The mommy blogs are silently judging me.
I feel their condemnation every time I scan through pictures of the cool moms’ color-coordinated lives, perpetually clean children, and hyper-organized homes.
There are some things that are just part of motherhood, according to these blogs, and no one bats an eye to question that. No more! I’m not ashamed to admit that I fail to meet these ten “basic” requirements for life as a mom:
1. I don’t keep a homemaking binder.
What are these things?! I have neither a written weekly cleaning schedule nor the time for scrubbing my entire house in a week or – let’s be serious – in a month. It has never occurred to me to track my daily water consumption or keep a calendar of in-season produce. I absolutely do not have a written personal mission statement, decorated pages of inspirational quotes, or a list of feel-good books to read.
2. I would cry if I had to homeschool my kid.
I love my son completely, but we would both go bonkers being tethered together 24-7. With no guilt and a smile on my face, I wave goodbye to him each weekday morning. He happily goes off to be with trained teachers and a diverse group of peers while benefiting from a comprehensive curriculum. Meanwhile, I enjoy the fulfillment of my own career and some adult conversation while looking forward to his enthusiastic return.
3. I won’t spend an entire afternoon food shopping.
I can’t fathom planning a month’s worth of meals and doing all of my shopping in a single trip. No one has ever spotted me buying 40 pounds of ground beef at Sam’s Club or Costco. I don’t sketch out a game plan to hit four supermarkets each week in order to score the best deals ever. I’m the girl sprinting through a single local store while grabbing what I need and generously trying not to run down the children and elderly in my path.
4. I’ve never spent a full day preparing a freezer full of meals.
There’s no deep freezer in my garage to accommodate a year’s worth of slow cooker meals in the event of apocalypse. I don’t keep a written inventory of my freezer’s contents either. Heck, I like being surprised when I dig around and discover something in the freezer’s recesses!
5. I haven’t put my family on an organic, vegan, or gluten-free diet.
We eat real food, people. Give us some burgers, a bowl of pasta, and a chocolate cake. We like our milk from actual cows, not soybeans or almonds. Sure, I’ll serve my kid a vegetable instead of a bag of chips for dinner. Then I’ll give myself a pat on the back for being awesome.
6. I don’t cook up my own cleaning and personal care products.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I buy laundry detergent, lip balm, deodorant, and shampoo. If I need shower cleaner, I purchase the spray bottle with the encouragingly-happy cartoon bubbles. They don’t judge me for my practicality or lack of a daily bathroom scrubbing routine.
7. I refuse to use cloth diapers.
I can’t be the only person who wants to deal as little as possible with what comes out of a baby’s bottom. I will happily conserve electricity, recycle cans, and carpool, but the environment is going to have to deal with the disposable diapers originating from my house.
8. I don’t have a coupon organization system.
Who are these women with massive, bedazzled 3-ring binders in their shopping carts? I’ve got a dusty box with expired coupons from my pre-child days when I had time for perusing ads over a glass of wine. Now I feel proud when I don’t lose the coupons the cashier physically hands me as I check out at the supermarket. Ten points for me if I remember to use one before they join their brethren in the expired coupon heap.
9. I’ve never made a busy bag in my life.
Did you just have to Google “busy bag”? I did the first time I saw the phrase pop up on a mommy blog. As far as I can tell, their purpose is to make me busier. As a completely non-crafty person, I have never felt a compulsion to cut out complicated felt shapes, paint popsicle sticks, or decorate two dozen clothespins. My kid would just want to play with the bag anyway.
10. I need to talk about something other than my kid.
I am more than just “Mom.” Don’t get me wrong; I love being Mom, but I was an interesting person before motherhood and I still am. In addition to a uterus, I’ve got a career, interests, opinions, and a brain. Thank you for asking me about my kid, but let’s also discuss science, politics, or your wild Saturday night (because I fell asleep at 8:30).