I am a bad mother. At least if you judge me by the actions of my children. You’d think I’m alone in this bad mother thing based on the lack of other mothers speaking openly about their darling little wayward teens. Admitting that your kids can be little shizzy wucks seems to be the same as saying you contracted ebola. Nobody will look you directly in the eye and most will suddenly remember that they left their house on fire and beat a hasty exit.
Well, all except those with infants, toddlers, and kids under the age of 10. They stick around because they love nothing more than to tell you all of the ways you went wrong and all of the ways they’re going to beat the bad teenager odds. They have read every important child rearing book cover to cover. They’ve also read and re-read the best parenting articles that can be found on the internet. They have gleaned all of the best tips and are more than happy to explain to you that they know everything there is to know about parenting. Of course I have to laugh rather hysterically because I was them once. Well, sort of. Thankfully I can say that i never uttered that dreaded phrase, “not my kid.” Geez Louise, never!
Even more comical than the fantasies in those parenting books are the mothers who sit around in their mommy and me classes and talk about the way they are going to monitor their kids’ social media. Ba and freaking hoo ha!!!! Which accounts will you be monitoring? The actual account they use or the fake one the little darling has set up right before stoically handing over all of the passwords. If it makes you feel better to take the passwords then by all means, do it, but please stop fooling yourself. That account is as fake as a $3 bill. Wait. Let me correct that. All of those accounts are fake. They’re not even using those apps any longer. They are about 50 new apps that you’ve probably never even heard of and by the time you learn what they are and how they work they will have moved on to the next new app designed to evade parental surveillance.
But forget those moms. They’re actually good for a laugh. I mean, that is if you can find some of the moms who will laugh with you while talking about how they not only let their kids live through colic but that they’d trade their one rotten teenager for 27 colicky babies.
Where are all of the articles titled, “That Time I Accidentally Saw a Picture of My Son Wearing a Gas Mask Bong on Social Media,” in the parenting sections of HuffPo? When will the baby books include chapters called, “Don’t Pull Your Hair Out, Drink Wine Instead,” or “What to Do When No Doesn’t Work and Neither Does Taking Away All of Their Shit.”
Where are the How To Sections that tell you “How To Continuously Scream ‘F*&k’ Without Your Neighbors Hearing,” and don’t forget, “How To Walk Out of the House Looking Like a Million Dollars Minutes After the Nuclear Brawl,” all because you are on your way to a school concert or play or some other function where you have to present your best mommy face.
I know there are others out there just like me. I know that they want to vomit when some mother of a toddler asks if you tried tough love. How about the mothers with one daughter, or two that are five years apart? They could never possible understand why your sons, two years apart, think every second of every day is the WWE. So when they tell you that you should tell them to stop fighting (like you never thought of that one) admit it, not only do you want to punch them in their stupid face but you also silently wish you could be there the first time their little sweetie walks in reeking of weed or alcohol or both. Then you feel bad, not because you want to punch their stupid face but because you never wish bad things on kids not even kids of annoyingly stupid mothers.
But really what you want more than anything in the world is to have other mothers to share all of the dirty details with, moms who won’t look at you like you suck but will nod with understanding and tell you all about their own discoveries. And in my fantasy we both pull out contraband we found while putting away laundry and decide its too good to waste. That would be the best kind of bad mommy playdate ever.
In the end, we do the best we can and the hope is that when our kids do some of the things that teenagers are famous for doing that other moms won’t be so quick to feel superior or even offer parenting advice. It would be great if we realized we’re all in this together and offered compassion instead of judgment. I guess though for now I’ll just call it to be continued…..