This is getting old

Am I old enough to start complaining about “kids these days”? At 30, for sure I am. OK but I’m not really here to complain, or talk about kids, directly. This is more about my dismay over the state of media and literature. I’m probably about to make myself sound very old and miserable, though I will try not to. Here goes.

I’m tired of shock-factor mom blogs. There, I said it. I recently read a blog by a mom who likened her post-partum genitalia to an animal that I’ve only seen in real life at my local zoo  and once along the side of the road on Koh Phagnan. Prior to reading that blog, I’d already been getting a bit tired of the “real side of motherhood” blogs that I’ve been inundated with since joining Team Mom more than three years ago. One of the things that bugged me about moms long before I became one myself (and one of the things that I swore I would never allow myself to become guilty of) is how self-absorbed moms and pregnant women appeared to be. Example: I was at Ikea with a friend once and a woman with a large belly and cart full of wares was in front of us in line. We were talking, and the woman shifted her cart. Something long and pointed that stuck out of her cart whacked my friend on the side of the head and caught in her hoop earring. The pregnant woman  looked, saw that it was caught, scowled and jerked the cart away without saying a word. When I mentioned the incident later to coworkers, I was advised that “pregnant women have a lot on their minds” and that was the reason this chick was so rude.

The conclusion I came to was that pregnant women and mothers of young children believe the world revolves around them, and I still find this to be true everywhere I go. You hear it again and again; “motherhood is the hardest job in the world”. Wrong. Totally not the hardest job in the world.  “My vagina has wings that flap in the wind”. Gross! For me this raises a couple of questions. 1. Who cares? Obviously, these posts garner a lot of attention, so clearly a lot of people care (question 1a. Why?) or rather they can relate to this, or it makes them feel better about themselves – it has something to do with them, as moms, reinforcing the idea that the world revolves around them, as moms. Question 2. What happened to self-respect? Am I bit of a prude for finding this comment grossly inappropriate? Maybe…no. No, I’m not. That is inappropriate.

You see this stuff everywhere – it’s got that self-deprecating, “please like me”, “they can’t make fun of me if I make fun of myself first” sort of quality that just makes me sad. Yes, you became a mom, it wasn’t what you expected, no one handed you a trophy. Surprise! So people deal with this disappointment by writing blog posts about things like the horrid changes that happened to their bodies, the intent of which seems, to me, to be to shock people into sharing it all over Facebook so they can get lots and lots of attention from people they don’t know and feel validated that their efforts and what they went through earned them some respect. But attention and respect aren’t the same thing, and you’ve “earned” it at too high a cost for me. Exploiting your motherhood and body is a bit too much for me.

So many new-ish moms seem so angry. I see letters to their pre-child selves, open letters to people without children, and other passive-aggressiveness. It was entertaining the first time. Then it got sad when people started copying it, talking passionately about it, taking it too far. People without kids don’t really read stuff like that, so it’s not going to solve any problems. To sum it up, my problem with the momblog world is that moms (yeah I’m making a big, offensive blanket statement here, but understand that I obviously don’t mean EVERY mom) are so self-involved that they think that they’ve achieved something spectacular by being a mom (not entirely untrue) and that they deserve recognition for it (there’s the catch). From everybody. And they’re going to lengths to which they should be ashamed and embarrassed to get that recognition.

So, what is the moral of the story? It’s not a moral – it’s an appeal. PLEASE, moms, can we get our dignity back?

African-Bush-Elephant-3 (1)

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11 Responses to This is getting old

  1. vannessa bullis says:

    look at you commenting on the elephant in the room 😉

  2. Amy@TheOtherGinger says:

    Like this post. My biggest pet-peeve right now is “if I’m breastfeeding, I have to complain about Facebook TOS and shove of a picture of me breastfeeding my child in your face because boobs are boobs, right?” No. The sexual component to breasts is not the same as you breastfeeding your child. While it may be beautiful to you, the rest of us don’t care to see it.

  3. Madison Koconut says:

    This is great! Thanks for blogging this.

  4. This is pretty funny…and I admit… true, at least a little bit for me and I have caught myself in the holy-than-thou-because-I-am-a-mother-of-a-young-child-and-getting-pissy attitude before. I think it is more of it would be great it someone recognized my arms are full and I could use a little help here and it would be so wonderful if you would simply hold that door open for 3 more seconds so I could get through it… Please notice that my arms: a sleeping baby on one side and a bag groceries in the other. I recognize it is all in my expectations of others. and in your case, maybe it is just you ran into a lady having a bad day who just happened to be pregnant. I think we all have days we have reverted to childlike behaviors. We are only human and all flawed.

    I think a lot of people expect children to be little adults. and that parents are some special magician who can cast a spell on their child to be a little adult, especially in public. I have noticed it more with people who do not have young children and with old, grumpy men.. but the old guys are probably just grumpy in general. I have a young child. She cries sometimes and I can’t console her no matter how I try and sometimes she screams in excitement at what we adults deem an inappropriate time. Sometimes she lays down in the middle of the aisle at Target and won’t get up. Yep – I admit it, I have a young child. She acts like a young child. I guess, I wish adults would get over it. They were kids too at one point. Being an ass about my child acting like the soon-to-be two year old she is won’t to change her behavior. Age and experience will.

    and any help, including opening a door, is always appreciated!

    • Jen McLeod says:

      I guess the issue is in the distinction between “help is appreciated” and “I feel like I deserve a trophy for becoming a mom”.

      • I agree.. and people just shouldn’t be rude to other people because they expect something. Asking for help and not expecting it makes people on both sides a lot happier! Thanks for the great post. It will keep this fresh in my mind. :>)

  5. zomelie says:

    I had sort of the opposite annoyance once when I was shopping and people were just leaving their carts cluttering the front of the store and blocking the exit. I was heavily pregnant at the time, but I managed to push several carts into place, including my own, while holding a toddler and my bag. My thinking was, “Hey, if I can do this with the extra baggage, why can’t you?” No one offered to help, but I didn’t really want or expect it. I just wanted the carts out of the way! I suppose whatever our situation, we all just need to use a little more consideration toward others.

  6. I’ve always thought of myself as a spunky, outgoing, outspoken, friendly, sometimes-talk-to-much kinda gal. I’m a Californian, fairly laid-back, and would never think to add “prude” to the list describing me. Buuuuuut, when I read blogs, posts, updates, etc. with that kind of content, I cringe. Sure, my besties and I joke that they’ve seen enough of my nursing boobs to last a lifetime, but that wasn’t posted on Facebook, or blogged about, or even out in public. Isn’t that why Etsy was created? For those awesome and creative types to sell nursing covers and a ton of other adorable items to keep modesty in our life? Justin might be bringing Sexy back, but I say us moms need to bring Dignity, Modesty and Self-Respect back : )

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