10 Reasons Why I Choose #HotMessParenting
I know that ain’t nobody perfect. -Salt-N-Pepa
Yeah, so, I came out of the closet as not being an ideal mom pretty early out of the gate.
I’ve spent time debating on whether or not I could change parts of my story or find things I could’ve done better…
Then, I let it go. All of it. PEACE!
I’m gonna go ahead and embrace the fact that I’ll never be the kind of parent who takes a gorgeous birthday party idea from Pinterest, adds “my own personal touch” (puke), and makes it happen.
And here’s why that’s fine.
- It sets the bar low
I can feel you judging me, so take a second and hear me out. Nothing in the history of human behavior makes people want to quit faster than being made to feel like they are failures. Admitting out of the gate that I’m not awesome, sets my bar at what’s really important.
Does she have enough food? Is she breathing?
(Hold on. Literally just went to feel her chest. Yes. Exhale. Sip wine.)
Where was I?
2. It allows me to do other things
If I think for one second that I have a shot at being an All-American parent, then I have to devote ALL of my time there. Like an Olympian. I also have no interest in teaching my child she is the center of the universe. I want her to see me doing other things so that she can learn that doing other stuff is cool.
3. I’m exhausted
I know. I know. We’re all exhausted. But…
4. I’m also really lazy
5. And I work
Because I want to. Because I like it and because it keeps me sane. You know how baby fawns, like, walk out of the womb and head straight for the food? Well, around month 3 of my Mat Leave, my kid was kind of the same way. Aside from feeding bit, she kind of had a routine down.
“I kick things, I sleep, I eat.”
She didn’t need me there watching her 24/7, and I finished all the Psych on Netflix, so I was ready to go solve some cases of my own.
Which brings me to:
6. I hate the shame
You know how there’s all this “press” now about how kids with “helicopter parents” aren’t able to cope with real-world pressures?
Well, #1, shut up, “press”.
I don’t care what anybody else chooses to do, and I think as parents we need to cut each other some dayum slack!
You don’t know what somebody else is going through; so stop trying to pretend that some book you read is better or some technique you’ve created is superior. Maybe if we just all embrace the struggle, we can lighten up on each other?
7. I want my child to be independent
I don’t know if it’ll make her smart. I don’t know if it’ll make her the best. But, I do know that if I’m not there every single time she falls, she’ll have to make the choice about getting up or calling for help. She’ll learn what she’s capable of and when she can’t handle something.
In my experience, this is sometimes useful in life. So, yeah, I’ll aim for some of that. It’s good to have some goals, right?
8. I may not be that good at this.
You have the friend. The one who was “born to be a mother”.
The unfortunate side effect of this is when women struggle for years in fertility treatments because their whole lives they’ve believed this is somehow the only thing that makes them worthwhile. (Again, not judging fertility treatments. Just the idea that somehow not being able to make a life makes you less of a woman.)
Some people may think I’m that person, but by the time I met my husband at 28, I was pretty much set up for a life of doing what I wanted when I wanted.
I still groan every time he suggests that I give something up for the kid. I know it’s the right thing to do; but that doesn’t make me NOT want to travel to New Zealand and pay an exorbitant amount to take every single step of the path from Hobbiton to Mordor. College be damned.
9. I need company
I’m not miserable; but boy do I love to know I’m not alone. Admitting my Hot Messdom to others allows me to hear about when they didn’t feel like Mother of the Year. Then, my day gets better and I get up and do it again instead of miring in a pit of shame.
10. I’m specifically a #hotmessparent, because men freaking matter
I hate when websites — most recently a pretty big one — make these issues a “moms only” kind of phenomenon.
Yo — alleged Millenial site who makes awesome videos — we’re in this together!
Dads can be amazing and dads can be Hot Messes. We all can. And every parent of every gender identity (of kids, pets, plants or purses) should have a place to go to say,
“Oh my gosh, y’all. Today I was such a Hot Mess.”