I Have My Own Drummer

May 1, 2014

Warning: This post might make you want to leave a snarky comment about how I’m not a mother so I can’t know. If you choose to do that, please word it carefully.
 
Lately I’ve seen a lot of Mom Guilt in my Twitter feed. Most of it coincided with Easter and mentioned Facebook. I’ve also seen a lot of “I can’t handle Facebook. It’s just people bragging about how awesome their lives are and mine sucks.” in general – regardless of Mom status.

Maybe my Facebook feed is different from everyone else’s?  Somehow I doubt that.

Let’s check, shall we?

Here’s what my Facebook feed looks like (in no particular order):

  • LOOK AT MY CUTE KID/PET
  • DEBBIE DOWNERS / WOE IS ME
  • OMG you should exercise ALL THE TIME! / CROSSFIT!!!!!!
  • LOOK WHAT MY IDIOT KID JUST DID / MOM FAIL
  • I’M SINGLE, IT’S NO PANTS SATURDAY AND I’M BINGE WATCHING _________.
  • SOMETHING POLITICAL / SOCIAL OUTRAGE
  • I’M GETTING MARRIED
  • MY HEART IS BROKEN, THAT ASSHOLE CAN SUCK IT
  • I’M PREGNANT
  • SHARE IF YOU SUPPORT _________ CAUSE
  • OMG THIS IS SO CUTE!
  • ANIMAL NEEDS A HOME
  • GEORGE TAKEI
  • FAMILY PICTURE DAY IN THE PERFECT FIELD WITH NAUSEATING COORDINATED COLORS
  • MY JOB SUCKS
  • DOES ANYONE KNOW A GOOD plumber/realtor/auto body shop ?
  • I ATE _________ FOR LUNCH TODAY
  • MY JOB ROCKS
  • EAT THIS / DON’T EAT THAT / FOOD PORN
  • HEY, DOES ANYBODY HAVE A __________ I COULD BORROW?
  • VACATION PICS / LOOK WHERE I AM RIGHT NOW
  • I RAN/BIKED _____ MILES TODAY
  • RIP [INSERT CELEBRITY]
  • THIS IS SO TRUE! (accompanied by reshare of some image with words on it)
  • I’M A ______. WHAT ARE YOU? TAKE THIS QUIZ.
  • HEY, DOES ANYBODY WANT A _________?

None of these really bug me. It’s my friends sharing what’s going on in their lives. Sometimes I feel they are oversharing. Sometimes the pregnancy announcements feel like a gut punch but that’s my issue, not theirs. Sometimes I’m jealous of them. I mean, I want to go to Tahiti too. But then, I’m sure people were jealous when I was in Hawaii. Not that I post pics with that intent.

Here’s the thing. For every happy family picture I see I know there’s at least one meltdown I’m not seeing – probably more like 6 meltdowns and at least 20 takes to get a good shot. For every meltdown I see I know there was also some moment where that person probably felt good that day.

For every homemade Easter basket I see, I’m sure there were five other people who bought them but didn’t share – or bought them homemade and shared as if they had made them themselves. And for the moms who make these lunches…no. Just no. And for the record, I don’t know those people so they aren’t in my feed.
 
I’m not yet a mom. I can’t fully speak to what I will or will not feel when that day comes.  I anticipate feeling guilty about working and not spending enough quality time with my kid. I do not anticipate fretting over a homemade Easter basket for my 6 month old who won’t know the difference and won’t remember it. No matter how many mothers tell me I should.
That’s simply not me. I’m sure I’ll change when I become a mother. And surely I will have emotional breakdowns over stupid shit when I’m feeling overwhelmed (as I’ve previously acknowledged). But fundamentally I am who I am (and don’t call me Shirley). And I am a person who doesn’t give two shits about what Easter looks like in YOUR house. My kid will be lucky if we celebrate Easter the Easter Bunny comes at all. It’s not a holiday I’m fond of. I don’t even think of it as a holiday. I anticipate putting some bunny ears on my infant, snapping a pic (OK, 100 pics) and calling it good.

My kid and your kid will be different. And that’s totally OK. In fact, it’s preferable.
My house will look different than yours. OMG I hope so – I am not a fan of cookie cutter houses. I like character.

People on Facebook will continue to share only what they feel comfortable sharing. For some people that’s only the good stuff. For others…their posts look more like a cry for help because they are in pain over something. And still others… seemingly post everything.
 
Let’s also think about these two points, shall we?
 
When I was a kid I wanted nothing more than a store-bought Halloween costume.  But noooooo, Momz insisted on making mine because homemade is better and we were poor. So really, no matter what you do, your kid is going to grow up and want the opposite. You really have no control over this. You might as well accept it now.
 
And didn’t your mother ever ask you, “If all your friends were jumping off a bridge, would you do it too?
 
No, of course not, Mom.  DUH.
 
Yes, I’m that old. I actually did say “DUH” to my mom while growing up.  A LOT.
 
In short… I have my own drummer. He marches behind me. And beats in whatever time I tell him to.

But he’s invisible because the only drums in my house are for Rock Band. That we haven’t played in years.

Hey, does anybody want some Rock Band paraphernalia?

I’d include a picture of drums but I don’t have any. So here’s a random guitar.
guitar
 

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14 Responses to “I Have My Own Drummer”

  1. ABC Says:

    This really struck a chord with me. Although having kids certainly changed my capacity to love, my ability to learn patience (and a million other life lessons), I’m still essentially me. When I took monthly photos of my kids to record how they were growing, I stuck post-it notes on them that read “6 months” or whatever. I was ridiculed by family and friends, but I was being truthful to myself. I will never be crafty or decorate well or care much about appearances.

    To me, what counts is that hopefully my kids will remember fun memories they had of their childhood. It would be inauthentic to pose for matching photos in flower fields–my husband and I would feel like like complete idiots for doing that (and good for the people who can pull it off!), so why would I start doing that stuff with my kids?? Love your blog, by the way. So sorry the surrogacy didn’t work and am sorry that was the way you had to get closure of the biological kid issue.

    • Fox Says:

      Thanks! It’s something I worry about (obviously). I know I’ll change, I just don’t want to turn into some entirely different person. I know it can be a struggle to find that balance.
      And yes, I’m all for the people who can pull off those family photos. I just don’t expect to be one. 😉

    • Fox Says:

      Also… I gotta say… I love Post Its. I’m an office supplies kind of nerd. So yeah, I might borrow that idea. 😉

  2. Kitten Says:

    I know the feeling. I’m not a mom yet, either, but I’ve already decided not to get myself in a tizzy over any holiday or even birthdays. It seems to be a trend to do it up big for first birthdays: special order cakes, professionally printed invitations, long guest lists, rented facility, themed decorations, the perfect outfit, even professional photographers. What the hell? I look at all the trouble they go through and I know it’s not for me.

    • Fox Says:

      Yeah. The kid has no idea what’s going on anyway. The cake eating pics are pretty cute though…


  3. I love your assessment of FB. Hilarious and accurate.

    Any envy i have lately is of people who don’t have debt of any type. Which is always worse during PMS for me. The core of me knows that really, truly, anyone on my FB feed is wishing for something they don’t have and at the same time not realizing how good they have it in another area. Life is give and take. But, I have those days sometimes too as a parent, more than I intended, but I’d say overall feeling way less pressure than many moms I see with their perfect lunches and such.

    You are on the path to being a great parent as you’ve already learned something it seems so many others don’t figure out… parenting is a great deal more involved than the size of Easter baskets and professional pictures. And it certainly has to be more than keeping up with the Joneses and Pinterest.

    I found this article to sum up perfectly where I am with parenthood and it sounds like your philosophy overlaps a lot too:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bunmi-laditan/im-done-making-my-kids-childhood-magical_b_5062838.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

    • Fox Says:

      Thanks for that link. I guess what this is really all about is me struggling to figure out how to parent in the modern world when my childhood was SO much different. Those times are gone – no more “Go out and play” – but I don’t want to jump on this overly involved social media told me to do this parenting bandwagon either.

  4. Jenn Says:

    My feed looks nearly the same. I think certain things jump out at us, and we don’t really take time to look at the whole picture. I could have 100 updates and only 2 of them are PG or baby related, and you bet your ass THOSE are the ones I remember.

    The holiday obsession is one thing, but the extent some parents go to in order to point out how jealous they are of someone else’s “perfect” holiday or perfect home or perfect life is crazy. Like for birthdays, I believe in the “1 thing you need, 1 thing you wear, 1 thing you read, 1 thing you want” or whatever it is. Your 3-year-old doesn’t need $500 worth of presents and a party costing just as much that they could give two shits about. Maybe because I also grew up poor. Are we just more humble?

    • Fox Says:

      Hhmmm. I don’t if it’s the poor thing or just that people didn’t do that stuff when we were growing up. My Halloween costumes were always homemade as were my birthday cakes. But I don’t remember birthday parties being lavish for anyone. Other kids just had store bought cake. The parties themselves were the same – we all just ran around to get the sugar out.

      • Jenn Says:

        Yeah true! Also, I don’t remember “being poor.” I don’t remember caring about my 1 birthday present or complaining about going to the park instead of Disneyland or eating macaroni and cheese. I liked all those things. Kids nowadays bitch if they don’t get the newest iPhone and they’re like 10.

        • Fox Says:

          I remember being poor mostly because of two things:
          1. I got reduced priced lunch at school.
          2. Momz, in an effort to teach us that we couldn’t have everything we wanted, would routinely deny things citing not enough money – even if she had the money I later learned. I mean Hubba Bubba was NOT expensive. Neither was CandyLand.

  5. Dipitie Says:

    First of all, the George Takei made me giggle, because let’s face it, most of what he says gets shared. It’s usually funny, so I don’t mind.

    I find myself jealous of facebook friends often. Life always seems perfect, compared to mine. I might even post some things even to make myself feel better about my own life, you know? Like a facebook self affirmation of what is positive (or negative because I do that too) in my life. I try to remind myself that while some of these lives look perfect, rarely are things perfect. I remember when so and so was contemplating divorce because her husband is a dick or so and so’s struggles with money. I remind myself that no matter what, we all have our own crosses to bear, and perfect on the surface doesn’t mean perfect.

    by the way, I was definitely poor and my parents were hippies, which made for an interesting transition from poor hippie school to city school. Mom bought me things she felt were important – good food, thrift store clothes, and a small selection of toys I really wanted. Since I didn’t have a lot of exposure to kids with money or TV (yes, I’m old) I did’t even know I should want things like Candyland or BubbleYum. I did start to feel out of place when my lunch was packed with PB&J sandwiches, a thermos of soup and water when all my classmates had doritos and capri sun. I felt out of place that I didn’t have any polo polo shirts or levis jeans. I think I became a stronger person because of it, and I would want to get my kid out of any materialistic area if i were lucky enough to have one. LOL

    • Fox Says:

      I was jealous of all the kids with PB&Js on WHITE bread. I wasn’t allowed to eat it. 😉 No Doritos or Capri Suns for me either. And I wore whatever clothes the church gave us. Or my cousin’s hand me downs (she is 8 years older). So yeah, I was seriously stylin’. Fortunately we were a bit better off by the time I hit puberty so I usually had one stylish outfit as a preteen. As a teenager I preferred thrift store shopping.


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