“MOM!! Soda is sooo bad for you! You really shouldn’t be drinking that!”
Listen, kid, this is the tip of the iceberg as far as “bad habits” go in relation to me. Now shut up and go get me the rum for my Diet Coke.
Seriously, though. All my bad habits are getting scrutinized by my oldest. They’re teaching “healthy eating” in middle school now. WTF?! Um, I don’t need that kind of pressure!
I’m supposed to make sure they eat healthy (childhood obesity!), make sure they get enough sleep (behavior problems!), make sure they brush their teeth (cavities!), make sure I dress them according to the weather (every mom out there has had at least one cranky judgmental senior citizen tell them their child should be wearing a hat … fuck you, old lady, he’s gonna rip it off in 2 seconds! Mind your own bees!!! Is what I’d like to say instead of “I’m sorry” while I shamefully hang my head), make sure their hair is brushed (lice!), make sure they’ve been bathed in the last month (germs! which everyone knows means death!), make sure their finger and toe nails are clipped (this is usually discovered via blood – when one of them slices the other with their talons), make sure their homework is done (college!), make sure I’m reading to them every night (intelligence!), make sure I have one on one time with them (do they feel loved?!), make sure we have family time together (team work!), make sure they don’t get kidnapped (I’m not going there), make sure they wear sunscreen (cancer!), make sure …
This doesn’t count all the other stuff I’m supposed to do. Like “take time for yourself” (lest you become a crazy lunatic mom (um, too late)), “spend quality time with your husband”, and (my favorite) “exercise”.
Who is coming up with these rules?? A sadist??? I picture some prick writing all this shit down and laughing maniacally saying “there’s no way in HELL anyone could do all this!!!” … and yet we try. Sadly, we try.
And I didn’t even get to the stuff we’re NOT supposed to do. Or Gwyneth Paltrow, for that matter.
I had a friend text me the other day to ask if it was ok that she was giving her kids mac and cheese for dinner. Did that make her a bad mom? MAC AND CHEESE??? I lived on that crap as a kid. That and McDonalds. I told her as long as she wasn’t feeding her kids dog poop with nails sprinkled on top, she was good.
Holy crap. We need to settle down.
That being said, I fully admit that when I give my kids chicken nuggets, I feel a certain panic in the pit of my stomach that I have probably taken several years off of their lives. And then, in a rash of regret, force them to eat a banana – which everyone knows counterbalances deep fried foods.
And what does “healthy” even mean … I feel like it changes every 15 seconds. “Eat this!! Now!!” … “Shit, wait!! Don’t eat that – it’ll kill you. Eat this instead!” “Hold the phone, DO NOT eat that. We jumped the gun on that. Turns out that will give you diarrhea … and maybe cancer. And probably destroy the earth.” “Eat this magic food!! It will do wonders for your body. Until tomorrow, when we tell you that there’s some other magic food that’s even better!” “Oh, and remember when we told you to eat that one thing? Well, that was before this study came out that indicated you may or may not develop a 6th toe if you consume too much of it. Proceed with caution.”
Cut this out, cut that out, cut all this stuff out!! (oh, by the way, that “stuff” is in every fucking thing at the grocery store … so good luck!! Plan on spending 12 hours there reading every label. And p.s. you’re a bad mom if you don’t.) I’ve now become completely paranoid about what to feed the kids. I’m either in a state of sheer panic or all encompassing self hatred for not doing everything I should to make them the healthiest human beings that have ever existed on this planet.
So, I really hate to admit this, but this will just have to be one more way that I suck, apparently, because getting a “healthy” meal on the table every night is next to impossible … for me anyway. Kudos to those moms out there who can do it! I do plan on writing a lengthy apology letter to my kids when they are older telling them I “did the best I could” … yeah, I don’t think they’re gonna fall for it either.
Hey! I’m really good at folding socks!