Tuesday, April 7, 2009

In the Oprah- Hood

I'll give her this- Oprah loves moms. She puts moms on a pedestal and often refers to being a mom as the hardest job there is. And the most important job there is. And moms are the jelly on the peanut butter sandwich, without moms there would be no sliced bread. And then where would people in this country be, without anything to be the greatest thing since sliced bread? Hmmm?


So today Ope did her whole show on moms. It was all about how moms who are having a hard time tend to believe they are alone in it. That no one tells you how hard it is going to be. How we all go a few days without a shower or brushing our hair and think we are the only one who can't get it together. How moms are the first to think we are bad at mom-ing and all the other moms have it figured out. That other moms are perfect and have perfect lives as Super Mom with clean houses and background checks completed on all their kids friends and families.

I would just like to point out to Ope that I could have been a great guest on today's show and I can get to Chicago in 3 hours if need be. So if the spirit ever moves you Oprah, just call me, just call out my name and I'll be there. In 3 hours. I have to be the one driving though. You'll pay the speeding tickets right? I mean, you know. You have, like, some cash laying around right?

Anyway, it was not the case with me that no one told me it would be hard. I don't know why I inspired this in people, but people were tripping, literally falling all over themselves to tell me how hard being a parent is and how much hard stuff I was in for. Knocking on my office door, knocking other people over, to get to tell me the next gross- awful- scary- shitty parenting thing I would be in for. If I complained that I dripped chicken nugget sauce on my shirt, you can be sure 9 people jumped up to squeal- "if you think that's bad just wait until it is puke", or "you'll never make it as a mom if you can't handle bbq sauce on your shirt"! ( yeah come to think of it, some people were kind of mean).

See, here's the deal. I always thought I would be a terrible mom. Seriously bad. I used to tell the story about how when I was a kid I put books in my baby doll stroller to walk around the block. People would come up to me and peer in to the carriage all ready to say 'oooh what a pretty baby' and there was my collection of Anne of Green Gables books going for a walk instead. I spent years telling anyone who asked that no, I did not plan to have any children. I planned to have nieces and nephews who would cooperate, think I was way cool, and Go. Home.

So where could I go from there? Only up right? Keep your expectations low and you can be a much more successful mom! (Really, you can apply the theory to your whole life). Since I assumed I would be terrible at motherhood, every day that I kept Teena alive was a success. Every time she latched on, or crapped her diaper and I cleaned it in a reasonable time, or got more food in her mouth than next to her mouth, HEY! Time to celebrate! I did it! She didn't break! (Remember although she is younger, Teena was my first child).

Maybe that's the trouble. Women think that mom-ing should come natural. That they should know what to do and how to do it, without ever having done any of it before. Unfortunately, this business is on -the -job -training only. Sink or swim. Shit or get off the pot. Women today are accustomed to being educated, or seeking education when it is needed. But you can't learn kids without one. And there are only a few ways to get one, and then you are basically stuck and too tired to look for the damn book anymore anyway. So you wing it and hope for the best, leaving you to feel you always could have done it better. Maybe, maybe not. But overblown expectations will knock you out and chew you alive. So get over yourself. If everyone is breathing and fed at the end of the day, you did good.

Just call it The Accidental Mommy- Hood.

Please remember to use Amazon.com over there on the right if you need anything! They ship fast and often free!


  1. I saw a kid the other day whose socks not only matched each other, but also the shirt she was wearing, and the bow in her hair. I almost called the hotline, there is no way that happened without a little bit of abuse, right? Or is it just me?

    Glad you are alive, as well as the kids.

  2. Feeling a dismal failure as a mom first thing this morning. Then I read your post. Feeling much more successful now. Everyone is still breathing and has all their body parts....it's a good day. ;-)

  3. I watched it yesterday too, with a drink in my hand, a drink that I poured the minute it was 4... it was that kind of day, funny no one on the show talked about those days... and much like missing showers and not bathing our children we all have them.

  4. A friend of mine used to "dog-people-out" if they were seen with a baby that had no shoes, socks or "appropriate" outdoor atire. She now has a 2 yr old that has thrown more shoes out the window of their moving car than the average Payless store has in stock. When I see her carrying her 1-socked, no-shoes toddler I have to just grin (to myself of course as she would probably scratch my eyes out if she saw my face)LOL!

  5. Essie, this is a great post! I don't watch Oprah, but loved reading about your "warnings" from everyone and their Aunt Mary. I got similar ones, and am glad I managed to make it this far... lol

  6. Essie,
    I was the polar opposite of you - I wanted to have 10 children, but when I became a mom, I pretty much sucked at it. Let's just say the actual parenting experience knocked me down a few notches.

    As for my gargantuan cathartic post, I did *sort of* have writer's block because I've been postponing writing that sucker for a while. But it seemed to come naturally after the school decisions came to the forefront again.

    You keep me laughing and I'll do OK!

    :) Jen

  7. So, are you in Green Bay - or the greater Green Bay area? I promise I won't stalk you if you tell me where you live. (maniacal LOL)

    I don't know of any larger towns than Green Bay that are any closer to the Yoop.

  8. You should totally get to go on Oprah. :)

  9. Saw the Oprah thing...I think she oughta have us adoptive moms on...WE REALLY ROCK!!! (-;

  10. You speak the truth....and you so crack me up!

  11. Well, I did not find motherhood difficult at all. Of course I was blessed with two very easy, happy, naturally helpful and loving, cooperative bio children. They would wear the lovely outfits I set out. Lydia wore smocked dresses through fourth grade, with tights (no holes), beautifully french-braided hair, and mary janes.

    And then I was blessed with two very easy, very cooperative, very happy adopted children. And all this success made me cocky, I guess, because God then laughed at my greed and gave me three more that have me on the edge of my seat ALL THE TIME.

    I DID train for motherhood, after all! When I walked MY doll carriage around the block it had my baby doll in it!

    I even played school!

    What I never played was INSANE ASYLUM. I see now that this was remiss of me.

  12. Bah ha ha, Insane Asylum!! Actually, I think I did play that with my Barbies.
    I do live in Green Bay. I can't see Lambeau but I can get there quick.
    So I am sticking to my idea, you can't learn kids without one in your house that isnt leaving.


I love comments! If you agree or disagree, comment away! However if you are a butthead about it, you may be excised.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...