Wednesday, May 16, 2012

are you mom enough, my ass.

Time magazine confronted me with an aggressive cover picture of a tight, 26 year old model/mom with a three year old hanging off her boob. "Are you Mom Enough?" Jeered the headline. Both of them were staring at me from the page. This was no nurturing earth mother on display here. That woman was standing in a model pose with skinny jeans and a look on her face that smirked, "Nope."

Am I Mom enough?  In relation to what, exactly? Do you mean, did I wait until the "right" age? Did I complete my education and enjoy a lucrative career before meeting Mr. Perfect with his perfect job and "choosing" a pregnancy that included me eating all the "essential" things for baby's optimal growth and keeping the "right" amount of weight on, or off? Do you mean a drug-free, Midwifed, Birthing Center labor where I enjoyed an "Orgasm Birth" in a birthing tub with no poop?
Are these things "Mom enough"? But the Baby has just made an appearance, so to be 'Mom Enough" I guess I would need to apply the absolutely essential mothering requirements of never putting the baby down. Never letting the baby cry. Breast feeding until college,  Having my marriage take a back seat to my motherhood: Bye bye conjugal visits, hello co-sleeping for infinity.  Wiping every sniffle, thwarting every injury. Never using a stroller, or a crib.  We wouldn't want to have a jailbird complex, because babies know all about incarceration. No disposable diapers. Or  diapers at all, for that matter. Making all my own baby food. Being an organic, sustainable locavore.  All the while of course, maintaining a flexible, well moneyed job. Having a husband with a flexible, well moneyed job who can be at my beck and call. Looking MILFy, Being a great cook. Being an engaging conversationalist. Being craftier than you. Never raising my voice. Being a disciplinarian, but without the use of discipline. Growing a garden, managing a house, being a Tiger Mom, not being a Tiger Mom, or a helicopter parent, or a soccer mom.

Politicians believe that my health care and family planning choices should be regulated and discussed without my input or presence. They want to get in between myself, my family and my doctor.  To tell me what to do.
Catholics say I am incapable of being a priest. They also say I should not make my own reproductive decisions, and if I work for them, they will also deny me health care.
Entire nations practice hatred of women.

I look around at the women I know. Everyone is tired of this. Every one of them is tired of the "Mommy Wars".  We put ourselves under so much pressure to be the best possible parents. We get hit from all sides: You should be at home! You should be at work! You should be relaxed! You should be vigilant! I tell you what we should not be doing, and that is listening to all this bullshit. Our lives are complex. We don't fit neatly into side bars of magazines. We are not one way or the other.

So, suck it, perfection monger, whoever you are. I may or may not be mom enough, but I am human enough. And I welcome all other humans, who are willing to be human. And we will revel in our flawed humanity! Flawed humans of the world unite! Are you flawed enough?

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