Banning words, like banning books, has a distinctly Big Brother kind of feel. However, the world may very well become a more harmonious place if we could agree to never touch on the following talking points again. Put a fork in them, they are done.
I present to you a list of words and phrases I would personally like to never, ever hear again.
Listen, one of the best pieces of
advice I got upon becoming a parent went like this: "Don't start none,
won't be none." No, no, that's not right. It was Will Smith who said
that in a movie, I think. The good advice actually went like this: "If
you don't make it a thing, it won't be a thing." Basically, if you don't
make a huge deal of every little boo boo, or lose your mind when baby
bites you, typically the intrigue of repeating said behavior will
diminish. Hopefully. This is not a fail-proof plan obviously, but it does have a large amount of merit.
Similarly, someone needs to tell
everyone and anyone to STOP IT with this whole "Mommy Wars" thing
(originally referring to the stay-at-home vs. working-mom sets, and has
evolved to included a whole array of parenting choices). Stirring the
pot does nothing to help. If people would quit pointing out the
so-called Mommy Wars and writing about the Mommy Wars and inflaming the
Mommy Wars then maybe, just maybe, the Mommy Wars would at least reach
some kind of detente, if not cease to exist entirely.
Because here's the thing: as long as
your kid is mostly healthy, mostly happy, and mostly well taken care of,
I'm not going to worry about what you are doing. Breast, bottle, work
outside the home, work from home, work in the home, helicopter, free
range, etc. This whole country
needs a big dose of Mind Your Own Business, and I think women would do
themselves a serious favor to knock off the nitpicking of each other. How about we do our personal best and leave our noses where it belongs—on our own faces and not in our neighbors' houses.
Y'all, super mom is super tired. There
are indeed those among us who are capable of having a fabulous career
making loads of money, keeping a spotless house, shuttling children
around to various activities, parenting perfectly 'round the clock
without losing their tempers, enjoying wine night with our girlfriends,
keeping a hard-core workout regimen, and also have regular dates/smoking
hot sex with our significant others. These people may also very well be
heavily medicated. Or not. They may actually just be that bad ass.
Personally, I am not. I am good at doing one or two, maybe three,
things well at a time. My main focus over the last decade has been my
family, so I'm a little—no, a lot—behind in the career department. And
while I did indeed achieve laundry end game last weekend, now it is
stacked up all over my bedroom. And I fell asleep in my son's bed last
night at 8:45, so you can do the math on the smoking sexy time
department. The point is, by holding up these Super Mom examples of how
it should be, it makes a lot of us feel like Loser Mom, even when we are
doing the best we can and would take a bullet for our loved ones any
day of the week and twice on Sundays. I'd like to go back to just being Mom, if that's all the same to everyone.
"Having it All"
I'm not sure it is truly possible to
have all of anything. You can be the wealthiest person in the whole
world, but you do not have ALL the money. I hoard chocolate at my desk, but I don't have all of it. Working on that...shhh. And
maybe the Super Moms from above do have it all, but I have to think
that there is a price paid somewhere, which means that you do not truly
have it all, because you paid some of it away.
Which brings me to another good piece
of advice I got a long time ago: you can have anything you want, as long
as you are willing to pay for it. One way or another, life will extract
a price somehow, somewhere, for the choices we make. This is just how
it is. This whole "having it all" thing was a great idea in theory, when
women were fighting their way out of the kitchen and into the
workplace. Then we GOT it all and some of us are now completely crazy
because we are pulled in 10,000 directions at a time. I may be speaking
for myself, but I don't want it all. I just want some of it. All is a
lot, and for some us, also kinda unattainable. So can we not do that
anymore? It's wearing me out.
Unless my high school biology lessons
have let me down, the last time I checked, anyone with two X chromosomes
qualifies as a real woman. Some people with a Y chromosome may also,
but that is a different blog post entirely, so we are just gonna stick
with the traditional female for now. Real women have curves, right?
Well, at my current size 10, I have a little bit of curves. But I've
also been a size four hard body from playing three different sports and
riding horses. Am I any less a real woman when I'm skinny? I don't think so.
This whole categorizing of women being
"real" or not is just stupid. People, women included, come in so many
different shapes, sizes, colors, skin tones, hair colors, etc., and we
spend so much time teaching our kids how "everyone is different" and
"you are special" and "variety is the spice of life" and so forth, so
why do we want to narrow down the definition of a woman? I realize that
the real woman thing is in large part a backlash to certain
ideals that have caused a fair amount of damage to the at large
perception of women. But again, I don't like broad definitions of
people, so I'm just going to aim for having a healthy respect for the
body I have and trying to take care of it better so that it will take
care of me. I'm a real woman, no matter what size or shape I am.
"Oh, I Could Never..."
Saving my personal favorite for last...
This one makes my blood actually, literally boil. The reason I know
this is because there is real steam coming from my ears when this one
gets used on me. "Oh, I could NEVER leave Johnny at day care." "Oh, I
could NEVER bottle feed." "Oh, I could NEVER travel for work while my
kids are at home." Et cetera. Ad nauseam. The reason this one chaps my
ass so badly is because the implied judgment is astonishing.
Here's the deal. Yes, you could EVER if
you had to. You could EVER if you chose to, for whatever reason. You
could EVER if it is the decision that works best for you and your loved
ones. This one doesn't just apply to parenting and motherhood, by the
way. It works in so many areas of life. Think
about it: If you say it, please don't do that anymore. It makes the
recipient feel like crap and also want to knock your lights out. The
first time someone dropped that gem on me, I was 10 weeks post partum
with a broken leg/ankle and dreading leaving my baby at daycare. While I
wished I had had the wherewithal to come back with some withering
reply, all I did was cry for three days, because I didn't already feel
bad enough. So, thanks for that, friend.
I don't need to point out the big
picture here, but as a self-proclaimed word nerd, I feel compelled to
write some kind of conclusion. So here it goes: how about we all mind
our own business unless there is a critical reason to butt in, try not
to judge others for having a difference of opinion, appearance, life,
career, choices, etc and be nice to each other. The end.