I’m going to be extremely vulnerable here, and tell all of you about a situation that occurred in my home the other day. It involved the TV.
And no, it wasn’t me ranting about too much screen time or playing referee over who’s turn it was with the Xbox. It was a commercial. And it set this momma off. So much so that I had to pause the TV and head to the computer to type this manifesto.
The commercial started with a mom wandering around the house looking at everyone sitting in front of technology. The kids were zoned out and the mom was clearly frustrated. Suddenly all the screens were shut off and the mom was magically in the check-out line of a craft store, smiling about the prospect of upcoming quality time and bonding. And the words coming at me from the screen said,
“Remember that day that you spent tweeting and texting together as a family? Nah. I didn’t think so.”
You know what bitch, yes. Yes, I do. Thank you very much. Because it was the break I so desperately needed to recharge my battery and an attempt to fill a very empty tank. So back off with your judgment and let my family be. We’re just fine, and don’t need you meddling in our affairs. I don’t need pressure from the media about how I should be parenting!
As I sat first screaming at my TV, and then eventually crying at it, I wondered what was going on. Seriously. I was triggered by a Michael’s commercial. But why???
The mom guilt!!!
Do dads ever feel this? Do they even understand what “mom guilt” means? And what about “dad guilt”? Is that even a thing? Does anyone know if that exists? Is it really a universal parenting thing, or is this a woman thing? Have we progressed too much with feminism and equal rights, or not at all?
It was a woman actress, and a woman’s voice in the commercial, and a woman’s voice INSIDE MY HEAD.
It was the voice of a female “friend” shouting criticism and judgment of how I parent. Her complaints that I’m spending too much time on my job and not enough time on my kids. Well, you know what lady, I don’t have any other options at the moment, so fuck you and the high horse you rode in on. (But not really. I wish you well. I wish you health and happiness in whatever capacity you need. May you find peace and joy, and freedom from suffering in all areas of life.)
Let’s recognize that we are ALL doing our best right now. And we were doing that before. And we shall CONTINUE to do that, whether we’re in the midst of a global pandemic or not.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go build a Pinterest fail fort in the backyard with my children…