Childrearing

What I Learned From Writing About Being A ‘Drunk Mother’ On The Internet

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All in all, I’m a mom who best relates to Wendi McLendon-Covey’s character from Bridesmaids. Remember Rita? She was the hilarious mother of three boys, who desperately tried to cling to whatever sense of self she had prior to crowning on the delivery table. She couldn’t wait to head to Vegas for the bachelorette party, to get away for a bit, to wear her new tube top. Now that – that’s relatable.

Anyway, XOJane picked my story to be published. I anticipated some flack, but surely an open-minded audience such as XOJane’s readers would find it cheeky and maybe some readers could relate. Or, you know, maybe they’d declare CPS should be called, which some did. Luckily, many readers understood the article and enjoyed it for what it was.

I’ve always admired the fearless publications that invite the sometimes ugly and offbeat dimensions of life, instead of telling you that you need to do XYZ to be accepted and loved. I enjoy editors who give countless women voices that need to be heard, even if what they’re saying is the ugly, unapologetically honest truth.

But here’s the really sad truth: we encourage women to be confessional and revealing, telling them to speak their minds and share — and to do it proudly. We encourage them to speak in an effort to open the gates of silence that so many other women keep closed. And sadly, once they speak, we shame them. We declare them unfit, unstable, and we call them a poor excuse for a woman and/or a mother.

It’s ironic, because we are taught to raise children who do not bully, yet we turn and bully other parents who fail to meet some mysterious and unreachable standard of what a parent “should be.”

I am not alone, as Buzz Bishop, Canadian radio show host, received a hateful response when he admitted that he favors his oldest son. While many parents do indeed have a favorite, Bishop was all but stoned, simply for confessing a truth as a parent, a confession that he shared as his own personal experience. I immediately contacted Bishop and picked his brain. He, too, noted that the parenting community was particularly hard, saying that they “came out railing against my beliefs like I had declared a jihad against their family.” There’s no doubt that Bishop isn’t a great father, but even his own confession received much flack. Meanwhile, in reality, most parents could relate – they just didn’t openly state the same sentiments.

Lastly, I’m not a victim. I appreciate dark humor and have no qualms about joking that kids make for great tax write-offs. If anything, this experience has only fueled my desire to keep the conversations (no, not the drinks) flowing, and to continue being honest and making cracks at the seriousness of parenting. I’ve quickly realized that when it comes to parenthood, high horses are just as common as Maclaren strollers. I’d rather be grounded in reality, in the trenches, fighting for parents – and mostly women – to not be shamed to silence. Truth and lessons are a beautiful thing and while being on a high horse may feel like a vantage point, let’s not forget that the higher the climb, the harder the fall.

(photo: mrfiza/ Shutterstock)

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