10ish Ways I’m A Weird Mom
And I’m OK With That
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Hi, my name is Jessica and I’m a weird mom.
I’m the mom who is still breastfeeding her son as he rolls into 18 months. You know the one; her boob is out in public places, making others feel “weird” or wondering “how can she still be doing that”, that, being following the World Health Organization’s recommendation of breastfeeding my baby until he is 2 years old, even though it is hard sometimes, even though my breasts look like tired socks, even though I wonder sometimes if he’s even actually getting any milk out of the old girls.
I’m the mom who hasn’t fully returned to work yet, who in fact may never return to work as I knew it before. The lady who had a hot, busy moment that was maybe hotter in her own mind than it was in real life, anyway. The woman who realized that there’s nothing and no dollar amount more important than the honor of getting to watch her son grow up and spend these fleeting days with him. The woman who scrapes together gigs here and there and writes when I can to help make ends meet instead of going back to work full-time.
I’m the mom who co-sleeps with my baby. He sleeps cuddled up next to me almost every night like a teddy bear. You know that mom who you’re like, “Oh my god! She sleeps with her child. Does she even have a sex life?” Not that it’s any of your business, but yes I do, and it’s not much different than it was before, except that when we bang, we (and most parents you know) now bang on the couch. Sorry, guests.
I’m the mom who didn’t stick it out with cry it out when it was clear my son wasn’t happy with it and so I wake up multiple times in the night to feed him. Sometimes it makes for long and frustrating nights, but on good evenings, I can remind myself that I’m doing something important to help my son build confidence and feel secure, and give him a solid start in a hard world.
I’m the mom who worries about my son when he gets sick. I try not to let him see the worry, but it’s there, like a cheap drugstore bronzer blended into my cheekbones; all over my face no matter how hard I try to rub it in. I’m the mom who calls the doctor’s office and says, “Hi, sorry to bother you, but my son has a rash…” and then calls back when the nurse doesn’t call by the time she said she would. I’m that mom who reads all the instructions and papers that come with his medications and then I cross reference them on Google. Then, I call my friends and family and ask them what their experiences were. Using all the information I can find, I then make a decision that I believe is best for my son. Crazy, right?!
I’m that mom who all but quit drinking, because I’m not sure it’s ok for me to breastfeed and drink, though my doctor and many others have said it’s ok and though many moms I know do it and their babies seem just fine. I am practically straightedge these days, sober, drug and alcohol-free (unless you count 1/2 a glass of red wine a month a boozer). My pee is so clean I could probably drink it, or sell it to someone who does that kind of thing at the same price as some fine champagne. It’s practically transparent, I drink so much (purified) water.
I’m that wingnut mom who strives to make all healthy meals and snacks for my son and almost always does, but sometimes falls short and gives my kid processed food. We have pizza one night a week. We eat cheese sticks and crunchy peas or Herr’s pretzels for snacks. We eat a lot of frozen vegetables, because I read they are almost, if not equal to fresh in nutrition levels and I believe things I read sometimes. He’s tasted cake. He’s tried ice cream. He loves blueberry muffins like a fiend. I am that dodo bird who went to a nutritionist to see how to feed the baby better and who strives to help his diet be as good as it can be within some reason because my own diet basically sucks, but, yeah, did you see the part about how he loves blueberry muffins?
I’m that koo-koo mom who tries to get exercise every day. I go for walks and ride my bike, because I want to set a good example for my baby, and stay healthy for my family, and stay good-looking for my husband (if any of you see any of my exes, can you tell them I’m looking as fine as ever?). I’m that knucklehead who takes my baby to yoga class with me, so he can see what it’s like to watch mom exercise and stretch and have a little spirituality in her life, and get a little exercise on his own.
I’m that weirdo mom who just got my son a toy kitchen dishes set and a couple dollies to play with, because I think it’s important for him to eschew gender assignment and be who he is or isn’t without much prodding; to learn at a young age what it means to cook and take care of himself, and to care for something else and to treat things delicately. No honey, we don’t throw the baby and drop it on it’s head. We kiss the baby. We cuddle the baby.
I’m the nutso mom who lets the baby climb on the furniture and jump in and out of bed with the use of a stool, beside I know he has energy and he needs to climb and move. I know that exercise is an important building block and I want him to learn from a young age that moving vs. sitting around on his duff is cool. I’m that bonkers lady who tries not to say “no” all the time because I know he needs to hear “yes”, too, but I’m firm with my no’s when it’s the right time.
I’m that mom who grapples with whether or not I’m doing ok, who believes I am, who has faith in herself and who knows every day my mother’s instinct is getting better and stronger. I hope.
I’m just a regular old mom, trying to figure out what it means to be a mom, one minute, one hour, one day at a time. This is the way I do it. I make mistakes all day, every day. I learn from them. Some I haven’t learned from and I don’t know if I will.
I’m a good mom, a bad mom at times, a try-hard mom, an overworked mom, a tired mom, an appreciated mom, a funny mom, a loving mom, a short-tempered mom, a patient mom, a helpful mom, a sad mom, a lonely mom, a happy mom, an occasionally well-rested mom, a playful mom, a different mom, an imperfect mom, a curious mom, a new mom — I’m just a mom, like any other, giving it all I’ve got. Like some kind of weirdo.