In the United States, Mother’s Day just passed where we express appreciation for the mothers in our lives. What I saw from my first go-around on the inside of Mother’s Day and not just a cursory greeting card purchaser, is that Mother’s Day is barely about the mother. If you spent any time on social media, you’d see a bunch of people paying half-ass praise to their mother while aggrandizing themselves. “Thank you to my Mom for raising a strong, capable, responsible world citizen!”
The thing is, kids get too much credit. Babies come out of the womb being called a miracle. Whoever first said, “a baby is a miracle,” must have been one of those farmers from an age where, if you had three kids survive out of 15, it was truly a miracle. “We saved little Bobby the XVII from coyotes this time, we have a family! It’s a miracle!” People who call babies miracles do know that they’re basically useless for a minimum of three years, right? I mean, newborn baby colts come out able to walk immediately, baby humans can’t even control their limbs and motor functions for a year.
Not all parents are great. I know that. My mantra, “crackheads raise babies, crackheads raise babies” which I use like a meditative om, is the only thing that keeps me scooting on my taint on the razor thin edge between manic parenting and manic episode, preventing me from tilting over to infanticide. I’m on the verge of a near constant nervous breakdown. I can do better than a crackhead, can’t I? She won’t sleep and emits blood curdling cries at 1 AM for two straight hours, “crackheads have kids, crackheads have kids, crackheads have kids.” Vomits in your face an hour after feeding, “crackheads have kids, crackheads have kids, crackheads have kids.” Just ate 15 minutes ago for an hour but wants more even though she’ll just spit up and eat more and spit up and eat more, “crackheads have…crack. I want crack. Anyone got any crack?”
Conceptually, I knew what I was getting into, but nothing could have prepared me for the emotional onslaught that a baby poses. It’s not cuteness and cooing. It’s every hour, every minute, tending to some need that the lil’ sentient tumor can’t even communicate. And people dare to call the thing that lurks in the corner of my house making demon noises and only pausing to smile while unleashing projectile diarrhea between diapers when her sphincter is relaxed and exposed to the air, a miracle.
Why are we heaping praise on the baby? Don’t tell me my baby is cute, tell me that I don’t look like a homeless person–which is the highest praise I could get right now. Don’t tell me that my baby is a sweet little angel, tell me that I look like I’ve lost weight or that the bags under my eyes make me look like I’m “smoldering.” The kid hasn’t earned any praise. I’ve tried to see if I can earn off the baby, I’ve tried to sell dirty diapers to Japanese business men, make cute YouTube videos, but unless you want to sell the actual baby, there’s no market for babies. People make money off of your baby, you can’t make money off your baby.
Babies aren’t a miracle, parents not succumbing to the shroud of insanity that come with babies, is the real miracle. I’m not there yet, I still have to pray to St. Jesus Malverde, the patron saint of drug dealers, or St. Gordon Ramsay, the patron saint of misdirected anger.