My friend S. shared this article on Facebook just now: The Mommy Fight-Site: Welcome to the DC Urban Moms Message Board.
Do you have a kid? Do you think you may ever have a kid? Are you a woman, or do you know any? Do you like horrifying/funny things? Then you should read it.
That article is about a DC parenting board specifically, but everything she mentions will apply to basically ALL parenting forums. Because, you see, all parenting boards/mailing lists/discussion groups are two things:
1) Actually mothering boards/mailing lists/discussion groups, because men have better things to do with their time.
2) Bat. Shit.
There is something about having a baby that makes you totally insane. But only if you’re a girl! I don’t know why this is, even though I’ve thought about it a LOT and also consider myself a feminist and am pretty aware of my own crazy and can see it happening in others.
My working theories about why having a baby makes women more crazy than it makes men are as follows. Any or all or none of these could be at play (I often think up these theories late at night or while driving. I am not a scientist. This is not scientific advice.):
*Women will often end up doing the bulk of the parenting research. (“Which car seat should we get?” “…I don’t know. Does it matter?” “SIGH FINE I WILL DO IT ALL MYSELF!!!!” “…are you angry at me? WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!?!?!?!?”)
*Still-pervasive sexism means that women, often for the first time, have true authority in their lives, but only over this one, kid-related area. And they will defend it to the death. DON’T TELL ME NOT TO FEED MY KID RAW EGG YOLKS! I HAVE DONE MY RESEARCH* BY GOOGLING PEOPLE WHO AGREE WITH ME.
*Men feel that it’s not cool to be heavily defined by their dad-dom?
*Women exclude their male mates from a lot of parenting discussions. Eventually, the men give up and get into woodworking.
*Parenting experts – doctors, teachers – tend to address women as the ultimate decision-maker in a family. Many times doctors have addressed me, as though I know more than Husband Guy (which is almost never true – Husband Guy reads a LOT of science blogs.)
*The CRAZY GENE is located on the X chromosome?
It’s such a mystery! All of the other writers I know in my office building are dudes –
(I don’t know. Writing as a profession is totally open to the ladies – I don’t think there’s any institutional effort to keep women out. Maybe it’s the pitching- I think it’s easier to pitch if you can convey a general sense of confidence. And girls do often get socialized out of that (“Thinks she’s better than everyone….”) by about six years of age, whereas men often get better and better at sounding like they know what they’re talking about, until finally they’re adults who refuse to pull over and ask for directions**.)
Most of them have kids, but I periodically notice that I am much crazier about being a mom than they are about being dads. Like I will say: “Hey, how did you pick a preschool for your kid?” and they will squint and say “Um, my wife visited some places or whatever? I don’t know.”
Conversely, they might say something like “Hey, does your husband get resentful when you don’t get home until late?” (my husband stays home with our kid, their wives stay home with theirs) and I squint and say “…no.” because I don’t really get home late, do you know how much guilt I have about being THE WORKING PARENT and ABANDONING MY HUSBAND AND CHILD?!?
Which is crazy. Because I don’t even believe that stuff. But my brain ramps up and goes WAH WAH WAH YOU SHOULD BE WITH YOUR BABY ALL THE TIME AND TEACHING HIM KRAV MAGA SO HE CAN COMPETE WITH THE OTHER MIDDLE-CLASS KIDS, IT’S CUT-THROAT OUT THERE, HE’S PROBABLY ALREADY BEHIND OH GOD.
PS, here is a blog by a lady who’s a HIGHLY PAID PROFESSIONAL SCREENWRITER. All of it is worth reading, but this post about her terrible pitching experience is particularly good.
PPS, here is the trailer for a new documentary about BAD WRITING! Let’s all watch it and cringe in recognition together:
*Whenever you see or hear a mom employ this phrase, you are about to hear something about vaccines, the Weston A. Price foundation, or colloidal silver.
**Men drive like THIS, women drive like THIS!