Show of hands… how many of you that work outside of the home went right back to work after having your baby? For me personally, “maternity leave” wasn’t a thing for either kid. For the sake of relevance, we’ll just focus on my most recent child, born Memorial Day 2012. I was back in MBs the next day making sure things got handled, and less than 3 weeks later (because shit was falling apart), I was back in the shop FULL TIME with a tiny baby. Lucky for me (?), I was able to bring baby and nurse while I worked. As far as support was concerned, I was told (by the women with whom I’d started the damn New Parent Support groups) that I would not be “allowed to participate due to a conflict of interest”, or what therapists commonly refer to as a “dual relationship”. I was gutted. Not only had I actively created a safe space for new mothers, filling a void that long needed filling, I myself could have really used the support.
Long story short, we went our separate ways, and even though the store was bleeding money (likely due to my absence), I managed to regroup and re-brand the groups (which are awesome now, I must say) while I worked through my feelings. But it was fucking terrible. Trust me. This is a big reason that Jessica Shortall‘s video resonated with me. Watch the full video here for reference. For fun, I had Meg of Lucie’s List snap this quick photo of me as we were having our weekly “work from home” meeting. Because, real life. #yourewelcome. Just prior to nap time, I was getting really stressed out because my babysitter was out of commission. I panicked, and reached out to her helpline for support. After 12 solid grief-stricken minutes, as I watched my working-window wane, I witnessed a miracle chronicled in the following Twitter exchange: I swear… If there was such a thing as a stay-at-home mom *without* children present, you could go ahead and sign me up for that shit. In the meantime, I suppose I’ll just stick to working at the shop, “working from home”, or – my personal favorite – finishing up what I didn’t get done at work, while at home. For a good take on that clusterfuck, watch this video below…
The other day, a Huff Post Parents article caught my eye due to its awesome title. The article was so good, I ventured into the treacherous lets-just-have-a-quick-look-at-the-comments territory for a hot second. Spoiler alert: it got me all pissed off, even though I know better than to read the goddamn comments.
Lucky for you guys, it reminded me of my mother’s favorite story about young Heather…When I was around 18mos old, I had perfect diction and a firm grasp of the English language. Despite her usually flagrant potty mouth, my mother took great care not to swear in front of me, as did her childless friends. So when a drunken college student belligerently stumbled out of Happy Hour, narrowly missing mom, grandma and me, I pointed and rightfully called him a “fuck-ING ASS-hole”. My mother was mortified, for there was no mistaking what I’d said. And while my grandmother stood there disapproving and ashamed, my mom could not figure out for the life of her where I’d picked up such foul language.
About a week later, we were driving somewhere when some fucking asshole swerved in front of us. Her ah-ha moment was a lot like what you might imagine. And to her shame, as the words were leaving her mouth, she glanced over to find me quietly nodding in agreement… Yesterday, a friend posted about her almost-3-y-o using colorful language at preschool, and taking it one step further saying she’d “heard it from daddy while he was driving”. Rude, btw. Outside of my happy-place-bubble where I keep my friends, are all y’all out there really judging us for this? So unfair. I feel like all bets are off in the car.
So here’s my question moms and dads:
Should driving swears really count against us? Please do feel free to weigh in here, as you clearly already know how I feel. Interestingly enough, I find driving a time when I curse the least… probably because I live in California, and the New York City driver in me died a slow death circa 2003. I’ve given up. I pass on the right, do not yield to faster traffic (forcing them to also pass on the right) and instead pray they get pulled over since no one should be going faster than me. I could not beat them, so I’ve joined them. Now I’m the fucking asshole, I guess :-/.
… They’re my favorite. I love it when y’all accidentally drop swears here in the shop, then get all embarassed about it. Look, if this place isn’t a safe space for that sort of free speech, I don’t know what is.
They say that parenting is “the hardest job you’ll ever love”… or some other bullshit like that. Well, sometimes my kids fucking suck. So do yours. It’s cool to talk about it. That is all…