Nothing can make you love as hard and drive you as damn crazy as your baby. Not even your partner, though god knows sometimes it takes all the will power I have not to smother him in his sleep (it’s no secret, I’ve mentioned it to him once or twice, or a million times).
This little bundle which you made (or helped make, really trying to be Daddy inclusive here – I mean, yes, those 3 seconds of contribution were ‘vital’, we get it), has the ability to completely disarm your sanity and then the ability to repair it a second later. It takes a smile or a kind word from this little toddler heathen and I’m over the moon… maybe I am a stage 10 clinger after all? Doesn’t count if I’m clinging to my kid does it? Needless to say, regardless of whether he’s driving you crazy or making you happy, you need a good support system – whether its to share the good times, or survive the bad times.
Now of course your partner is vital – he’s down there in the trenches with you! He’s fighting away the monsters at night, he’s helping shovel food into the kid’s mouth, and sometimes he’s even putting the baby to bed (he gets laid when that happens). So, he’s the forefront of support… but sometimes, he’s compounding the problem, because let’s face it – living together, being adults together, making decisions together is all hard – throw in a temperamental baby and sh*t goes down. You bump heads, and that’s okay because at the end of the day you’re in this together, and its true what they say – if the kid doesn’t kill you he’ll definitely make you stronger. At least he’ll always agree when your child is driving you nuts – you’re both fighting that one.
Then there are the grandparents – these are the best damn babysitters on the face of the planet, but they’re useless when it comes to commiserating with your struggle. In my mother’s eyes my son can do no wrong. I tell my mom that my child is the devil incarnate and that I need a few hours to myself to decompress, she of course immediately does her amazing Mama/Grandma shtick and takes the baby so I can prevent my head from exploding. Once I come to get the devil I sheepishly ask her how he’s been. Her response is always, and without a doubt, “I don’t know what you’re talking about he’s an angel, an absolutely angel” and then she invariably goes on to list the copious amounts of food he’s eaten and all the amazing games that they played, sans temper tantrums obviously because my son does not have temper tantrums at Baba’s house. Devil can do no wrong there, he just flashes that 10-carat smile of his and they’re putty in his hands. I get it, it works on me too, but my Stockholm syndrome hasn’t fully kicked in like theirs has… I STILL REMEMBER that you hit me over the head with your shoe when I dropped you off, Grandma, however, has forgotten it in seconds.
Lastly – the siblings. Now my sister will agree that he’s the devil, she’ll definitely see the evil coming off of him in waves when he’s in the throws of a tantrum, but she absolutely does NOT want to talk to me about the best brand of diapers. I don’t blame her – its a lengthy debate.
So, when your husband can’t always be an ally because sometimes you want to strangle him, and the grandparents can’t be your ally because they just can’t quiet see the evil emanating off of your child, and your siblings get it, but don’t want to talk about all of it… you need your damn Mom Squad. They are all this wrapped in one.
I cannot stress this enough. No one, and I mean no one, on the face of this planet, will love your child, think he is adorable regardless of the state of mess he is in, understand your disdain for your husband, and commiserate with you on the horrors of motherhood, and all at the same time, like your fellow mom friends. This isn’t just any mom, sure other moms will get you – but you better believe that other moms will judge you, judge, judge, judge. Your friends, your real ones, who are also moms – they’ll stick by you, they’ll get it, they’ll support it, they’ll send you chocolates to help you survive it.
I mean, who else will answer your text messages at 3:30 in the morning (yeah its morning not night if your child has woken you up for the day), because their kid also has them awake. Who else will understand your deep unhinged concern about the colour of your kid’s snot, or the significant lack of bowel movements they’ve had, or hell the colour of their bowel movements. NO ONE but the squad will get this.
They are the holy grail of support. These women are the ones that will Google the scary questions for you so you don’t Google yourself and freak the f*ck out about your findings. These are the women that will not judge you for, or begrudge you, the five million stupid questions you’ve asked – even if you’ve asked the same question about formula repeatedly over the course of 3 months (been there done that) until you’ve made a decision. They will not force their opinions on you, they simply give them when asked and understand that ultimately you are the parent of your child, you’ll choose what’s best for you. They won’t judge you for the choices you’ve made either, even if they’re not the choices they would have made.
These are the women that won’t automatically think that things are rough on the home front, you know like jump to the conclusion that you are going to divorce your husband or murder your children just because you’re talking smack about them. They understand that you just need to vent about your crazy kid, and your stubborn partner. Most importantly – they won’t get insanely annoyed when you’ve bombarded their inbox with a million photos of your little one, in fact, they’ll probably ask you for more; then they’ll gush over them right along with you.
So here’s to Mom Squads, or Dad Squads (it’s a thing, my husband has the same WhatsApp group where he bitches about me and commiserates with his friends about how insane all our children are… they just don’t share as many pictures because they’re just not as cool as we are). Thanks for keeping us sane when everyone else has failed – and thanks for loving us enough to stick by through all the complaining, questioning, and gushing. It truly is the difference between us turning to chocolate for comfort rather than cocaine.