When I feel like a confident and ‘situation-under-control’ Mom, I just need to read messages on one of the Mommy groups on Whatsapp. Immediately, my confidence shatters like a house of cards. There are precisely two places on Earth that can shatter my confidence as a woman. The first one is a beauty parlor and the second one is a Mommy group.
If you don’t believe me, then ask yourself, did anyone in a parlor said anything good about your hair or skin ever? I can bet. Never. They will always find your hair either too dry or too oily and suggest a hair spa. They will find your skin tanned, rough, oily, flaky, blah! Blah! and suggest a facial or bleach or some exotic cleansing ritual. And that is how they make their business survive.
Similarly, a mommy group will always find some fault in your mothering ( I don’t know, unlike a parlor, what vested interest they have). These moms have ideal kids and these mommies (apparently) never need to yell at their kids and yet their kids never refuse to eat a broccoli or finish their homework in time and never back answer. Each time I listen to these moms, I doubt my decision to have a kid. The concoction of these mommies and my mother-in-law is enough to make me feel like the worst mother on Earth.
Now, you must be wondering what is the connection of these mommies to Coronavirus. Let me get to the point. I usually stay away from these groups but due to the lockdown, I am forced to interact in a couple of these groups. Sonny boy is having online school and other classes. Therefore, to know his schedule, homework, assignments I have to interact here and trust me I am at my wits end.
I feel so inferior to these moms. They know every single detail about the child’s schedule. I am sure they maintain excel sheets about their kid’s schedule while I spend my free time watching DanTDM videos with son. Absolutely wasting time! These moms know about every single homework and every single assignment. Whereas I feel, isn’t my son grown enough to keep a track of his own assignments, why do I need to know?
These moms feed their kids ONLY healthy food that would activate their brain neurons while I am that lazy mom who is okay if the kid wants some Maggi. These moms are preparing their kids for Science Olympiad and IIT/IIM while my son says he would quit studies and become a Youtuber and I am kind of okay with it.
On a serious note, I am already exhausted with work from home and household chores. To add to my woes, my mobile phone died and now I cannot work the entire morning because the son uses the laptop to do his online school. The moment I check the Whatsapp messages, these groups are flooded with 200 messages. Scrolling through such a huge trail is difficult and 90% of the messages are just screenshots of homework and chapters and remaining 10% are the moms beating their own trumpet about how organized or perfect they are. Of course, there are also some clueless and clumsy like me who at times post some frantic SOS message.
I mean why do the moms need to share screenshots? when we were kids our moms raised us without mobile, Whatsapp, and screenshots and none of us turned gamblers or drug dealers. That proves our moms did it right even without gadgets. We wrote our homework in the school diary and kids of my son’s age are also capable of doing the same. Maybe a virtual diary. Why do Moms need to take screenshots of homework? Aren’t these making the kids too much dependant on the moms? Isn’t it time we teach them to take their own responsibility?
Then comes the judging part. The moms who are less involved (read less helicopter parents) they are termed irresponsible. There are moms who sit with the kid during their online classes and take notes. I could have never imagined my mom doing that for me. I think most of our moms were like that. Were they bad mothers? did they love us any less? I don’t think so.
I am honestly, tired of this ‘SuperMom” culture. Everybody has become a ‘parenting guru’. And these groups are flooded with all kinds of parenting mantras. I give up. I admit maybe I am a flawed mom, but that is how I am. I just want to be a ‘normal mom’ with all my imperfections and do not want to be a ‘flawless Supermom’. Please excuse me.