Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mommy-Nazis and the Mama Bear

It took me awhile to come around to the idea of having kids.  The incessant screaming, the whiny "mommy mommy mommy" yanking on a pant leg, the ripping open the hooha and pooping on yourself in front of your husband and ten other people - none of this seemed like a party I wanted to join.  Eventually I realized that, like those stickers that say "I love Jesus, it's his fan club I can't stand", I had less of a problem with the children themselves than their parents.

The snobbery.  The entitlement.  The self-righteousness.  The dreadful clothes.  The martyr-who-expects-to-be-worshipped-as-a-hero complex.  The PTA clique made (makes) me want to hurl a stiletto at their unbrushed heads.  Side note - why is your worthiness as a mother judged inversely with how well you've groomed yourself?  How does taking a shower prove you don't love your child?  My sister and I call these nasty women "Mommy-Nazis" and are they ever.  Rachel's right, it starts in pregnancy.  When one of the Parenting Police caught me eating a doughnut while 6 months pregnant, you'd think I was swilling vodka between snorts of crack cocaine.  My insistence on continuing to wear heels into my third trimester was also derided, to the point I was afraid the nut in question was going to tackle me and physically force her hideous Crocs onto my feet instead.

As my due date neared, I was determined not to lose all human decency and hygiene and to fight the Cult of the Child no matter what.  I have some great friends and family who have added "parent" to their identity without erasing everything that came before.  I knew it could be done.

And then S. was here, and the whole world shifted.  I remember crying in the doctor's office, telling her that I didn't want to leave the house because at least while sitting in my living room with S., I knew she was safe (I left that appointment with some very necessary medication).  Every negative experience I've had flooded my mind and I stopped being able to watch the news, or hear anything about a child being hurt.  I still can't handle all the evil out there - I just want to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head until I can find a way to protect myself and protect her.

When S. was a month old, J. and I walked with her over to a friend's house.  It was twilight when we started back home and we were enjoying the warm night's breeze when I saw a shadow approaching.  It was a boy on a bike, and I moved behind J. so he'd have room to pass.  As he rushed toward us, I wondered why he wasn't moving to his side of the sidewalk, and then J. was jumping in front of S.'s stroller and yelling as the boy veered wildly to the side, just missing crashing into the stroller.

I'm a little hot-tempered (less so as age wears me out) and the flash of fury that came over me was overwhelming.  I screamed hysterically at the poor kid, who was all of 13:  "Watch where you're going!  You almost trampled our baby!  Asshole!"  *Hangs head* I'm still ashamed of this Mama Bear behaviour and can only say that there's nothing like a baby to bring out the crazy.

People are so cruel and parents are the only soft place a child has.  There has to be a way to show S. my unwavering love and support without turning her into an incredible brat and me into a Mommy-Nazi.  And I'm going to find it, heels and all.

7 comments:

  1. Protecting your child does not make you a Mommy-Nazi!
    When I see so many horribly behaved kids, I see red and their actions reflect too many self-absorbed parents who are so caught up in keeping-up with whatever crap everyone else has...they raise their kids like animals.

    When my three were younger, I was very caught up in the whole PTA crap and, frankly, I was so happy to finally get far away from the cut-throat wenches I had to deal with.

    Love and support your child by being you; dig those heels in!

    Have a great week-end,

    Patty

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, you keep those heels on, your hair combed, and the rest will take care of itself.

    It really is difficult to find the balance. My boys are getting old enough to where they are dealing with bullies themselves, and I must step back and let them work this out, though mama bear is not too far away if things get out of hand.

    Thanks for visiting me last week at dirt road musings. You can have the photo if you want...I'll email it to you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm just a dad with three grown children now. And three grandchildren. But I've seen and heard everything you describe. And more.

    Moms who style their hair, put their makeup on, and dress up.....just to drive to school to quickly drop off the thing their child forgot to take, because heaven forbid some other mom should see them in their real morning look.

    Moms who primp and dress up to go to the supermarket, just in case another mom sees them.

    My whole point being that you should just be yourself and not worry about what the other moms think. Let the parenting police live their lives the way they want, and just steer clear of them. And if one of those "police moms" has the audacity to challenge your parenting, then have the audacity to give it right back to them. How dare they butt into your business!!

    If it were me, and a woman questioned my parenting, I'd be all up in her face. If she has the gall to be in my business, then I have the gall to let her have it.

    Just my opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I round you from the Lightning Bug Linkup.

    "...I was swilling vodka between snorts of crack cocaine."

    This made me laugh until I snorted. Which seemed appropriate.

    And anybody who treated your "insistence on continuing to wear heels into my third trimester was also derided" with anything short of awe is a total asshole.

    I've discovered that I, too have a giant Mama Bear in there. But I've also found that to unleash her, somebody has to R-E-A-L-L-Y piss me off. So I don't usually feel guilty when she gets loose and wrecks the proverbial neighborhood.

    ReplyDelete
  5. So funny...I was reading your post thinking how much your writing sounded like Rachel...and then you link to her blog. So funny!

    ReplyDelete
  6. this was such a relatable post as a mom and someone who has also been a victim over and over of mommy nazi's. And Im sure you can find that balance between mama bear and being your own woman.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Can crack be snorted? It's been such a long time! (I hope you know I am kidding)

    I know you have read my blog and I am sure you know how I feel about this. And if I said that I didn't totally lose the old me to motherhood I would be lying. But being involved and attentive and invested is simply not the same thing as being an asshole. Those women are assholes. Plain and simple.

    The one thing that I will admit though is that occasionally I feel really guilty when I am grocery shopping and I see the mom next to me and peer into her cart and see 37 different types of organic produce and I look into mine and see nothing but Lucky Charms and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. But then I remember that my kid can probably kick her kid's ass at reading and she's only four so I knock that shit off and hold my head high.

    Just remember my mantra: "I will not be an asshole, I will not raise an asshole" and you will be ok.

    ReplyDelete

Lend me some sugar!