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Hot Takes On Mom-ing

Now that my moggy is a full-grown cat, I get to look back on my time as a parent and spread my opinions on it. They aren’t always great, but here, I think someone needs to say it. I’m not running for office or anything, so I can risk irritating some folks.

You are Not An Expert

Erma Bombeck once made fun of an article about mothers being multitaskers by saying, “When my child has a 100-degree fever, I use my tongue depressor to call the doctor.”

I realize that doesn’t make sense if you have never seen a rotary phone, but you get the idea. Her point was that she wasn’t a medical expert of any sort, and she wasn’t going to pretend to be one.

As the person who spends the most time with your kid, you may be the first to realize if something has gone wrong, but there is no way in the world that you can know every possible permutation of child rearing problem or their solutions. (The rando on the internet can’t either, so I’m not going to try.)

Can the expert be wrong? Sure. But they have the background to at least point you in the right direction.

Even Experts Should Get An Outside Opinion

When Sydney Mackelroy of Sawbones, an actual pediatrician, saw her daughters get sick, she freely admitted that ‘Mom-brain’ didn’t work. You get someone else to doctor your kids because you are too close to the problem.

Similarly, a friend of mine got into an argument with her son’s teacher because the teacher insisted he needed an IEP program.

Guess what? He did.

And my friend has a degree in childcare. Again, parent is too close to the problem and too invested in a certain outcome to see straight.

No, You Can Not Read Your Child’s Mind

This one drives me bonkers.

When my daughter was small, we watched ‘Ratatouille.’ At the point where the main human and the rat started cooking, the moggy kitten moseyed off, declaring, “That boy’s silly. He’s making lunch.” I was utterly mystified by what she meant and decided that, since her aunt and I did most of the cooking, she must have clocked a boy cooking as silly.

A full decade later, when she could drive, I mentioned the movie, and my daughter said, “Yeah, that art style was so weird. I couldn’t watch it.” Turns out she meant that the line drawing bugged her, and lunch would be unappetizing if it involved such a strangely drawn character.

Every parent who insists that they know, for a fact, what their kid wants or is feeling is delusional. Full stop. You are separate from your child. Their mind is their own.

If Mother Nature Would Not Stop To Spare a Queen, Why Should She Spare You?

Queen Maria Anna and Queen Maria Antonia of Austria died in childbirth. An Empress of the Holy Roman Empire, Anna Von Schweidnitz, died giving birth to her third child at the age of 23. Queen Victoria became queen because the direct descendent died in childbirth when the attending physician refused to use forceps.

These women had the best that could be offered. Nature didn’t care. They were royalty, powerful, beautiful.

Nature gave zero -expletives-. They died in pain, and often in vain.

What makes you think relying on Nature to give birth safely is a good idea? She has not shown any concern for humans before. She has wiped clean beaches of people with tsunamis, buried them in rubble from earthquakes, and drop-kicked people from space.

What makes you think you are special?

These days there is a…let’s call it a whiff of ablism. If you don’t procreate in the most strenuous way possible you aren’t working off the sin of sex enough and you are not mom-ing correctly. A pregnant person is set up to expect a vaginal delivery without pain relief, surrounded by brochures on the preference for 'natural' delivery, and is soaked in a general ‘wellness indicates holiness’ sort of mentality that pervades our society. And we tell ourselves that Mother Nature will make space for our feeble expectations, both of the self and others. She will not, and she doesn't care how you feel about it.

Keep Friends and Hobbies

Your sanity will quickly disappear if you make your life revolve around your child. You aren’t six anymore, so no, their shows and interests aren’t yours. You outgrew them.


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