present.” And in contrast, the women who don’t. But the push present thing deserves its own post, which will be forthcoming. In fact, I think I’m going to start devoting regular blog time to this. It’ll be the “Stupid Shit Mothers Say” series. What do ya think?

Anyway, yes. I’ll admit it. I am among the women who would not use the term “baby sprinkle,” pretty much ever, unless maybe I wanted my husband to decorate a cupcake (as in a command: “baby, sprinkle!”). Yeah that’s pretty unlikely.

The truth is, when I hear things like “baby sprinkle,” my initial reaction is a wave of nausea that travels through my entire body, beginning at my toes. After that, I begin asking questions:

What does that even mean? Baby sprinkle. It’s a fucking shower. How is it different than a shower? Do we bring little gifts? No. You bring real gifts. Who the hell would bring a little gift? That’s rude. So why do they call it a sprinkle? To be cute? I hate being cute. I hate cute shit. I’m a grown-ass woman. I’ve given enough up for my kids. I don’t have to be CUTE too.

Fuck cute.

Why do mothers have to be cute?

Being pregnant isn’t cute. Having a baby isn’t cute. Raising kids isn’t cute. There is nothing cute about motherhood except, perhaps, the kids, on occasion. And that’s a big PERHAPS and there’s a lot of NOT CUTE AT ALL buffering every moment of “cute,” so why do we have to have embrace the cute like it’s all there is?

My God. Did she really just say “baby sprinkle?”

Now, I could be wrong, but I THINK this reaction is a tiny bit different than that of the woman who sent out this invitation:

Ah, cupcakes with sprinkles. Get it. Sprinkles. Cupcakes. Baby Sprinkle.

Oh, so CUTE.

Come on, let’s all go be cute together.

Bunch of cute, sprinkly mothers, that’s us.