As a Mom…

“Oh, really?  My little guy never fusses at mealtime. Have you tried feeding him on a white couch?”

“Oh, really? My little guy never fusses at mealtime. Have you tried feeding him on a white couch?”

Motherhood is super trendy right now. Baby-bumps are fashionable, as are the actual infants, slung across people’s fronts (or backs or sides – how versatile) in vivid print carriers, with their accompanying Prada diaper bags.

On TV, solemn-eyed mother-actresses with self-satisfied smirks are proclaiming the need to purchase various goods and services for the safety or educational prowess of their imaginary children. The commercials usually start with her staring directly into my soul and saying, “As a mom, I want the best for my children…” followed by the earnest entreaty to buy their new whole grain, antibacterial, organic, ultra absorbent, digital whatever, now with aloe.

I have a couple of problems with this. First of all, if she’s about to talk about “her children,” she doesn’t really have to say she’s a mom. Sure, there’s a possibility someone will think she’s a teacher without that precursor, but most of us are going to get that she is meant to represent a mother. We know she’s not a real mom, because she’s impeccably groomed, her house is spotless, her floors are covered in flawless white carpeting and she is clearly wearing a bra, even though she’s at home.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The “as a mom” is meant to build a fake connection with real moms, who have actual houses that may or may not contain furniture with dried macaroni stuck to it. We’re supposed to look at her, and think, “oh, she’s just like me!” Or worse, “oh, she’s a better mom than me.”  Tell me more, super-mom!

Secondly, wanting “the best for my children” is not a ground breaking concept. Biologically speaking, we are driven to provide the best we possibly can for our children. What she’s saying, is: “You probably didn’t realize it, but you are currently providing less-than-the-best for your children, and many of you are providing the worst for your children.”

This is designed to manipulate real moms into believing whatever we are doing “as a mom” is not going to be as good as what she is doing, and we’d better step up our game or end up with toddlers who can’t even read French yet, for heaven’s sake.

I don’t think I’d mind these tactics as much if they were actually selling something helpful:

As a mom, I want to know what my kid is screaming about all the time…

As a mom, I want to sleep…

As a mom, I want to know how not to throw up when I smell my kid’s throw-up…

But instead of solving problems, these commercials usually suggest new problems we haven’t yet figured out we need to feel freaked out or insecure about. As a mom, I want to protect my child from carrot poisoning… I want to keep my toddler from feeling insecure about her fashion sense… I want my to teach my baby to read in-utero.

As a mom, I’m tired of this crap.

The Inception Dream

The thing I discovered (along with most mothers) is how irrevocable the transformation to motherhood is. Before Chris, I had a vacation-like easy life. At least it seems so in retrospect. I had extra money, extra time, I traveled, I went out with friends, I slept a LOT.

After Chris, I’m a relatively broke, sleep deprived homebody, with chronic short-term memory loss. And at the risk of sounding cheesy, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I used to hear that and similar sentiments before having a kid, and I thought, “Well, duh, it’s not like you can change it. What else would you say?” But now I’m on this side of things, and I’m like, “OH!!! Nope, I really wouldn’t change it.” I am delighted by my son, even when he is being a monster. Nothing on Earth has ever made me happier or entertained me more and it’s worth every puke covered top, broken knick-knack and lost night of sleep.

I consider myself a pretty responsible human being, but I still can’t believe I have been trusted to take care of something so good. So, my brain can’t even go to any imaginary place that doesn’t include me being Chris’s mom. My rational, lazy mind has been replaced with this constant terror-alert– PROTECT PROTECT PROTECT. If no immediate danger is apparent, the alert will be downgraded to WHAT-IF WHAT-IF WHAT-IF… Promptly bringing it back up to terror.

That means it is not possible to wish for my life before. If I try to imagine a situation where I am relieved of nonstop laundry, long sleepless nights, a constantly messy house and a drained bank account, I have to rely on science fiction.

“Wouldn’t it be great,” I’d think, “If I had a pause button for the world?” Smilingly dopily at the idea of pressing a button on a remote and freezing a tantrum mid-shriek so I could catch a nap on the couch.

I watched “Inception” like it was an educational film. “I see, so if I had a dream, within a dream within a dream that I was sleeping… I could sleep for 3 days straight? Guess I gotta get me one of those talisman thingies. Let’s do this.”