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Truth #43 – Moms judge other moms

This week we lost a woman who took my breath away.  It was the same for all of us lucky ones who had the true privilege of knowing her.  A kind and gentle dame she was, yet in her presence, only astounding respect was demanded as it would have been embarrassing to react otherwise.  She was one of few mothers who proved this Truth to be dead wrong.  She never stood in judgment of another, moms alike, and she probably had a lot to say as she was a mother of four.

We often stand in judgment of our fellow warriors, myself included.  I know that for me, I probably judge because I feel constantly judged, and react by playing defense for team ego.  As a mother, I assumed responsibility for doing what is right for my children according to the letter, yet the truth is, what is “right” is not always what is best for the unique little people we create.

How many times have you rolled your eyes at a mother who took a break, a second job, or hired help?  How many times have we sneered at she who decided that breastfeeding was not for her, or damned her for giving up too soon?  Who decided that they shouldn’t have a soother or bottle after the age of 3? Maybe they couldn’t afford hockey so they opted for public skating.  What do you mean you don’t make your own baby food! They did nothing at all to deserve a car at 16!  Let them cry it out, stop holding them too much, she’s a nervous wreck, she spoils her kids, she’s too strict…  Are we doing this to make ourselves feel better?  Does it ever work?

Let’s agree to do our best to make motherhood more of a sisterhood, especially if its clear that she is doing her personal best.  As long as our children feel our great love, the pacifier, the harness, the bankbook, nor the boob will have any affect on what lies ahead.  If only it were that simple.

Rock on Bernice and thank you for being the inspiration behind this great lesson.

Photos from here and here and here

Truth #42 – Pregnancy is a drag

This was a post in the vault that I could never put to paper.  I thought it would be too challenging to properly express how so very grateful I am to have had no issue conceiving, while still being able to accurately bash the 10 months of pregnancy sans holding back.

Pregnant women have written to me with their weighted woes, pardon the pun.  Some are loyal readers that have some important suggestions for those who happen to not be pregnant.  I’ll assume their angry rants have nothing at all to do with hormones?  Ha!

Reason why pregnancy is a drag #1 – Weight / Appearance

An obvious intro.  Never looked quite like this before… may be a tad sensitive… may be a wee bit nervous, apprehensive, moody, sensitive, swollen, tired, pimply, stretch mark-y, feet like sausages, breath like dragons, what’s with my tits?… Who are you and why are you touching my stomach?  If I may please speak on behalf of my hefty sistas, let this be a lesson.  Don’t ask if they’re having twins, don’t suggest that they ‘must be ready to pop’, don’t insist they are nearing the end and don’t guess how far along they are… don’t, don’t, don’t.  The only thing you should say to an obviously pregnant woman is: “you look wonderful darling” and wrap it up!

Reason why pregnancy is a drag #2 – Sacrifice

It was a plus sign.  It’s on.  Pour out the beer, hide the wine, break the butts, cut the sushi, shelf the shellfish, trim the cheese, drink the milk, mind the heart rate, count the kicks, take the blood, pee in the cup, not in your pants, have the sex, read the books, buy the clothes – the ugly ones… I can’t sleep! I’m gonna throw up! What do you mean I can’t dye my hair?  WHERE’S MY DAMN COFFEE?!

Reason why pregnancy is a drag #3 –  Stress / Anxiety

In a few long months, you will push a tiny human out of your crotch.  Nope, that won’t hurt at all.  You think it’s a good idea to hang with some new moms until they get down and dirty while one upping each other with their dirty delivery details.  Epidurals, do you or don’t you? Drugs, heroines, mid-wives, butchers, stitches… tearing, episiotomies, Jesus.

Pregnancy is a drag although it may actually be adequate preparation for your next lifetime… of sacrifice, anxiety, stress and yes, weight and appearance issues.  No woman can ever imagine the rocking her world will take and as a tutorial, we have pregnancy.  It is our first introduction to the ultimate consideration… that of another life… one that when you meet, will all become worth it.  You would do it all over again the very next minute just to see that baby, YOUR baby.

Photos from here and here and here and here

Truth #41 – It hurts to see a fitter skinnier mom

Maybe some of us donned a halo somewhere amidst the journey from skinny to ginormous to not-so-skinny but I’m around a lot of new moms and most of us check out ‘Mom’… and yes, sometimes before baby.  Sure, we’re into your tiny new love but we also wanna know what number you may or may not be carrying around and damn you if you’re not!

This Mother Truth was scribbled on one of my first post-its but I never thought I’d have the nerve to write about it.  However, after some of the uncensored pow-wows I’ve had, I sure do now!

Clearly some of us are not comfortable with this shallow admission but I can now say that after poking around the psyches of newer moms, I’m not alone here now am I?  We wanna know how long it took for the weight to come off, if we worked it off, if we dieted, or if it fell off naturally.  Details are questioned with utmost persistence in order to compare.  How many pregnancies, are there stretch marks, how much weight was gained with each pregnancy… You know this sounds familiar!

After all girls, how can we blame ourselves?  These days, we never seem to be small enough!  We turn on the tube and there’s Angie only 2 weeks after birthing twins and sporting her new and improved concave stomach.  Victoria Beckham?  Highly likely the bump was a prop. Heidi Klum has a soccer team at home yet she still wears wings on the Victoria Secret runway only weeks after dropping one out.  Funny, Victoria has no such secrets for the rest of us!

We chicks are sly now aren’t we?!  Other than honest curiosity and conversation, there are several other reasons why a mom will ask how old your baby is.  Here are just a couple: 1 – Because we participate in milestone competition. Or 2 – Because we wanna know just how long it took to get that skinny!  Pathetic?  Absolutely but  still TRUE!

After our babies were born, we fell long and hard to the bottom of the priority list.  We penned a new definition for ‘tired’: try reading the dictionary under where it says ‘sleepwalking’… The rest of us less-loaded stay-at-homers are juggling babies and shitty diapers rather than nannies and gym memberships… yeah, I said it.

We care!  We bite our lip!  We check out other moms and it hurts like hell when they’re tighter!

Photos from here and here and here

Truth #40 – We NEED to be needed

Once we made the decision to become mothers, whether planned or not, we boarded the child-bearing boat and ‘need’ was born.  The pathway to becoming who a child calls ‘Mom‘ may be conventional or not, biology, adoption, or desire from afar, but the road is similar for all of us, isn’t it?

Some of us begin by sharing our vessel.  “Need” is above what is obvious as the life within us requires our heartbeat, our breath, our discipline and the onset of a love that will transcend any previous notion of whatever definition we may have given it before.

One fine day of celebration… our baby is born.  Healthy or perhaps short of, but whatever the case, the ‘need‘ remains great.  Life depending decisions begin to be made in a hurry having no prior on-the-job training.  The infant needs us so profoundly that we cannot separate from our creation, not even for a long minute.

Once they begin to travel; be it crawl, walk or climb, we lose our first of many prominent ‘needs.  Effectively they will be graduating to their first level of independence as they have learned the tools for transport.  Be careful what you wish for fellow warriors…

As toddlers, we are still immensely needed for nurture, at-home education, nutrition, well-being and exposure.  Essentially we continue to  make nearly every decision for them; where they will go, who they will see, when they will sleep, or should sleep.

For many of us moms, a full school day will begin the ultimate dreaded separation.  Another faithful person will make the day’s decisions for our children. Their ‘need’ for us, as we prefer to be ‘needed’, will have significantly diminished.

In high school or college, they will ‘need’ our guidance, support and cold hard cash but many of us, myself included, will swiftly lose the ability to help with homework as math may be a distant memory.  At the end of those days, although shorter than in previous years, we will most likely be praying to be “needed” on the following day.

They may choose a partner with which to “co-need“.  They have moved out and live alone.  Will they ever “need” us again?  Well………………. If before this journey we found ourselves growing tired of our own mothers asking us for grandchildren, we finally get it don’t we?  Their day has come.  We will reach out for their empty hands, and tired hearts and without saying it aloud, they’ll know.  “Mom, I ‘need‘ you.”

To our beautiful babies, resilient kids, headstrong adolescents and capable adults, we will love you forever but if you could please, ‘need‘ us once more.

Photos from here and here and here and here

Truth #39 – We can’t handle criticism

Does my ass look fat?  Does my sauce need salt?  Do you think I should renovate?  YES, YES and YES!  Without being a snatch, critical opinions are encouraged!

When it comes to motherhood though, we can’t take it.  It’s above us.

“You’re not tough enough… You really need to get out more… You have to let your baby cry… You worry too much… Your kids shouldn’t sleep in your bed… They don’t eat healthy enough… You have to limit their TV… They’re way too old for pacifiers…”  My blood pressure is rising just writing down these all too familiar, antagonistic and hardly helpful remarks!  Wrap it up, shut er’ down, piss right off.  We might not say it but we’re thinking it people!  Let me be clear – these are all rude statements not sweet suggestions.  Rude statements suck for us.

LOOK, this is our job!  Our all-too-precious life’s work!  Naturally we would prefer to excel at it and it frightens us that we could be falling a shade short.  Imagine walking into work and being criticized every time you do something different, even though your information is based on documented personal research and results!  Now pretend that NO coworker has EVER substituted for you in any of those critical times!  People… We are the managers of our tiny employees so if you’ve never done it, then surely you don’t know it!

We know what they want.  We live our lives at their fingertips and only rarities remain unseen to us.  The letter of child law may work for 90% of babies that participate in the day’s particular study, but if I say it didn’t ring true with MINE, well then it simply didn’t!

Unless there are serious parenting issues, I’m sorry to be the one to say it but the Mother Truth is – Unless we’re askin’… You had best be lyin’!

Photos from here and here and here

Truth #38 – We would like our baby back

After numerous pow-wows with fellow moms on this topic, it’s unanimous.  If you fail to settle our crying baby, hand them over.  Promptly would be nice.

When we’re not there…

Sincerely sorry.  You’re on your own you sweet and generous people! And hey…  THANKS again for babysitting!

When we ARE there…

We are just as upset as you that our baby isn’t performing.  We pray for them to always be on their best behaviour when people are around because we can actually enjoy ourselves too… more importantly, it makes us look capable and in constant control!  We want you to ‘like’ our baby and what stresses us out is knowing that sometimes, all the baby wants is to be handed back to mom!  It’s really annoying when a stubborn visitor will not oblige!  I’m not saying that a whimper or cry out is your cue to rush back, but if you ain’t doin’ the trick – hand over the damn baby!


… leave the room or disappear in the hopes that we won’t hear them because when they cry, we hear NOTHING else…

… make a snarly remark like “oooh, spoiled baby” or “hmmm, I think Mommy is holding you too much”.  Look, just because you failed to cure the cry, don’t put it on us…

… spastically shake the baby as though hopping swiftly up and down will make them cry less…!!!

Understand this, we realize that this isn’t always the right way to be.  If you happen to be a mom who mastered the art of looking the other way, AMEN to you but you are a rare breed…

Isn’t it better for everyone concerned when Mommy and baby are both content???

The Mother Truth is YES so make the switch!

Photos from here and here and here

Truth #37 – We love a good scoop

You know it!

I challenge any one of you to stay home day after day in the company of small and innocent minds – so pure, before any taint, so uninterested in good dirt – and tell me that you don’t wanna know.  PAAALEEEZ people.  It’s damn irresistible.

It’s not like we celebrate break-ups or bask in the joy of hearing that your ex has now become ex – tra large, but come on people!   We just wanna know about it!  We wanna choke on something other than the rotten smell of formula or today’s creamy diaper!

Good scoop consists of numerous things spanning from wonderful to disastrous…  So and so are finally pregnant after trying for years… She cheated on him… He lost his job…  They’re finally getting hitched!

I for one, am not enthusiastically dancing to the beat of anyone’s catastrophe.  At some point, misfortune will shit down my leg as well so I will try to make a conscious decision to keep it clean.  I too, like all of you, could potentially be the next one on the ‘Chef’s dish’.

Scoop out the ice cream mammas, keeps us from melting …

Photos from here and here and here

Truth #36 – Mother’s Day IS a big deal

That being said, according to a study done by the University of Washington, the day after Mother’s Day is the 2nd most likely day of the year that we hungry and fed up feline’s will initiate extramarital affairs!  Pfff… apparently our partners are failing to perform on our banner day!

Not buying the Study?  Here is a fact.  Heard of the online phenom Ashley Madison? Granted, I’d like to set fire to their home base but apparently I’m a minority because on the day following last Mother’s Day 2010, they welcomed        31, 427 ready and willing new female members!

… And why do you presume that is?  Isn’t it obvious?  Women will stay and fight, fever through fire but if you happen to ignore us on Mother’s Day, you may just become our history.  Just ask Aretavia Kimbrough of Staten Island who spent a night in jail after clocking her baby daddy over the head with a frying pan.  “I hit him with a pot and I’m glad I did… I’ve been with him for seven years and he never bought me nothing”.

All joking aside.  We are most deeply identified with our most meaningful title, that of Mother.  When we meet someone, we say first that we are Mothers.  If we were never proud before, we have welcomed a new-found pride because we are Mothers.

Mother’s Day may be yet another Hallmark holiday but isn’t it one that should have always been? Creation, Religion, Mothers Day… !  It’s a well-known fact and a hard hit hiccup – we are not adequately compensated for our sacrifice!!

Don’t forget us on our true name day.  We care not for our birthdays and we’re expected to own all other holidays – so much so that we rarely enjoy them.  However because we are Mothers, we are satisfied providing the feast and watching our families enjoy it.  Give us Mother’s Day.  Tell her what a great mom she is.  There is no better compliment you can pay her.  Acknowledge the day for which she most cherishes, give her thanks and praise her life’s purpose.  Next Mother’s Day make a point to stop and watch.  You may witness a stunningly powerful emotion emitted between a mom and her child on Mother’s Day when it is so simply stated “Happy Mother’s Day Mom”.

Photos from here and here and here

Truth #35 – We will be offended if you don’t come see the baby

I’ve posted alike before and I stand by my convictions… you don’t quite know until you get there.  Keeping that in mind, we should probably go easy on the still single or sans-baby friends that might not grasp the magnitude of it all.

You heard it here!  You WILL go hungry in the doghouse unless you visit the new creation and while it’s still hot!  I am claiming to be Mother Truth and will therefore admit to you this… Thank God that it was me who was the first Mommy among my friends because I would probably be hovering atop that naughty list.  I was the prime example of ‘selfish girl meets mommyland’ and it knocked my stinkin’ socks off – yes, pun intended…

I remember sitting around a certain table and watching a distant relative’s toddler knock off the alphabet while her parents nodded approvingly and surrounding company erupted in applause.  I distinctly recall peering around the room struggling to grasp why the hell that was such a big deal!  Cold?  Uh-huh, definitely.  That was me though, probably sipping a cold one, completely disconnected to all things baby.

Rounding back to my point… Go see the damn baby!  If you don’t, and rather promptly, we will most likely talk a bit of shit about you!  The Mother Truth is that there has never been nor will there ever be, a bigger, better or crazier thing happen to your girl!  No success of a job or failure of a relationship will DEMAND your closest friends’ attention quite like the birth of their new baby.

Out came a tiny human… Our brand new, somewhat scary, and ever-so-fragile tiny human.  Come have a peek – or – BOO to you!

Photos from here and here and here

Truth #34 – We abuse that sweet car lullaby

When our arms wanna snap off and our ears bleed for plugs and our eyes become weights and we just can’t take it anymore