As the saying goes, there’s really no manual for parenthood. And there really, really is no manual for motherhood. If there were it would cost more than the dad version and probably only come in sizes 0-12. So if you’re thinking of becoming a mom, these FAQs are for you.
I would like to age myself at a much more rapid pace than I’m currently enjoying. Could motherhood help?
And how! Short of being a two-term legitimate United States president, there is no more efficient and devastating way of aging yourself one banana peel short of the grave than becoming a mother. Give it a try and let us know what you think! And by ‘us’ I mean ‘no one’ because that’s exactly who cares.
I often find I’m feeling tired. But I have this nagging sense there’s a whole other dimension of tiredness I could be experiencing. What’s the secret?
Believe it or not, the secret is all around you. Look at those dead eyes in the coffee line every morning —notice a theme? Observe the screwed-on smiles of the moms you work with who just returned from maternity leave. Bottom line: Once a lady becomes a mother, her previous levels of “worst-ever tiredness” look downright adorable. So if you think this is for you, by all means, give it a shot. You and your other mom friends can spend playdates, pizza nights, and some mornings clinking wine-mimosa-martini glasses while shooting sarcasm out of your faces and hooting, “Remember when we thought we were ‘overwhelmed’ and ‘exhausted’ LOL.” Clink-clink! Then cry.
Speaking of wine-mimosa-martini glasses, what’s with “mommy juice” and the whole moms-drink-to-cope culture in general? Seems, like, not that funny or cute at all actually.
It is problematic. It implies that all it takes is a $9 bottle of wine with a pretty label to solve our problems when, in reality, it takes the complete upending of gender dynamics, early childhood support, financial security, weekly massages, a housecleaner, and regular time to oneself experienced unapologetically. But you can’t get that in aisle 11 for pocket change now, can you?
Do these pants make me look like I’m pregnant?
Nice try. NEXT.
I’m curious about prioritizing someone else’s happiness over my own. It seems like the right thing to do but I remain skeptical. What’s the upside?
There is something profound — almost divine — about de-centering yourself from your own life. Focusing on others is a well-proven path to happiness, fulfillment, and gratitude. It’s also a well-proven path to marriage counseling, shopping addiction, and/or blogging. It’s sort of a Dealer’s Choice situation. Okay, good luck with that!
But does having children make you a better and happier human being?
Yes. And no. Maybe.
Why can’t I get a straight answer?
I don’t know, why can’t you get a straight answer? Also: Why can’t you hold me closer to the moon so I can touch it? Why won’t you let me eat whipped cream and Lysol for breakfast? Why do shoes exist? Why won’t the dog let me ride him while I use his ears as handlebars? Why aren’t you magic?
Wow, what is wrong with you?
Absolutely nothing, I’m acting like a normal human child. Go ahead, sit with that discomfort.
I definitely don’t want having kids to change anything about my life. I’m still going to go on long backpacking trips all over Europe, allow only minimalist wooden toys in my home, and expect my future child to be quiet and respectful in public places because I’m the one in charge and it’s about time someone demonstrated what real parenting looks like. I don’t really have any questions.
Credibly believing in fairy tales — no matter how absurd — is a great skill to have as a mom, so, nicely done. I actually do have some questions. About you. And when will time travel be invented so I can see how this all turns out?
Is motherhood worth it?
110%. 90%. Okay, fine, 71% and that’s my final offer.