Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Things I Wish I Wrote - "Mommy Wars: You Are Not Cherishing Correctly"

Can we take a minute and talk about how many laugh out loud, pee your pants funny bloggers there are in the world?  I mean the sheer volume of humourous content out there to be consumed is staggering, overwhelming and wonderful.

And some of the funniest of the bunch are mommy bloggers. Obviously I am slightly biased in this regard because I can relate to almost everything they are talking about but man these ladies do make me laugh.

One of my favourite blogs is "Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms" which is a joint effort of two best friends Ellen and Erin. And their post today was one of those that made me literally laugh out loud at my desk...and nearly spit coffee all over my computer screen.

The topic today was the Mommy Wars. Now the Mommy Wars consist of many different battles - Working Mom vs. Stay at Home Mom, Breast vs Bottle, Cloth vs Disposable, Co-Sleep vs Cry it Out, My Opinion vs Your Opinion, I'm Right vs You Suck.

Because while mommy bloggers are funny they can also be just as equally judgmental.  Now I have no problem with being passionate about how you feel but there is a fine line between passion and telling someone else they are doing it wrong.

Which is the exact topic that the Sisterhood tackled this morning. I pretty much nodded to myself the entire time I was reading it and maybe (just maybe) said Amen Sister at the end.  But there is no proof of that.



Mommy Wars: You Are Not Cherishing Correctly
By Ellen

And here we go again folks. The Mommy Wars never seem to go away. They just keep popping up on different battlefields. Just when you thought Stay-at-Home Moms vs. Working Mothers was finally relegated to the history books and the Bottle vs. Breast treaty was signed, we have You’re Not Cherishing Motherhood Correctly with side skirmishes breaking out over You’re Not Blogging About It Right.

Judging women’s adequate appreciation of motherhood happens on a daily basis, but around Mother’s Day, the blog chatter often reaches fever pitch. This year, writers and commenters alike were stirred up by the idea that true bliss was getting away from your kids on this holiest of card store  holidays. There were the posts that humorously extolled this thought, often to the tune of viral page hits, and there were those who condemned the notion or at the very least tsk–tsked with the vehemence of a gaggle of old-school librarians.

Now I’m not saying you should find this idea amusing. I in no way think that every brand of humor tickles every funny bone and I feel that every blogger is entitled to write about things they don’t like. If you ponder deeply, the “I don’t like it” list could include aspects of Motherhood AND genres of humor. See what I did there? Supported freedom of speech and brought us all on common ground.

What is irritating me with the power of a thousand sand fleas is the thinking that if you sardonically poke fun at Motherhood, you hate it, if you are snarky you are promoting negativity, and . . .  what about the children!?! What a. bout. the. chil. dren? You are blogging about Motherhood incorrectly!

Madonna Motherhood — let’s call her Mitsy so we don’t get her confused with the yoga master rocker or The Blessed Virgin – must be working out because she is trying to climb back up on that Perfect Mother Pedestal with all her might. Surely, I cannot be the only one who remembers that a mere generation ago it was blasphemous to admit that motherhood wasn’t all sunshine and buttercups? Women suffered in silent isolation and they kept their ovens clean while they did it, dammit.

And it was unhealthy as hell because you know what? Kids can be narcissistic Napoleonic assholes. The wrong way to pop your cork is by screaming at them, beating them or drinking your way to oblivion. I embrace the blessedly benign in vogue way to deal with it  – write a damn funny post for the whole internet to commiserate with and enjoy on their electronic devices of choice.

These posts go viral not because we are a doomed society feeding off of negativity, but because they are release valves for all the pressures of Motherhood. This gig brings high stakes. You are responsible for the development – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual – of other human beings. I worked some time in one of the premier trauma centers in the country and only Motherhood crumpled me to the floor sobbing in the fetal position. Mitsy is a bitch with a baseball bat she is not afraid to use.

Trench humor naturally develops to deal with pressure. It can be gritty, it can be harsh, but it can be oh so cathartic. It’s honesty peels back the sanctimonious sheen and allows you to process and let go. The first time I had to pronounce a death as a medical student, my more senior resident tapped on the side of the body to simulate a heartbeat as I laid my stethoscope on the gentleman’s chest. Was it crass and tasteless? Yes. Did it convert my angst to outrage and then to laughter? Yes. Most importantly, it allowed me to go out to that man’s family and be what they needed me to be.

Is it really so different for Motherhood? Can we agree that it’s okay to release the pressure with a guffaw and then move on to be the persons we need to be for the little ones in our care? Motherhood is one of the toughest jobs you are supposed to adore 24/7. “Can I just go to the bathroom alone?” has become the universal battle cry because it’s just so ludicrous that a vocation consumes you so completely that you can’t even take care of your bodily functions in peace.

So, please don’t shame the humor that gets me though my day. You know what? I don’t need help cherishing the preciousness of it all. I get it. I got it. It makes it all worthwhile and I embrace it with a Hallmark-worthy hug. What I need is help getting Mitsy to chill out in the corner with a beverage and a magazine so she can stop tripping me up. And in regards to the trauma to my kids from reading my snarky humor? My gift to my daughters is that Motherhood doesn’t have to be perfection and that their momma has been there and done that and will be ready to throw them a life preserver when their time comes. No clawing onto a pedestal required.

1 comment:

  1. Ah The Sisterhood. They are freakin' hilarious, aren't they?

    Found your blog via the VM Top Blogger Contest. Will I see you at the big Vancouver Mom shindig tonight? I'll be one of the Ambassadors at the door--hope to connect in person!