I put in my notice. I’m no longer a mom.
The 8th Circle of Hell¹ is a Moms Group. You pull into a parking lot awash in minivans. You then proceed to walk into a sea of half-smiling women in yoga pants and Simply Southern t-shirts. Most of them won’t look you in the eye, but the designated “greeter” will come on too strong, too intimate, too “friendly”.
And then. Oh, and then. Then the judgment of the SAHMs shall BEGIN. Ye shall feel equally ignored and judged while simultaneously being invited to more Christian-y activities than you could ever possibly attend (even if you wanted to).
My friend (we’re friends here, right?), Mom Groups make me want to pluck out my eyeballs and run screaming into traffic. These women cast themselves onto the altar of “motherhood” expecting that we should all praise their righteous martyrdom.
And frankly, my dear, I don’t give a fuck.
As of today, I’m done with being a mom.
I love my son. Even though he is only 21 months old and only has about 10 words in his vocabulary, I’d rather do puzzles with him than spend even 3 minutes with 99.9999% of the human population. Granted, I’m a pretty intense introvert, but still. He’s cool as hell².
But since the day I got pregnant, I’ve never quite been able to get past my dislike of “moms”. The stuff buying and the obsessions and the anxieties and the self-denial and the judging, judging, judging.
Sure, I have strongly held opinions about how I parent my kid. But my identity is not subsumed by those opinions. If I’m being honest, I don’t give a fuck how other people raise their kids. I’m gonna do me. You do you.
But where I’m getting hung up is the self-aggrandizing of “I’m a personal chef, house cleaner, chauffeur, teacher, boo-boo kisser…” bullshit.
This overidentification with what we do for others sets the example for our children that women are there to do for others. Is that really what we want to tell our daughters? Our sons? Our nonbinary kiddos?
When women overidentify with the martyr mother stereotype, they perpetuate the idea that women are to be held to different standards.Working moms and SAHMs all need to be kicking the martyr mother stereotype to the curb.
And I bet that, no matter how much you love your kids, being “just a mom”, no matter how you cut it, isn’t making you happy. Because…
You’ll never be a good enough mom.
There’s too many things out there that “good moms” do that you aren’t doing. That you don’t have the time, energy, or desire to do. Because you are fucking human.
But what if you were just a parent? Feel that? Did it feel like the weight of the world evaporated, even for just a moment?
You’re already a good enough parent. And I am too. As of today, I’m a parent.
Because I’m done with the mom hype. I’m just not going to even use that word to describe myself anymore.
I love my son. I read to him. I help him get to sleep. I make sure he eats something at some point in the day. Because that’s what parents fucking do. I even let my son eat directly from my body because my body happens to lactate.
I’m a parent. My husband is also a parent. I happen to be the primary parent most of the day. That doesn’t mean I’m responsible for our house or for our “family” or even for our son. I get done what I get done.
And when my son is napping, I take a break from parenting to write rampaging articles on Medium or draw concentric circles on a sheet of paper.
Because that’s fucking feminism.
Shout out to the inimitable Dorothy L. Sayers for her translation of Dante Alighieri's Inferno.
Hahaha see what I did there? Alighieri puns!