Mom Coming Out Party
There certain expectation of women, especially mothers, which exist in our society. A picture-perfect home, a home-cooked meal, and presentable kids in ironed clothing, sans chocolate face … Many of us have been bucking the system out of downright necessity. We’ve been doing things that prime time television would look down on us for and “perfect” mothers would judge us over. Friends, the time has come to reveal the secret life of mothers. It’s time to come out of the closet, sisters. So here are five things I’ve been doing surreptitiously:
1. I don’t wash my bras any differently than my socks.
Look, I know you’re supposed to put those suckers in a lingerie bag and wash on the gentle cycle after caressing them and whispering sweet nothings into their cups like it says to on the label. Some of you overachievers even hand-wash them, filling the sink with a warm soapy water to submerge and soak your cute little boulder holders. I wear a 46DDD. My sink could barely hold one bra if I didn’t mind the underwire cups sticking out of the top. Plus, who has time for this? Who hasn’t washed a load of clothes at 5 a.m. so it would be ready in time to leave for school drop-off (yeah, right. Who wears a bra to school drop-off?) or work? Who has the foresight to do this ahead of time? How many bras do you own? Who doesn’t need their friggin’ sink? So I throw my bras right in the washer on a regular cycle mixed with the rest of my clothes. And then (gasp!) I toss them right in the dryer! Let’s just all agree that this is a bullshit suggestion on the part of manufacturers and skip it.
2. I strategically avoid certain PTO volunteer “opportunities.”
I’m a huge cheerleader for teachers. I know they deserve all of the appreciation luncheons they can get but at thirty-seven, there are just certain things that I won’t do. For example, I’m not standing outside for three hours on a 95-degree afternoon to help with Field Day. I’m just not going to do it. When I think of 1,200 kids under the age of eleven running outside, hopped up on the idea of an alternate schedule and fresh air, I want to run in the other direction…and God knows I can’t run. And think about all of that under-boob sweat; my non-hand-washed bras can’t handle it. I love you teachers, but I’m leaving that job to someone younger, thinner and with a hell of a lot more patience.
Not. Doing. It.
3. I buy gift cards for children’s birthday gifts.
Sure, I know that small children enjoy the fun of opening their presents at birthday parties but taking the time to choose the perfect gift for each kid is just too much. It isn’t just the gift that you’ve got to buy anyways. By the time you spend $25 on the gift, $5 on the card and another $5 on the gift bag and tissue paper, you’ve outdone yourself and your budget considering the six parties you’ve been invited to that month. Nope, not this mom. A Toys”R”Us gift card slapped on top of a handmade card, courtesy of my daughter’s indentured servitude and – Bingo! You’ve got a gift! Take it or leave it.
4. We visit Chick-fil-A three times a week.
I get it, fast food is terrible for you. But we’re on the run from 15 minutes after elementary school release until way past dinner time some nights. If it can’t be thrown in my Instant Pot, it ain’t happening and sometimes we don’t even have the time to sit at the table for that. So three nights a week, I hurriedly do drive through and my kid eats six nuggets on the way to or on the way home from her chosen activity that night. If I’m feeling particularly self-righteous, I’ll order my daughter a fruit cup instead of fries to go along with her lemonade. I’ll even feel good about myself for it.
5. Sometimes my kid doesn’t shower every day.
There’s something about being in the second grade makes kids allergic to soap and water. At
8 p.m. every night when I tell my daughter to hop in the shower, she stares and me in horror and immediately protests, claiming that she “doesn’t even stink,” quickly moving on to the old standard: “Do I have to wash my hair?” She begins to move through the five stages of grief: Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. And finally – some of the time – acceptance. But some days you just don’t have any fight left in you. You just want to lie in bed and watch The Real Housewives of New Jersey without argument. So yeah, sometimes I just tell her to wash her face, put on some of her Barbie perfume and go to bed. In the words of Beyonce, “I ain’t sorry.”
So that’s it. I’m out, I’m proud and you should be too. What do you do in your secret life that you’re no longer afraid of being judged for? Embrace your subterranean motherhood and share it with the world.