CRINGE. CRINGE. CRINGE.
I done fucked up. This was a couple months back and it still haunts me.
As I groggily sipped my coffee that morning after packing up the little bebe and sending her on her way to Grandma’s before work, I hopped on Facebook as I so often do to catch up on what’s happened during the midnight hours. “What, oh what shall I talk about on Facebook today?!” I pondered to myself.
And then I remembered the tweet I had come across the other day. It was from a friend and the punchline of the joke was that having kids is a thankless job. "When people ask me if I want kids, I tell them 'No Thanks- I already have a thankless and demanding job.'"
Now first of all I should note, I laughed…because before having anonymous baby I might have tweeted the same joke. It probably wasn’t rare for me to roll my eyes at a mom sappily insisting that everyone better know that there’s nothing better than being a mom and so on. ‘We get it’, I would have thought. Eye roooolllllll. You people and your delicious babies. Pre-baby me.
So anyway, when I read it, I laughed because, well, it was a “self-awareness” moment for me on how much I’ve changed since having baby. I felt a “mom” pang. Like, how could anyone ever say having kids is the worst?! Now, obviously I knew it was meant to get a few chuckles and I didn’t take offense to it. There was no anger, no outrage. I just thought to myself, man, I’m that mom now. That mom who just wants to tell everyone how awesome kids are- not to guilt them into having them, but just to let them know there's a higher ceiling of happiness! Or something like that. I also can’t help but hold onto this lingering guilt for the way I felt/behaved early on in my pregnancy and now feel like I’ll spend the rest of my life posting reaffirming “I love my child” posts to make up for the asshat I was when we first found out the news.
So, when I put my little fingers to typing that morning, I meant to capture my realization at how I’d changed in the way I viewed mom/baby comments and how silly it all was. I don’t think I did a good job of putting the words from my head into the words of my post. In fact, I don’t have to say “think.” I know I didn't because I soon discovered I’d been blocked on social media accounts by this friend.
I was so in my head of “me, me, me” it didn’t occur to me to review the way the post came out. And you know what, after looking back at it, and discussing it with friends, I have to agree that I probably sounded like: one, an asshole who was making a personal post/jab about a friend; and two, like an annoying mom crusading on about how there’s nothing better in the whole wide world and how I feel sorry for anyone who doesn’t ‘get’ it. I did not take care to really read how my post came across and actually I don’t really think it even accurately reflected what I was attempting to joke about.
I mean, honestly, it’s pretty condescending to say I feel sorry for people who don’t have kids, but it’s also not true. I don’t feel that way. If we didn’t have anonymous baby and didn’t know what it was like, we still would have been able to live very happy and fulfilled lives. And I still whole heartedly believe that about others without some need to tell them otherwise or get all preachy, even if now we have a different life and are so lucky to have it and wouldn't change a thing. What I meant to say was something to the effect of it would be sad for me to think about ever thinking that raising anonymous baby was thankless and how “mom” of me that reaction was. In reality, it read as though I was sorry for her, or something to that effect. And, EW. That’s gross, and it deserves lots of eyerolls. And to make matters worse, I completely missed capturing the whole point of my post. I mean, I started it out with some vision of it being light hearted and ironic. How I steered so far off path into “crazy mom” territory as anonymous hubby so nicely put it, I’m not really sure.
The worst part is, after I attempted to reach out and discuss/apologize for any offense, she hit me in the balls. I mean I literally was referred to as a 'mommy crusader.' Can someone please take me out back?
The craziest part of this whole situation is that I couldn’t have even imagined the reaction to the post. It was such a 180 of what I was thinking and what I meant to reflect that it really startled me. It’s a reminder that on social media, we still have a responsibility to take into account the human reaction. And it’s an even more important reminder that words whether spoken in person or online can hold power.
Anyway, that's my embarrassing "mom moment." I think I probably have a thousand more. Who else has been a mommy crusader?