Monday, June 13, 2016

How to be a Turn of the Century Mom

My twenties were for making mistakes, following trends, learning, and raising kids.
In my twenties, I spent 90% of it married.
I spent 75% of it unhappy.
I spent 32 months of it pregnant.
I spent 56 months of it nursing.
I spent 36 months of it working in a job I hated.
I made friends.
I let friends go.
I got mad over little things, things that are now too hard to say I'm sorry over.
But most importantly. Are you listening? This is a big one.
Most importantly, I let others make decisions for me. My twenties were filled with me standing back and being too afraid to stand up for what I wanted and what I believed in.
Now I'm in my thirties, and with the thirties comes the confidence of a woman who has lived through the best and roughest  of times
A year ago, I made the decision to be me. I'm not perfect. I'm not straightlaced. I will never be the typical mom.
I'm tired of being told what I should and should not be allowed to do.
Mothers don't have piercings.
Real mothers don't have tattoos.
Real mothers don't read silly YA books or fangirl over small stuff.
A real mother has the house cleaned and dinner on the table each night by five.
A real mother does all this plus works a fulfilling job to make sure feminism didn't go to waste.
A real mother buys organic and puts her kids in mommy and me classes.
In the past decade, the turn of the century mothers are being bombarded with unrealistic ideas of how they should act and how they should be.
What is the outcome?
Mothers are snapping. Mothers are killing themselves. Mothers are dying from the pressures of our horrible and idyllic views.
I've had ten years of experience of being a turn of the century mother, and this is what I have to say.

 Mothers don't have to look a special way
You don't have to wear aprons and bake cupcakes for the PTO to be a good mom. Moms come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and genders. Mr. Mom is now a thing. Eccentric mom is an even cooler thing. Don't be a mother that judges other mothers. Who cares if a mother likes to wear her hair in a ponytail every day? Who cares if she plays Xbox with her kids and wears vintage rock band tees? At the end of the day, kids are going to look back and remember all the fun times spent with mom, not how clean she kept the house or how much money she helped raise for the school.

Mothers don't have to have a career to feel successful
Recently, young mothers have felt the pressure to have it all. Along with "go back to school" which is another term for "put yourself in debt", mother's have felt socially shamed for wanting to stay at home and sometimes even guilted into working because a one household income just isn't cutting it anymore.You may love your 40 hour a week job that lets you go on culturally stimulating vacations, but I want to watch my kids grow up and actually be aware during it.

Mothers don't have to do it the "right way"
You may think that Minecraft is a thing of the devil. You may think that public schools are only for the poor. You may think that not believing in Santa is horrible. Guess what? No one cares what you think. Mothers are allowed to give their children access to whatever they want and raise them however they want. If you don't like it, shut up.

Mothers are allowed to be single and happy
There is no such thing as a nuclear home anymore. There are blended families, grandparent families, foster families, and single parent families. Siblings have different fathers and mothers have many husbands. Am I saying this is the ideal situation? No, it isn't. Mother's have to play the hand that is given and play it well. Mothers should be allowed to be single without shame from others. They shouldn't be shamed for leaving their cheating or lying husbands because, you know  what,  there is a mother out there that failed to raise that husband into a good man.

Don't agree? This is 2016. We don't care.