This is my post contributing to Theta Mom’s blogaversary contest. The topic is “Proud Theta Mom”.
Theta. The eighth letter of the Greek alphabet. Seven away from Alpha. So if you’re a Theta Mom, that’s six better women between you and an Alpha Mom. We all know an Alpha Mom. Her children, her hair, and her on-time thank-you-notes are perfect.
I truly believe the letter mom you are starts before motherhood. Alpha Moms are Alpha Women. I know this because I’m not an initiated mother yet. I’m pregnant for the first time. So I’m kind of in my pledge period. (Oh sorority! Those days were fun. Now you know how I know my Greek alphabet. It’s because I can recruit Freshmen, change lyrics of popular songs for rush, and play a mean game of flip cup. It’s not because I studied Greek or Latin.) I’m pledging. I got in. Sperm met egg. Nausea’s done. I’ve bought maternity pants. I’m on my way baby! But, God I know nothing! It’s like I’m even less than a Theta.
So, down to Iota. I don’t know one Iota about having a newborn in my home. How often do I feed her? Then there’s the breast/bottle battle. Which do I do? Here’s a secret of an Iota Mom. BREASTFEEDING FREAKS ME OUT! There I said it. I’m afraid of chaffed, chapped nipples. The word chaffed is even annoying to me. The thought of saliva on my breasts is gross to me. Go ahead La Leche, string me up! I already feel guilty enough about it. If I can’t (pardon the pun) suck it up and make breast feeding work, I feel like I’ll be a terrible mother.
Kappa. Now I’m a Kappa Mom. Why? Take a look at the dishes in my sink, they’ll distract you from my unmade bed and the tumbleweed of dog hair that just blew across my living room.
A messy house has to drop me down to Lambda. Only a Lambda Mom would spend an inordinate amount of time online looking for a designer diaper bag, while not having bought a single pack of Onesies for her child.
Mu, thank goodness for child safety seats today because I drive like your grandma if she were behind the wheel applying lipstick and adjusting her Depends.
Nu. Who Nu your kid needs a name? Apparently the Federal Government and Department of Social Security highly recommend a name for your baby. We have not come to a consensus on this and the baby continues to be referred to as the “fruit of the week” courtesy of the What To Expect When You’re Expecting iPhone app. Granted, we are at papaya this week and Papaya could be lovely for a little girl. Too bad we don’t live in Costa Rica.
I could keep going through each letter, highlighting my every fallacy. But, let’s just skip ahead to Omega. My biggest fear is becoming an Omega Mom, bottom of the parenting barrel. What if she inherits my worst traits?
My Omega trait is a doozy. One I’m terrified everyday of passing to my daughter. Okay Internet, ready for my big bad secret? I had a terrible eating disorder as a teen. I mean in-the-hospital-what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-that-girl-anorexic. There. It’s out. Omega. The thought of passing on this disease to my child makes me want to scream and beat something. How will I handle losing baby weight? People with a history of mental illness have huge red targets on their backs for Post Partum Depression. I understand it’s an illness, a chemical problem in your brain, but daughters pick up on the weaknesses of their mothers anyway.
But, I think I’ll make it. Through this pregnancy I’ve realized more and more that the sick girl I once was is nothing like the woman I am now. I beat it. I conquered my eating disorder and I am AWARE. I have knowledge, and I can admit when I need help.
Even with this alphabet of faults, by the time my pledge period is done and I’m a full-fledged mother, I’ll be okay. I won’t be perfect, mind you, never an Alpha Mom. I’ll be a Theta, proud to be in the sorority of Theta Moms who understand that while they’re mothers, they’re also human.
It will be an honor to be in this beautifully imperfect sisterhood. (Do I learn the secret handshake at the hospital?)