Mom

Oh, the pregnant woman!  So wonderous and full of promise.  So glorious and beautiful that ancient cultures prayed to totems carved in her likeness.
But then that pregnant woman becomes a mom.
Mom.  Even the word sounds like a drag.  Mah-m.  Mah-m.  Like a car alarm that’s losing its battery.  “Mother” is no better, but at least it’s a more honest way of describing people’s feelings for women with children; it is, after all, only one letter off from “bother.”
While the world rejoices in the promise of new life, it has very little regard for that new life itself.  Even more annoying, however, are the parents of that new life.  The sleep-deprived, undershowered legions of people with the audacity to both repopulate the planet and, occasionally, leave their homes for a hamburger.
It is well documented that children should not be allowed on planes, in restaurants, salons, clothing stores or anywhere else childless people might congregate.  Less discussed, however, is the scorn for those who dare bring these tiny, slimy creatures out into the public.
For one thing, our strollers are too big.  At the mall recently, I tried boarding an elevator with my stroller-bound newborn and two other children, when a guy who was already in the elevator shook his head feverishly and gave me the kind of wide-eyed “No!” look usually reserved for extras in a zombie invasion movie.  We all fit just fine.
Then there’s that annoying thing we parents do where we think we have the right to change our kids’ diapers.  In a bathroom, of all places.  Starbucks and other coffee shops sell squeezable fruit snacks, milk boxes and other delights clearly aimed at the toddler set.  Yet they refuse to install changing tables in any of their stores.  If they’re going to make money on what goes into our children, they should invest a little money to accommodate what comes out of them.
Instead, we’re forced to change diapers on the floor, on benches outside the store or, occasionally, when we just can’t wait any longer for that homeless guy to finish washing his armpits in the bathroom sink, we will, sometimes, resort to changing a diaper in the store itself.  I can tell you don’t like it, because you’re giving me the stink eye and grumbling very, very loudly.  So you know what?  Do a mother a solid favor and tell Starbucks to install changing tables.  Believe me, I have.
But perhaps most astonishing of all, we parents won’t let strangers touch or hold our babies.  Crazy, I know.  It’s like Howard Hughes or something.
Yeah, we know you turn on us as soon as we go from being beautiful pregnant women to becoming mothers.  But you know what?  Facing demands, seemingly unmeetable expectations and obstacles is kinda what we’re about.  Because we’re moms.  And without us, you wouldn’t even be here to judge.
So after you’re done gushing over that pregnant woman, please come over here and hold the door open for me.  I’ve got a stroller to push through.

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