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Punching Parenthood in the Face

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Some dipshit at the culture war craphole, Acculturated was obviously dropped–probably glamorously and with flair–on her head repeatedly as a child because she apparently doesn’t know that Michelle Obama is a mother.

This glamorous threesome doesn't count because...?
This glamorous threesome doesn’t count because…?

But beyond that, this vomit pile composed of words, is a rumination on  how Ivanka Trump and Kate Middleton are marvipoo because they’ve made motherhood “glamorous again.” Leaving aside the fact that both women are fabulously wealthy and privileged and have an army of servants to help them, the idea that mothers should aspire to glamour is downright offensive.

I became a mother at 38. (And –it’s fair to mention–I am terrifically privileged in some ways.) I’ve got a five-year-old son now and I’m no spring chicken. If I were younger this gig would be easier for me in some ways, so take that into account. But listen. Being a parent is not glamorous. Much of the job is boring, repetitive drudgery. As a stay-at-home mom/artist/shitblogger, I spend my days shopping, getting my son to and from school, planning meals, cooking meals, keeping track of a thousand nitnoid details you have to keep track of when you run a home and have a kid…and cleaning. I’m cleaning ALL THE TIME. The house is never as clean as I’d like I’m CLEANING ALL THE TIME. I’m also my son’s primary caregiver.

My son is the great joy of my life. He’s incredibly sweet, he’s smart, and he’s constantly got me in stitches saying the bonkers things that all kids are wont to say, and I think (because Mom, duh) he’s the cutest thing on the planet.

Today my son asked me if Donald Trump liked white people or black people better. Because I told him I don’t think Donald Trump likes anyone very much he immediately said “Donald Trump is like Springtrap. Springtrap isn’t very nice.” See? He’s hilarious. But he is also a constant motion-sound machine. He does not do things like sit down and quietly play with Legos. He always has to be in to something, DOING something. He is rarely quiet, rarely still. I ADORE this child. But being his primary caregiver can be mentally and physically exhausting. Especially when I have some minor back problems, chronic sinus/allergy problems (that sometimes make me miserable) and mild-to-moderate depression and anxiety. I have literally not slept past 7:30 in 5 years. So forgive me if I think that aspiring to be glamorous while parenting is the silliest shit I’ve heard.

I’m gonna keep parenting the way I parent–laughing with and loving my son, helping him with his homework, reading him books, cooking him great meals that he won’t eat,  looking great some days, looking like shit others–and if the morons at Acculturated don’t like it, I’m soooo good with that.

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  • anonymous
    • egg

      Then I’m sure the new Trumpcare will cover sex reassignment surgery. After all Republican men are strivers!

  • I promise I’ll stop with the face-punching stuff now.

    • Gregor Sansa

      You could only get away with it for as long as you did because of your Female Privilige tee em.

    • tsam

      Nah–your blog posts, your rules.

    • I’d honestly prefer it if you didn’t. It’s a pretty fun running gag.

      • Origami Isopod

        +1

        And it upsets the concern trolls.

      • MyNameIsZweig

        Agreed. Please keep doing it, bspencer.

    • Colin Day

      Also, shitblogger? No, we like your blogging!

    • veleda_k

      I thought it was funny. I was looking forward to more actually.

  • Warren Terra

    You say this, but have you even considered raising your son in an atmosphere of great inherited wealth assisted by a small army of servants? Why must you reject that lifestyle choice? Where’s the liberal embrace of diversity when it comes to rich people’s kids living in fully staffed gilded absurdity?

    • David Hunt

      My parents looked into that option. It turns out the waiting list is too long for anyone to get in without connections.

      • Warren Terra

        It is true that if you want to be the heir to tremendous riches you’d be wise to plan ahead.

        • bizarroMike

          Now more than ever, effective prenatal planning is the most important part of your life. Have you done enough to screen your prospective parents?

          If you’ve already been born to modest means, it is hardly our fault you were lazy and screwed it all up.

          • David Allan Poe

            An amusing science fiction story could explore a universe in which souls are immortal and reincarnated in a succession of bodies, and the endless battles between the immortal souls to determine who gets to live in which body.

            • BiloSagdiyev

              The losers among them will be called lazy and stupid souls.

    • tsam

      It’s like she doesn’t even CARE

      • JMP

        Does she even own a bootstraps to pull herself up by?

    • lizzie

      I can’t find the link, but a few years back there was a NY Times profile of some wealthy 20something young businesswoman, and I swear to God, the article included a quote from her (paraphrasing but this is pretty close IIRC): “Anyone can be born rich. It takes real talent to do something with it.”

  • ΧΤΠΔ

    Also somewhat OT: This was apparently POLITICO’s most read article, in cans you wanted any more links to punch.

    • Origami Isopod

      “Plots” her next move.

      /backbutton

  • tsam

    and I think (because Mom, duh) he’s the cutest thing on the planet.

    He’s in the running for sure!

    • bizarroMike

      He does rock those antlers.

  • When my daughter was born, a relative gave me a book entitled, “How to Raise a Successful Daughter.”

    I was insulted that anyone thought I needed a book. I decided that I would try loving her and telling her that, and paying attention, instead of whatever the book chose to impart, and see how well that worked. I never opened the book.

    No brag, just fact. She’s 26 and everyone would like to have one like her, smart, successful, loved by all she meets, and ethical. Love and attention worked fine.

    • Warren Terra

      I was insulted that anyone thought I needed a book.

      … really?

      I mean, I’ve been to school, but this doesn’t mean I’m automatically able to teach, let alone to be the best teacher I could be. Similarly, I have ideas about how I’d hypothetically raise a kid, and meddle a bit with my faraway niece, but I’m extremely ready to concede that there are people out there who’ve thought about child development and child rearing long and deeply, who have looked at the data and consulted others in the field, and they might have useful information to impart.

      That particular book may or may not have been any good. But I’m shocked you’d find the idea of such a book offensive.

      • delazeur

        Yeah, at first I thought I was going to read a comment about the offensiveness of claiming that daughters need a fundamentally different type of upbringing than sons. I was surprised to find that it was about the offensiveness of claiming that a new parent might find value in reading about parenting.

      • I’m shocked you’d find the idea of such a book offensive.

        Well, there you go. It was probably self-indulgent to ignore all that book larnin’ (I have a book in print right now, BTW) and go with just having fun with my daughter and with being a dad. I never gave a thought to the kid, only to myself and the fun I could have raising her with love and attention.

        But SOMEBODY had to be the “control” in the experiment, and I volunteered. The result is in, you can actually raise a successful daughter with parenting instinct alone.

        Looks like the book is a placebo. What’s your excuse if you read it and your daughter fails?

        • lizzie

          What’s your excuse if you read it and your daughter fails?

          Humans, and human relationships, are complicated, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach?

        • efgoldman

          Looks like the book is a placebo. What’s your excuse if you read it and your daughter fails?

          I became a first (and only) time dad at 36, of a daughter. Fortunately, mrs efg was and is a baby and child whisperer, and also did some academic studying of early child development. While I did go to the Spock book for mechanical stuff – how to change a diaper, switching to real food, like that – mrs efg’s advice was best. “You won’t kill her”, “babies bounce” (they do!), “all they want to do is learn” (do they ever), “just sit and watch while she plays” (maybe the most valuable). While she was the primary caregiver (went back to work after daughter started school) I had a *lot* of dad time, because mrs efg was a working musician and out of the house a lot. And I wouldn’t have traded it for anything.
          Now, with our granddaughter, I can sit back and watch and enjoy. Our daughter, not surprisingly, is a terrific mom – and she’s training a mid-30s first-time dad, who learns really well, and is an excellent daddy.

  • Hogan

    Well, that was your mother
    And that was your father
    Before you was born dude
    When life was great
    You are the burden of my generation
    I sure do love you
    But let’s get that straight

    • sibusisodan

      Love it. Can’t say I ever expected America to elect the boy in the bubble, the baby with the baboon heart, though.

    • lizzie

      They fuck you up, your mom and dad.
      They may not mean to, but they do.
      They fill you with the faults they had
      And add some extra, just for you.

      • Ronan

        They tuck you up, your mum and dad
        They read you Peter Rabbit, too.
        They give you all the treats they had
        And add some extra, just for you…..

        http://www.morethannuclear.com/2011/11/they-tuck-you-up-by-adrian-mitchell.html

        • Origami Isopod

          Now why would someone take a classic poem like that and drown it in a sea of glurge?

        • lizzie

          OH SURE RUB IT IN, YOUR PARENTS PROLLY GOT YOU THAT PONY YOU WANTED TOO

        • Colin Day

          Tuck you up? Not tuck you in?

          • Hogan

            It’s a Britishism.

            I had a TA in college who’d spent a year studying in England. On the first morning his landlady knocked on his door and said, “I’m here to knock you up.” Some explanation was required.

  • hypersphericalcow

    Ah, “Five Nights at Freddy’s”. Almost as nightmare inducing as a real trip to Chuck E. Cheese.

    A story about FNaF: I live in a high-rise. Last summer, I was riding the elevator down, and it stops at another floor. An adult gets on with a couple tween girls with him. They were in the middle of a conversation.

    As they step in, one girl asks the others, “Who kills you the most?”

    That’s startling. I think, “What the fuck? That’s a messed-up thing to say.”

    I listen to their conversation, and they start mentioning Bonnie and Freddy, and I realize they’re talking about “Five Nights at Freddy’s”. They didn’t seem to find it scary at all.

    I don’t remember who killed that girl the most, but apparently there is a creature that can teleport, which they found particularly troublesome.

  • Solar System Wolf

    At that age, my son just wanted to talk about Minecraft for hours until I actively longed for death. One of my biggest surprises about parenthood was how boring it can be.

    • When my son was between 3-4, he really got into Ultraman, specifically Ultraman monsters. He had a huge collection and would talk to me nonstop about them. Sometimes I wanted to grab a rocketship into space.

    • StinkinBadger

      My youngest cousin is finally at the age that I can really talk to him for extended periods of time.
      At Christmas I made the mistake of talking about Star Wars. I like Star Wars, so what I said to him was “have you seen the newest Star Wars?”
      What he heard, apparently, was “I know all there is to know about Star Wars, please compare your esoteric knowledge of this universe to mine.”

      When I was done 15 minutes later, my mother came to tell me that it was fitting because I was the same way.

      So as a formerly obsessive and trying child, I thank you for raising your Minecraft/Ultraman/Lord of the Rings/Dune obsessive and trying children.

  • liberal

    Being a parent is not glamorous.

    Huh? What about catching your kid’s puke in your outstretched, cupped hands? That doesn’t count as glamorous?

    • NBarnes

      On vacation, in a mobile, in the shower, naked, washing off my four year old as he periodically vomits because he got a tummy bug while on vacation.

      GLAMOUR!

      • rea

        Hosing down my grandaughter after an unfortunate toilet training accident . . .

        Oh well, greatgrandkids are a grandparent’s revenge

  • NBarnes

    PREACH IT, SISTER!

  • JR in WV

    And the writer says:

    “While Ivanka has a demanding career…”

    Excuse me, but I thought a career involved applying for jobs, being hired, working at a specific task for a boss doing something difficult producing valuable product of some sort. When did Ivanka do any of these things>?

    I mean, she does stuff, “designs” jewelry, and clothes, things like that. Evidently has “staff” who takes her “designs” from whatever she produces to products of some sort. That’s a career if you make a big profit from it. If your dad pumps money into producing your stuff, which you sell on QVC, that’s not a career. If you help your dad do the real estate scams your family is famous for, that’s not a career either.

    If you’re raising your kids with the help of nanny, nurse, cook, etc, that isn’t much work, nor a career. Barely being a mother, which really only takes contributing some genes to an offspring.

    Hang in there, BSpencer. Your kid looks sweet and cute. So, good start there.

  • Nat

    Four is the golden age, everything the kiddo does is so perfect. Except for a few things.

    We had twins in our late 30s. I am king of sleep disorders so I happily did all the night time duty. I was up anyway.

    Twin #1 was a projectile vomiter, once dropped a whole load down the sister in law’s blouse. Not on the outside, the inside…

    Twin #2 was a bed-wetter until that missing hormone kicked in about 10. When he was a little guy I had to shuck his jammies 3 and 4 times a night, he would be soaked head to toe.

    Wayne’s World was popular when they were 3, and Bohemian Rhapsody was on MTV all the time. If they heard it during bath time they would fly out of the tub, naked, dripping wet and bop in front of the tv with Wayne and Garth. They called it ‘Car music’. I would give a testicle to go back in time and see that again.

    But it was tiring, and I will always carry that nagging sense that I was not a perfect father. We don’t get do-overs, do we, and sometimes those moments when we did not understand or lost our temper stick with us longer than they should.

    But we have sweat equity in our children. Can you imagine Donald changing a diaper? I hope he cares for his kids, but he might as well have ordered them from a catalog.

    Two recommendations: every parent should read Jumblies to their child. And watch the movie Born Rich for some background on Ivanka (and some other rich kids).

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