Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sanctimommies

     Once upon a time I loved teenagers. I wanted to dedicate my life to helping them. I was going to be an adolescent psychologist one day, or at the very least, open a hangout for kids under 20 where bands could play, or they could game, or whatever, as long as they were safe and not bored in their shit little town and driven to drugs and who knows what else. Something. I would do SOMETHING.
     Because you see, I was a teenager once, and I was sooo misunderstood. I just needed to be loved and taken seriously instead of scolded for everything and being made to feel stupid. I could have thrived! But instead I wasted away, gave up on success and lost hope for my dreams.

     Just kidding, I was an asshole. Ungrateful, rude, apathetic, selfish, and lazy. Oh I had my moments of sweetness and charity. I hid my homeless friends in my parent's garage so they wouldn't have to sleep in the cemetery in the cold. I bought my poorer friends lunch at school, picked up drunk friends from parties they got stranded at in the middle of the night and that kind of shit, but mostly I was a dick. I just didn't care about anything and didn't listen to anyone. But at the time, I would have told you that I just needed attention. I needed someone to see through my bullshit and stop me from fucking shit up. By the time I was 17 I had been smoking cigarettes for 3 years. How did no one notice? I didn't even try to hide it! My parents are wonderful people but they were too easy to fool. It pissed me off actually. So now that I have kids, I don't want them to ever feel like nobody cares what they do, because it's a terrible feeling. I give a huge shit what they do. A big, HUGE one. They can be mad at me all they want, but I never want them to be able to say I didn't care.

     I had forgotten how much I loved teenagers in the last few years, and it makes me a little sad. How could I have completely forgotten about what I wanted to be when I grew up? I think it may have happened sometime around 2011, when Gage turned 12, reality hit me and I became confused about them in general. What happens between 12 and 14 that makes them stupid? Wait...are they stupid or are they faking it? Are they just bad liars, or do they need water wings and a helmet to get through their day? Maybe it was a head injury that made them forget how to put the trash bag INSIDE the can instead of laying on the floor next to it. Oh crap, did I miss a head injury?? Mommy guilt!! AHH!! Hmm...no, they're just fucking with me...right? No? I don't know!
   
    After much agony over my inability to discern between asshole and idiot, I've recently decided to err on the side of asshole with my kids. Because they're too smart to be stupid, if you get me. I like to think that the adults in their lives have taught them well, and enough for them to be decent, even if imperfect, bullshitters. Because, let's be honest, the art of bullshitting can get you pretty damn far in life depending on the situation. Hopefully they're learn fast about when it's time to bullshit and when it's time to be honest, because I think they're kind of sick of writing reports about integrity and such.

     My Mom says that teenagers are assholes so that it's easier when they leave your house. Seems reasonable. But then a grandmother I talk to at Bug's speech therapy office told me that when your kids grow up, you worry MORE because they can get into more trouble. FUCK. I'm just fucked. I love these shitheads so much, I can hardly function. And they're eventually gonna worry me MORE?? WTF. This is CRAZY. How do people live through this??

     That brings me to another issue. The SANCTIMOMMY.

     A sanctimommy micromanages her children's lives, from their birth, to their clothing, food, and activities they participate in. They look sharply down their noses at parents who don't do the same, or who are more liberal in their parenting approach. They are highly judgmental, and famously believe that the shitty stuff your kids do/have done will NEVER happen to THEIR kids.
     Every Mom has been guilty of this at one time or another, because Mommy knows best and we are passionate about our kids. But the sanctimommy is in it deep, and she is like this all the time. It's almost admirable, the dedication it must take to agonize over Utopian water births, free-trade organic whatevers, tribal co-sleeping rituals and unschooling co-op education groups. But mostly it's just really fucking annoying. Like seriously, shut the fuck up. When I wanna know about how you would do it and how I'm doing it wrong, I'll ask.
     I long ago stopped saying, "Welcome to Motherhood!" when a new Mom is discovering a nuance of her role that is uncomfortable, because it's rude and does not properly acknowledge her personal journey of learning. But when a sanctimommy starts talking I honestly want to shake her. I want to warn her of the uncharted waters that lie ahead, the guilt and anxiety she is setting herself up for, the inevitable day when she will feed her precious infant pudding for dinner because she has the flu and simply does NOT have the energy to prepare the quinoa and roasted butternut squash baby food that she had written into the menu 3 months ago.
     When she tells me I'm abusing my kids for putting them on restriction, or scarring them for life because they learned numbers from Sesame Street and not me, I feel stabby. She has never been in my shoes, she has never had my kids, and she is starting to make me want to jump off a roof rather than hear her crazy mouth keep running.

     Where do sanctimommies get all of their information on how they are right and you're wrong? The internet. Ahh, the internet....how we all love you. You have kept us informed on world news and diagnosed our brain tumor that ended up being just allergies, and we are forever grateful. But I think that there should be a public service announcement about the fact that the internet is not perfect. Some kind of literature should come with your new computer that explains the basics of an English 100 college course. Bias and how to distinguish the most credible source, namely. How to do research and weigh the information you find. Critical thinking.

I didn't check the validity of this statement, but according to my Facebook feed, this is a modest estimate.

     According to sanctimommy, everything is poisonous and I should just build a shelter off the grid and wash my hair with lemon and vinegar because the methacrylate copolymer in most shampoos causes Asperger's in my unborn children. And calling out my son for being lazy is shaming him, and lazy-shaming is the new cause we have a ribbon for. What color is the lazy-shaming-is-wrong ribbon? It's yellow, but then it gives up halfway through and becomes whatever.

     I'm not sure anymore how I got on the subject of sanctimommies, but it is important to note, nonetheless. Fuck 'em anyway.

     OH! Bug's birthday is coming up and she will be two! We're having a Sesame Street theme party because she's obsessed. I'm going to attempt a rainbow layer cake. Five layers. Yeah, I'm scared, but if I fail, at least it will be funny, right? Pictures to follow....hahaha

     Wow, I just proof read this and it appears that I may have ADHD. Or perhaps I only took one college English course and it wasn't enough to teach me how to stay on topic. ;)