This set of vignettes comes to us from Squidnice, whom I’m sure we’ll be hearing from often because she’s the mother of two teenaged girls. I should note that when her youngest heard about the request, she actually said, “Why are you going to do that? You’re not that bad of a mom.” After reading this, the only question you’ll have is whether sarcasm is genetic or learned.
On Deciding to Start a Family. . .
My journey on the road to worst “momdom” started years before giving birth to my girls. After Mr. Squid and I got married, we started plotting out our future. Five kids — yeah, that’s right, five kids. We’d start having kids two years after we got married. That would put us at 24-years-old for the first one and plenty of time between kids to have plenty more. Well, mom instinct didn’t quite kick in (having too much fun enjoying San Francisco and working our tails off), and before you knew it, we were 26 and darn it, we’d forgotten to have our first kid. The fun and work didn’t end, so it took us three more years before we came to the conclusion that we’d better start having kids before we got too old and selfish. Not exactly the romantic sentiment of bringing a baby into the world as a symbol of our love, yada, yada, yada, but it worked for us, and we never looked back.
In The Womb. . .
I wore dark glasses, a lot. These were the days when we didn’t have progressive lenses, and I couldn’t afford an indoor and outdoor pair. So when I was tired and didn’t feel like wearing contacts when I was pregnant — which was often — I would wear my 1980s-era, huge, dark prescription glasses. People, including co-workers, were pretty suspicious of a pregnant woman wearing dark glasses indoors, so my obvious answer was that I was a drug addict hiding my bloodshot eyes. But I always qualified this statement with the fact that I switched from cocaine to heroin because medical studies showed that heroin was not known to have any serious effects on the fetus, while cocaine did. They seemed to be okay with that (just to be clear, I wasn’t really a drug addict).
On Breastfeeding. . .
Okay, so I didn’t breastfeed either baby for more than a of couple days. There really wasn’t any physical problem or issue. The two major reasons: first, my wardrobe was primarily sweaters and pull-over tops, and I really didn’t feel like getting a whole bunch of new tops. So fashion won out. Second, I really, really, really love to sleep. I mean really love and need my sleep and hours of it. Mr. Squid, on the other hand, doesn’t sleep anywhere as much as I do and wanted to be totally hands-on, so I let him be as hands-on as he wanted. And since he didn’t have any breasts, the bottle won out. I picked a great old-fashion pediatrician who didn’t hassle me about it at all, and I’m happy to say, my girls turned out totally healthy. Never had earaches or were on antibiotics. Healthier than any of their friends. And mommy got her sleep and was a happy girl — most of the time.
Chicken Pox. . .
When my oldest was six months, we decided someone should be home and available. We still sent her to daycare because, to put it bluntly, I wanted my girl in the hands of trained professionals. If she was with me, she would’ve ended up watching soap operas and bad sci-fi all day long. My husband volunteered to stay home, and I kept my job. I traveled a ton, and once, as I was heading to the airport to catch a plane to Texas, my husband came back from the doctor and said my daughter had chicken pox. I gave him a big kiss and hug and said, “Good luck.” I got back five days later and was happy to see they were both doing much better. I should add that my husband was the best mom in the world. He did all the school stuff with the kids, ran the bake goods booth at the school’s annual fundraiser, and to this day still does the laundry and most of the grocery shopping. The other moms, if and when they saw me, often let me know that if I got tired of him, they’d take him. I got used to people saying, “So what do you do around the house?”
What to Wear. . .
I was brought up by immigrant parents who dressed like immigrants until their final days. Growing up, we pretty much wore hand-me-downs or whatever was on sale. My haircut was often done with a bowl, and I wore hats to school, a lot. Before kids, my fashion sense was pretty good. After kids, I think I lost that gene and turned into my mom. To this day, my kids still complain about me cutting their hair, making them wear old-lady jeans, and buying them white Reeboks that were on sale at Costco.
Cinderellas. . .
The girls were given chores at a really early age. As soon as they were tall enough to reach the kitchen sink, they had to start doing the dishes. The younger one was short, so she didn’t start having to do dishes until a few years after the first (they still fight over that). But when they complain about chores, I pretty much say, “Why do you think you guys were born? We had you to clean up and take care of us in our old age.” My poor little Cinderellas.