Saturday, May 27, 2017

Mothering Expectations

In spite of my whining to the contrary, I actually do have Mommy friends, but as they are veterans with tweens who are way too busy to usher me through my Toddler madness, we rarely get to connect. Recently, I had the chance to catch up with both of them (OK, I probably have more than two Mommy friends, but this is my blog and I'm sticking with that number for the time being.)

Anywho, my talks with both of them happened to occur within the last week, one taking place earlier on the day right before I ended up watching Bad Moms; the other within a few days of when I started writing this post-Mother's Day piece. Well, I'm back to make a grand, omnibus statement that attempts to unify all of those random situations, so here goes:

Expectations. Lower them. Trust me.

Mother's Day
I feel the need to admonish everyone to just settle for something simple and uncomplicated. Just get dressed in something nice for church; kindly accept the flower(s) that you are given by that fine deacon/trustee/young preacher at the church; go out to eat somewhere with your family; smile appreciatively at the homemade card/gift your kid(s) gives you; and accept that your husband/significant other/baby daddy will disappoint you if you were hoping for some grand gesture. Not because he is insensitive (although in some cases he most certainly might be an asshole), but because he is generally clueless.

Let's refocus our energy on making Mother's Day a celebration brought to us by our children, and not by the men who are to blame for making us mothers. Yes blame, because once we adjust our language to acknowledge them appropriately, then we'll know better than to presume much appreciation from the guy who has just as much trouble finding matching clothes as his children. Just remember that come Father's Day and buy him another tie. Problem solved.

Mommy Shaming
I had just finished posting a feel-good piece about coming to this place of peace with Mother's Day, and as I went to post it to the FB page, I saw a message somewhere that triggered my need to write this apology truth. Because I am that messy mommy that some of y'all talk about. And as my child is a reflection of me, then I guess she is a hot mess too. On most days I am cool with that.

I admire how disciplined and courteous your children are in public. As you already know, my daughter can be extra...and I've gleaned much from your FB musings of disapproval. Not directed at me personally, but generally to the world about what your kid(s) better not do in public; meanwhile I let my child scream at the top of her lungs in the middle of the Macy's. And no, I did not spank her, shake her, or do anything other than let her cry until I realized we had another errand to run. Then I led her out of the store as her tantrum continued. So if you happened to be in the vicinity of that scene and posted a video of it on You Tube, be sure to spell my name correctly.

Because for all of that lovely Mommy wisdom I see on FB, I know the truth. Children are irrational, unpredictable, sweet, charming, cute, and insane. Your cherub was once like my Toddlersaurus, or perhaps s/he isn't there yet (just you wait). And it's okay because she'll be two until she turns three, and I've been told that's another ride through the carnival fun house. Then God willing, one day she'll be 22 and I will invoke the memory of these epic meltdowns to get her to plan a decent Mother's Day outing...

Mom Squad Goals
So yeah, I have two Mommy friends. And I got to hang out with one for about an hour before she had to dash to pick up her kids from school. I got to speak to the other one for about an hour before she had to dash to attend to some function with her kid. So I guess the theme of those encounters is that in the real world, Mommies don't have a whole lot of time to sit and chat because we are always in transition about to do something for our kids.

And so I will stop envying those pics of happy carefree mothers I see hanging out after spin class at the bar drinking mimosas because those gatherings are probably staged. Ain't nobody got time for that, between filling out forms for preschool, taking the kid to the dentist, spending an hour in traffic to get across town for an event that only lasts 45 minutes (and you were late because there was no parking so you only got 30 minutes worth), and rushing home before 9 so that no one judges you for being that messy Mom whose kid has no real bedtime...

But hey, can we commit to getting coffee at least once every two to three months? Or a drink if you can hide a flask in that ginormous Mom bag (I saw a cute collapsible one online, just in case).

Movie Review: Bad Moms
Which brings me to the penultimate point where I take the advice of my Mommy friend and offer up movie reviews as a feature on the blog. I finally saw Bad Moms on Showtime and to borrow a phrase from Charles Barkley, terr-bull.

I just watched a clip compilation on YouTube to confirm my initial reaction...and yep, in a nutshell predictable, funny in parts, yet the kind of sophomoric stupid that we've come to expect from a certain genre of comedy <---whoa, did that sound like an Ebert review??? Wanna know what I thought was the dumbest part? The fact that there will be a sequel.

I used 'God willing' in a sentence. Expectations officially lowered.

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