Don’t Be A Smug Mom Because Karma Is A Bitch
A smug mom usually begins her journey to smugdom as a smug pregnant person. I know that’s how I got my start. With my first baby, my pregnant lunch hours were spent devouring book after book about everything from breast feeding to sleep training. My smug knew no limits. I even quit childbirth class after three sessions because what could this super experienced labor and delivery nurse tell me that I could not research on my own and fully absorb? I knew it all and with blind confidence, I was oblivious to the horrors that lay in my future. After all, I had RESEARCHED. I was prepared for anything.
Once my baby was born, it only fueled my smug fire because I had been blessed with the mythical Easy Baby. She was colicky at first but her few hours of evening gassiness and crying always gave way to a solid 10-hour stretch of sleep, even at only six weeks old. She ate anything I gave her, hit her milestones early or on time, had an amazing disposition and delighted and charmed everyone around her. Naturally, I attributed these miracles to my innate mothering prowess and hours of obsessive research. “Job well done”, I thought to myself. Clearly, I had this mothering thing licked.
And then my son came along and humbled my smug ass from here to kingdom come. When it became apparent that he was not just a fussy newborn, but was in fact, a fussy human being, I gave in. I did not know everything. Far from it. This child did not go by the book and was nothing like his sister. For instance- I had adamantly insisted that we would NEVER co-sleep and of course, it was easy to stay on that path with our daughter because she slept beautifully. I found myself eating my words when our son was six months old and had yet to do more than a 3-hour stretch of sleep without waking up. That was the first of many “I Never’s” he forced me to go back on.
Knowing this now, I feel a mixture of pity and disdain for mothers with one easy child who obviously believe their kick-ass mothering is to blame for what is really just good fortune. Or the mother who has several children, all easy and compliant. I suppose she has even more reason to feel smug and I guess it’s easy to be that way when you haven’t had your ass handed to you by your special snowflake. But you know what? Don’t. No matter how many good sleeping easy eaters you give birth to just don’t be smug. Because the fact is, you never know. Your next baby might be the world’s worst sleeper or your easy baby could turn into the world’s most difficult toddler. And when that happens, you will want Karma on your side, for sure.
In my mind, after seven years of motherhood kicking my ass, it’s always best to err on the side of humble with a touch of “never say never”. Every kid is different. For that matter, every year with every kid is different. You never know when you will be on the receiving end of those pitying stares at the store when your toddler is having an earth-shaking tantrum or at Mommy and Me when you tell your tale of woe about how your baby won’t sleep or your toddler won’t stop biting his friends. We all get humbled at some point and I’m glad it happened to me when it did before I had the chance to smug my way to no mom friends and everyone talking about what an insufferable douchebag I was. So I am here to caution you all- don’t be the smug mom. You’re welcome.