America's Most Critical Journal (since 1999)
My! Mommy! Blog! A blog about being a mommy
23 September 2017
January 1. Today, on the first day of a new year, a brand-new, unsullied year, I wondered: what’s the real meaning of being a mommy? Does it mean that you’ve passed from one state of being—that of not being a mommy—to the next, in this case, to the state of being a mommy? Which brings me back to the day that my own little has-a-mommy-person, Peru, was born. In an agony of shooting pains such as I, in my pre-mommy state, could never have imagined, I gave birth not just to Peru, but to my own self: my own actualized, completed self, that is, as I became not just a person in my own right, but something bigger than that, more crucial, more manifest: a mommy. As a new-born mommy, not only was I now responsible for another living creature (!) but also, had to get acquainted with my new self—me as mom, not mummified, but mommified. Has there ever been such a miracle as the birth of a new-made mommy? I think not, friends. Which is why I’ve created a new line of mommy-wear, including my best-selling mommy-and-mommy’s-creation-matching T-shirt sets*, available for only $44.99.
January 21. Sorry that I’ve been gone for so long, but you know how it is, being a mommy—or perhaps, if you yourself are not a mommy, you don’t. No, you could never even imagine it, because between the sheer joy of being a mommy—the sheer miracle of looking into your little one’s face and know that he or she is the reason that you are now a mommy—and the sheer exhaustion, well, this mommy here is here to tell you that it’s the hardest job you will ever have. Harder than being a brain surgeon! Harder than being a refugee! Just today my little Peru not only wouldn’t settle down to nap, no—not even when I pointed out that as a mommy, I too needed to rest—but also was fussy at the breast, refusing to be comforted, which in turn made me feel unworthy—a failure! I was so distressed that I ended up questioning my entire being as a mommy: was I ready to be a mommy when I became a mommy? Was I equipped to fully recognize the wonder of being a mommy after having spent the rest of my life, previous to being a mommy, as a non-mommy? Was being a mommy, after all, simply a matter of genetics, of egg having met sperm in such a way as to create the future me-as-mommy? And thus I mulled, torturing myself, until at last the nanny came and took Peru to mommy-and-me group. Thus the inspiration for my newest must-have product, the MommySizedPillowPlus*, to help mommy’s get the sleep they need. $70 while supplies last.
March 4. My apologies! It’s been weeks—no, months—since my last post. No excuses, but I will say that Peru has turned over! That’s right. One day I put Peru down, as usual, in the 4mom’s Breeze Playard in dusky grey from Bloomingdale’s. The next thing I knew, Peru had flipped over. That’s right—Peru went from front-side-down to back-side-down, and this was accomplished without either myself or Peru’s nanny’s help. Which brings me to the question: as Peru pursues the natural developmental milestones, including, if I’m not mistaken, sitting up without help, getting up on all fours, rocking on all fours, and, eventually, crawling—what left is there for me, as Peru’s mommy, to do? On the other hand, I must say that when I saw what Peru had accomplished, I felt a thrill of pride so acute, so electrifying, that I may as well have been zapped by the pure essence and holiness of the Eternal Mommy, as I like to call the feminine aspect of the Divine. Cute? OMG. You wouldn’t believe it unless you, like me, were Peru’s mommy. I celebrated myself with a vodka martini and launched a new line of gifts for the mommy in your life, TheMommyTrendersBarTenders*.
Mid-June, I think. Goddamnit. Peru has learned to grab onto furniture and pull up to a standing position. Today I came home from getting my nails done to find that Peru’s nanny was in the toilet—with the door shut!—and my jewelry had been scattered all over the goddamn floor. I was so enraged that for a moment I forgot that I am a mommy! And as a mommy—I realized that I had to access the inner, deepest reaches of my mommy-self, to know that, deep inside, I may not be perfect, but I’m good-enough. I celebrated my mommyhood with a glass of Joseph Phelps Insignia Cabernet Sauvignon which I enjoyed in a beautifully elegant MommyTime*glass, new from My!Mommy!Blog! and available on a first-come-first-serve basis.
August. Hot! Hot hot hot hot! I fucking hate New Jersey. And Peru isn’t just crawling, oh no, that’s not good enough for the little terrorist, is it? Peru scoots. Peru scoots so fast across any surface, be it grass, wood, carpet, or sand, that one minute I know I’m a mommy, and the next minute, I’m not so sure. Peru! Where are you, Peru? Goddamnit, Peru, what do you think you’re doing? Where’s what’s-her-name—the nanny? Did she have so-called “car trouble” again? But no worries, because here at My!Mommy!Blog! and in conjunction with the Immigration and Naturalization Service, we’ve launched the NannyTracker*, available in hot-pink, puce, and oatmeal.
October 11. Terrible news—really awful. I’m just devastated. One of my mommy-blogging friends, Mommy!@MommyTimes, passed away suddenly from massive head trauma after having driven her car into a tree when she was (probably) smashed. But who among us mommies doesn’t, on occasion, take a glass or two? As I have occasionally shared, I too like a sip now and then, but never—never ever!—have I gotten behind the wheel when I’ve had more than two or three glasses. And, trust me, I’ve been tempted to, many times, particularly when, for example, Peru tries to climb in bed with me when I’m trying to take a nap but oh no, babies get to nap, but their mommies? Not so much. Or to take another example, when Peru’s daddy is in the mood and I’m like: you’re kidding, right? Get that thing away from me. But I digress.
In her last post, Mommy!@MommyTimes wrote a beautiful tribute to her son, which I quote here in full:
When did you go from being a chubby infant to a person with a will of your own? Was it when you defiantly spit out the mashed peas that I’d so lovingly grown, tended, picked, and removed from their pods, all without herbicides or pesticides of any kind? Was it when you refused to wear the Christmas sweater I’d hand-knit for you with organic wool? Your cheeks are no longer burst of sunshine; your nose is no longer flat; your hair no longer flaxen. You no longer smell like cookie dough. In short—you’ve become a boy! And as your mommy, I love you more, with each day, and continue to revel in the miracle of being the person who brought you into the world through my own ovaries, womb, birth canal, and vagina.
Speaking of vaginas, my own continues to be beat up, not that Peru’s father gives a rat’s ass about my bits or how extremely stressful it is to be a mommy like I am!
But once again, when you’re a mommy, adversity is the midwife to creativity, am I right? Check out my new MommyCardsForEveryOccasion* collection, in sets of eight, envelopes included.
December 2. Today, as I contemplated the run-up to the holidays, and all the joy the winter celebrations brings—family gatherings, hand-sewn wreathes, Christmas cookies, table decorations made of marshmallows cleverly spray-painted gold and glued together to create enchanted castles, elves made out of socks, and more!—a terrible thought came to my head: what if being a mommy isn’t enough? What if, despite everything—the constant tantrums, the messes, the trials, the fatigue, the dirty laundry and pissed-off-husband-because-you-don’t-want-to-fuck-him-anymore, the nanny who says that you’re taking advantage of her because she’s undocumented and she deserves more than eight-bucks-an-hour, and my own no-longer-flat-as-a-board belly—I need more than being a mommy?
But that’s stupid, right? Because what could be more important, more vital, more necessary and AMAZING then to be someone’s mommy? And that’s why I’ve invented a new product, called HappyMommyHashish*. And I’m moving to Colorado, where you’ll still be able to find me at My!Mommy!Blog! In the meantime, keep lactating, bitches.
Jennifer Moses is the author of four books — two fiction and two non-fiction. Her short work has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Southern Review, New Letters, Pushcart Prizes, Best New Stories from the South, Glimmer Train, Commentary, and numerous other publications.