Before I became a mom – I mean, even when I was pregnant – you wouldn’t believe how many times I said, “I’m not going to be that mom.”
Oh no, no. I was going to be the mom who didn’t let her kids eat shitty snacks, who was never going to feed them fast food, who wasn’t going to let a device or a television show babysit her kids, who wasn’t going to get irritated when they got their clothes overly dirty, who was going to let them dress themselves and shop for their own shoes, who wasn’t going to get caught up in gender stereotypes and who was going to encourage my kids wear their weirdness PROUDLY. Most of the things I said I’d never do, I’ve done. My kids have a soft spot for shitty (but delicious) snacks (who doesn’t?!), they’ve had fast food less maybe a handful of times and they’re obsessed with Paw Patrol, Ninjago and the Goonies – all of my go-to’s when I need a minute to myself or have something around the house I have to get done. I encourage my kids to get dirty (most of the time) and often wish they’d get dirtier, although Matty has inherited my phobia of bugs, so I only consider that a half-win.
Not conforming to gender stereotypes has been difficult for a number of reasons – mostly the outside world and the fragile male ego (YUP, I SAID IT) – but that is one I have really tried to fight for. It is absolutely absurd that young boys tend to get called cry babies or pansies or wusses for having feelings and showing their emotions. THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW TO CONTROL OR IDENTIFY THEIR EMOTIONS YET! Give them a fucking break. I would rather my son cry and express his emotions than raise him to believe he’s stronger than other little boys if he doesn’t. Get the fuck out of my face with your gender non-sense – my boys will know how to communicate and handle their feelings appropriately and if they want to cry, they’ll fucking cry. Everyone has emotions, just like all little girls take shits. Get the fuck over it. *END RANT* (One out of five isn’t bad, right?)
As for the things I said I would do – shop for their own shoes, dress themselves, encourage their weirdness – I’ve stuck to my guns but it has been surprisingly difficult. Like, REAL difficult, you guys. Before becoming a mom, I’d see or hear of moms freaking out about matching outfits – and even pajama sets – and I just knew that would never be me. I mean, as an adult I’ve really only ever worn matching socks when I knew I was going somewhere where I’d need to take my shoes off and I cared to impress the crowd. I know, talk about making an impression! ANYWAY, I always thought that as long as I shopped for their clothes and filled their drawers with adorable basics, even if they dressed themselves, they’d still look great. But then they grew up and got a mind of their own. They have interests and likes and don’t want to wear basic pieces. Matty wants to wear t-shirts with capes (BIG thanks to Grandma for those gems), Paw Patrol light-up shoes (first shoes he picked out himself – another surprisingly tough day for me) and things like dragon capes, random pairs of headphones, raincoats on 90º days and sometimes bras and other “fun” things. Abbott is a mini version of the same, he prefers rain boots on perfectly dry summer days paired with a rain coat and sometimes a ball cap.
It’s cute and adorable, it really is but something about it drives me me nuts and you want to know what it is? I’M FEELING A LOT OF PRESSURE TO DRESS LIKE A NORMAL, PROFESSIONAL PUT-TOGETHER ADULT.
As a mom – especially while unemployed – my attire has pretty much consisted of work out clothes, sweatpants, t-shirts and jeans, messy ponytails and buns and no makeup but it always seemed okay because my kids were well groomed, well dressed and well behaved. It was a good balance, I was allowed to look like shit because my kids (AKA my only job) had it all together. But now that the boys are insisting on showcasing just how colorful they are, we look like a family band straight out of some highly-rated Freeform, formerly known as ABC Family, children’s sitcom. And while that may be #GOALS for some, for me it feels like some sort of universal nudge that it’s time for me to start dressing like I have a job outside of motherhood, even though I don’t. They’re getting older and more self-sufficient which I guess does give me a little more time to get myself together but it’s just so annoying because I could also quickly make their beds, vacuum the rugs, load the washer and unpack the dishwasher and just keep looking like a comfortable pile of mom road kill. OH, THE WOES OF MOTHERHOOD!
WILL WE EVER WIN!??!?!