We’ve all heard about those over-achieving parents who pull all-nighters for bake sales and lead Girl Scouts or whatever.
Even as a new mom with a baby I have somehow felt pressure to compete with other moms right out of the gate. There’s societal pressure to be feeding my kids food that’s not covered in chemicals or is only fed gold or owns its own land or whatever, sure, but let’s talk about the real societal pressures I feel as a new mom. Here are a few things I feel pressure to be good at now that I have progeny:
I don’t know when this happened but suddenly everyone in the world who had a baby knows how to knit. I’m not sure why knitting is the thing, or when every other mom but me finds time, but it has become some strange part of having a baby. I tried for a few weeks to knit but everything I made ended up looking sort of crooked and lumpy and uncouth. Anyway, knitting is not for me. But I can make really nice-looking friendship bracelets out of hemp so I’m hoping that comes in handy at some point.
Having emotions ooze out of your pores
Every mom blog or Momstagram or Facemom I’ve ever seen has been dripping with profound emotional release and analysis. I’ve pored over stories of moms wondering how in the world they got so lucky and missing each passing stage and packing up old baby clothes with tears in their eyes. Personally, I just can’t quite get there with my own social media presence. I feel those things, certainly, but I’m terrible at letting the world know about them. Most of the time when I try to say how much I love being a mom it comes out as me making some joke about how my kid’s nickname should be Cuteness Everdeen. That joke is good because it’s word play but it’s also topical. Anyway.
Art and/or crafts
I’m not going to attempt to describe specific art forms I’ve seen some moms take part in (mostly because a lot of it is really outside of my comprehension), but we all know the moms I’m talking about. They know how to do weird stuff involving dying clothes with fruits and vegetables, making flower crowns, and designing their own felt books. And I’m over here like, “paper airplanes, anyone?”
Not being sexist here at all, because being good in the kitchen is definitely not a necessary part of being a woman or being a mom (case in point, this guy! *points to self*), but it is quite common among the moms I follow on social media to be conveniently extraordinarily skilled at baking. Like maybe they went to school for it at some point? They have master’s degrees in the culinary arts? I don’t know, but somehow it seems like every time I refresh my Instagram feed there is a new photo of some gluten-free-vegan-no-sugar-somehow-still-cookies cookies and I’m busy worshipping my idols of the Pillsbury Doughboy.
Alternative/natural medicinal practices
When did cooking oils become standard moisturizers? And when did rubbing those oils on the bottom of our feet become common practice? I don’t know, but weird health stuff is everywhere. My family’s into it, actually, and always trying to learn new things about natural health, but I really can’t compete with the apparent knowledge of my fellow moms. I’m talking about the moms who make their own soaps and wear diffuser necklaces and always smell kind of like patchouli. You guys win, okay?!
Okay, this is just unfair. Singing is a natural gift only some of us are granted at birth. So how is it that every mom seems to have an extraordinary voice? Thank goodness for that whole “babies prefer the voices of their parents to everyone else’s no matter what” thing because otherwise we would really be in trouble.
I love babywearing, but it took me a long time and many YouTube videos to get the hang of the carriers I have. It seems like all the moms I meet are somehow wearing their babies in public places while holding bags of various things and pushing five other kids in strollers and walking two dogs and singing with their perfect singing voices. It’s not even fair.
Creating more hours in the day
Not sure how it’s possible, but many of the moms I observe on social media seem to have time I didn’t even know existed. Some days, even though I work from home, we will have only left the house once or twice and it’s already time for bed. And I only have one kid! Some of these moms make you say “how do they find enough hours in the day to do all of this stuff with their kids?!” But then you realize that they are magic and they made their own additional hours somehow. Don’t worry, guys, I’m right here with you in real time.