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Nice To Meet You, And I Don't Mean That Sarcastically

Courtresy of Janelle Macdonald

Hi, I’m Janelle, a new blogger here at Mom Without a Filter. I’m honored to be here, though I must admit, in my case, I think “mom without a filter” is something of a misnomer, because, though it may seem like I spew thoughts across the page in wild and hideous abandon, I assure you that what makes it on the page is actually WAY LESS INAPPROPRIATE than the thoughts running through my brain.

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Anyway, this leads me to the most important information I can possibly share with you: I am sarcastic. I am irreverent. Wait. Hold on. I’m trying to think of something so sacred I won’t make fun of it….yeah….nothing. I’ll have to get back to you on that.

One of my goals in life is to bring the sarcasm font to the mainstream, so people without a sense of humor will understand that when I type things like “Don’t worry about brushing your toddler’s teeth. They’re going to fall out anyway.” I’m joking. Haha funny. Sarcasm.

Obviously you should brush your toddler’s teeth, otherwise she’ll tell the dentist at her first appointment that her teeth have never been brushed and you’ll look really, really bad as you mumble those famous last words “Oh my daughter’s such a jokester” and the dentist looks at you like “Whatever, loser” and you hang your head and wonder why it is that kids have no appreciation for masking the deficiencies of their parents.

It’s one of the great mysteries of existence.

Anyway, speaking of parenting deficiencies, I have a long history of subpar mothering, in ways that are funny and ways that are totally not funny. I found out I was pregnant with my first kid when I was 21. I had known the dad for approximately 3 months. It was a delightful little love story, I tell ya. Incidentally, we’re still together, so don’t ever tell me miracles don’t happen.

That baby will be 12 in November and two more kids have come since then (Rocket, 7 and Georgia, 2) and now I’m 34 and the dude is 31 and I know very little more than I did twelve years ago, except I’m no longer wondering how I’m going to survive without Captain Morgan and dive bars. Also I’ve accepted that I’ll never fit those jeans again.

Some of us are slow learners.

Anyway, I started writing a blog, Renegade Mothering, about 2 years ago because I couldn’t take it anymore. I spent years looking around the parenting world feeling like the dumbass standing outside the circle, looking in, going “Dude, I don’t get it,” as if everybody was in on some big joke. Like all these people just knew inherently how to be parents and there I was, ten years into it, loving my kids with all that I had, wanting the best for them like the best of ‘em, but finding myself engaged in a constant state of “Um, let’s try this and hope for the best.”

Not a particularly enlightened parenting approach. But what the hell. It’s the truth.

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So I don’t have any advice and I certainly can’t offer any “straightforward parenting tips.” In my experience, “straightforward parenting tips” are actually just cleverly disguised attempts to break my soul and confuse the hell out of me, because not ONE of my three kids has ever actually acted like a kid in a book for any significant length of time and let’s be honest: Nothing is ever clear. Nothing is ever straightforward.

This is parenting. This is life. The whole gig (as far as I can tell) is an ever-changing labyrinth of “What just happened?” mixed with some moments of the sublime, when you see your boy sleeping on the arm of the dude you met 12 years ago, when it was all so unclear and strange, and you built a family while half-asleep, somehow, a perfectly insane family. And you ask yourself “How did I get so damn lucky?”

Then you get up the next day and you do it again, still wondering why, as a mother, you’re expected to care about yoga pants and seasonal cupcakes, when your actual life has nothing to do with either, and your kids are lucky to get any cupcake, let alone a seasonal one.

But I digress. I really just want to say “hello” from my glorious homeland of northern California, and thank you for having me. It’s good to be here. I think we’ll have fun, waging a quiet war on helpful parenting advice.