I have written many a rant about the annoying types of mothers you encounter when you are in the throes of mommyhood.
I’ve also written about my own child’s picky eating, challenging sleep habits and overall strong-willed personality.
But when you combine the two…Oy to the effing Vey.
And with my child being sick over the last week, the mommy meddling was driving me to drink.
It’s hard to find mom friends you actually like (versus having an obligation to hang out with because your kid likes theirs.)
Thankfully I have been blessed with mom friends who would be my friends even if there were no kids in the equation (That’s the trick I think).
I definitely have strong opinions (about everything, I’ll admit it), however, I do not preach and make moms feel like shit for not doing things the way I do. If you ask my opinion I will gladly give it, but I am not the end all be all and I know that. So when mommies start to meddle and tell me all the things I should absolutely be doing because there’s just no other way, I tune them out like I tune out every sales person who tries to sell me some kind of bullshit extended care warranty.
Fact: My kid is the pickiest eater on the planet. It’s not fun for me and I don’t enjoy it. The struggle is real. So when you tell me it’s because she wasn’t exposed to enough or I just need to keep putting new foods on her plate, I want to punch you in the throat. Especially if you don’t have children and haven’t had to endure the harrowing tactics of getting food in their body even if it involves bribing them with money – like take a tiny bite of that carrot and I will give you a dollar. I’ve even resorted to trafficking live animals to bolster her protein in take. “Try mommy’s meatball and I’ll buy you a pet fish”.
And for the record, the child used to eat avocado and hummus by the fistful, yogurt, bananas, grapes, strawberries and other “good stuff”. Then she basically turned 3 and staged toddler coup which included a food boycott with no warning and no explanation.
So, when she’s sick, or needs meds (which obviously she won’t take willingly because she loves to torture me), I literally have nowhere to hide them. And fewer things rile me up more than a mommy meddler spouting things like:
“Just hide it in applesauce!” (What a great idea!!!! How come I didn’t think of that?? Oh, I know! Because she doesn’t eat applesauce on a regular day, much less when I need to use it as a conduit to hide something)
“They make gummies you know!” (What the what?!?! You’re kidding!! Oh wait…my child doesn’t like candy!)
“Mix it in chocolate milk! She’ll never know!” Really?!! Because a) I’m not sure what part of picky eater you didn’t understand and I’ve already told you my daughter drinks water and plain milk, no deviations, about 30 times but for some reason you won’t believe me. b) I recently did a jig in the medicine aisle when I saw they made unflavored pedialyte, only to find that to my child, it did in fact have enough of a flavor for her to refuse it. Once, I hid a drop (no exaggeration) of fruity tasting antibiotic in her drinkable yogurt (which she used to easily throw back 3 a day of) about 3 years ago. She took one sip, looked at me, shook her head no and has not had one since.
And please stop feigning shock when you suggest things that your child will gladly eat or drink, but mine won’t. It’s exhausting.
Maybe not to you and your perfectly nutritioned kids, but to the mother of a picky eater, we just want you to STFU and go bake some zucchini millet muffins I’m sure your child will devour while mine sticks to plain white cheese sticks, “but only the kind with nothing on the label and only white mommy!”
And I also don’t want to hear about how my child is not sleeping all night because of X, Y and Z.
I love my child fiercely and EVERYTHING I do, every decision I make is done with her best interest in mind. I know this little girl like the back of my hand – what she’s gonna say, what makes her tick, what’s going to make her smile. I do a lot of things right as a mom and a lot of things wrong too.
But here’s what I am NOT going to do to combat my child’s sleeping patterns, no matter how much YOU think it’s a great idea and keep trying to convince me of all the things I do wrong.
1) Lock my 6 year old in her room. (She’s 6, not a baby in a crib, that’s basically false imprisonment at this point, not parenting)
2) Play human barricade and hold her door shut until she just gets tired of trying to escape and gives up (see above point)
3) Let her cry it out. Again, she’s 6. There is no “crying it out”. She will get up and come to me. So if you really think that’s a viable option you either do not have children, or at the very least, they are still at the age where the “cry-it-out-for-3-days-then-you’re-golden” is a silver bullet to everything. God I miss those days.
4) Bribe her. Let me be clear that this is not because of my unwillingness to partake in this behavior, it’s because it doesn’t work. She doesn’t want a new toy or gadget in return for staying asleep all night. She wants her mommy because for 6 years of her life, in 3 different states, a divorce and 5 different houses she’s always had me tuck her in and lay with her until she’s asleep and even spent time in my bed when I got too tired to usher her back 5 times, up until I moved into the MoneyPit and SLS moved in.
5) Make a sleep chart with stickers. My kid does not give a shit about documenting her sleeping success on a sleep chart.
I also do not send my kid to school sick (even with a runny nose), I don’t helicopter parent and I don’t get into discussions about vaccinating children. That I have SUPER strong opinions about (In the interest of full disclosure, I believe in them and there’s not a single mommy meddler who is going to change my mind.)
I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older with every year of parenting that passes, I don’t maintain friendships with moms who get all preachy and have extremely different beliefs and worst of all, are mommy meddlers. I don’t purposely weed them out (well, sometimes I do) it just happens organically as it would with lots of relationships. While my current roster of mommy friends is not completely homogenous in our beliefs, when it comes to the really big stuff we’re more or less all on the same page. There are places we certainly differ, but we have enough respect for each other to keep our pie holes shut and let each other do what works without judgement. Everyone doesn’t have to see things my way and vice versa. The differences in opinion are important because everyone needs a sounding board. But I can’t use a sounding board if its core goes completely against mine.
Yes, differences are good and keep us from turning into a village of robotic Stepford Wives, but there has to be enough commonality with the stuff beyond what stroller you prefer and what kind of diapers you use. It’s not so different from a dating or marital relationship. You can like different TV shows or different flavors of ice cream, but if you don’t come together on the really big stuff, like how you are going to discipline your child, you’re EFFED!
Life is crazy and chaotic and I just don’t have a reserve of patience for mommy meddlers. I prefer honest, candid, down-to-earth, non alarmist mommy friends. I guess you could say I like my mom friends to be like my boobs – 100% real.