Ho Mama! A Blog for Slutty, Single, Low-income Moms
There just aren't enough Mommy Blogs out there written by slutty, single, low-income moms. So here I am to fill in that gap.
One year to the day from meeting my daughter's dad, we had a three month old baby. How slutty is that?
I've been married twice, but have seen no need to coordinate marriage with conception. I mean, really, why complicate things?
When I got pregnant, I was living in San Francisco. Upon discovering my impending BabyMama-hood, my female roommate kicked me out into the street. My male roommate, her boyfriend, went along quietly. (She seemed to think he had a crush on me).
This action would have been illegal if I'd been on the lease. But I was merely a sub-tenant. A serf. And now a pregnant serf with an $8 an hour job in one of the most expensive cities in the world. A city with a 1% vacancy rate.
Never fear, though. Slutty, single, low-income moms are nothing if not resourceful. I brought my premature baby (all five pounds of her) home from the hospital to an SRO hotel in the Tenderloin.
My daughter didn't come home to a crib or a nursery. But you know what? She didn't seem to notice. Perhaps cribs and nurseries are more for parents than for babies. Hmmmmmm.
Anyway, I did manage to find some cardboard cut-outs of Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and Piglet to tape to the walls. But my daughter was much more fascinated by my face and voice than by any baby toys or cutesy decorations.
Feeding her was cheap and easy. My breasts pumped out a steady supply of milk. Feeding myself was a bit trickier. It's quite a hike from the Tenderloin to Whole Foods, especially with a baby strapped to your chest. But we managed.
I couldn't cook in our hotel room - we didn't have a refridgerator or a microwave -so I had to eat a lot of raw fruit, roasted peanuts, and protein bars.
Anyway, the lobby of our hotel was filled with loitering male prostitutes looking awkward and vulnerable in their lipstick, dresses, and cheap crooked wigs.
The hotel was owned by a large extended Indian family who did a lot of cooking. They filled the building with the sweet spicy smells of cinnamon, cardomom, chili, and cloves.
Ruffled looking men and women, in various states of intoxication, knocked on our hotel room door at all hours of the day and night, begging for money.
It was one of the happiest times of my life. My daughter's dad was able to pay our rent at the hotel, so I was able to stay "home" with her. I was in seventh heaven.
Once a week I went to a new moms' support group in a neighborhood about 2 miles, and a million light years, from the Tenderloin. Only one of the moms in the group, besides myself, was single. But she seemed to want nothing to do with me. She was fairly high-powered. She had a first class nanny picked out and living-in with her already. She clearly wasn't one of "those" single moms. And certainly not slutty. I got the distinct impression her child was conceived both expensively and immaculately - with a sterile syringe.
The rest of the moms in my new mom support group were financially secure college educated women, happily married to magnificent brilliant college-educated men, who were the most eager and devoted fathers in the whole wide world. Gag.
As you can imagine, I felt right at home.
And this may be the trouble some people have with Mommy Bloggers. Because, let's face it folks, not all Mommys are created equal.
There are, in this culture, Good Mommys and Bad Mommys.
The Best Mommys are married, upper-middle class (or better), have a college degree, worked before staying home with the children, speak english, and are both white and heterosexual.
Good (not Best) Mommys may be black (non-ebonic speaking) or hispanic (english speaking), or Asian (english speaking, culturally assimilated). But the income, education and marital status is non-negotiable.
In "liberal" communities, the sexual orientation may be negotiable, but in too many parts of the United States, it is absolutely not.
What I ask Mommy Bloggers to remember is this: If you are a married, educated, financially secure, upper middle class mom writing a blog directed at other married, financially secure, upper middle class moms, please acknowledge the fact that you are in the minority.
And you are EXTREMELY privileged. Motherhood is never easy. In your case, however, it is EASIER than it has been in any other place on earth at any other time in human history.
When you are writing about the struggle to keep romance in your marriage while toilet training a toddler, or about choreographing your child's social life on the playground, or about trying to maintain the brain cells you worked so hard to accumulate in college -please take a second to acknowledge the rest of us. Acknowledge the vastly different levels of struggle we face. And if you can, acknowledge it without judging us.
We're your sisters, too: the single, the slutty, the low-income, the illegal, the lost, the struggling, the uneducated, and clueless. We love our children just as much as you love yours. We want every bit as much for our babies as you want for yours. We are exactly the same in those ways. We just don't have (or get) all the props.
Can you be a good mother if you can't afford a crib? Can you be a good mother if you can't figure out how to find a good husband? Can you be a good mother if you never finished high school? If you can't speak english? If you live in a developing country? If you're homeless?
If not, why not?
How much is the ability to consume related to the ability to mother?
These are the questions that lurk between the lines of the typical Mommy Blog.
The Mommy Blogger's voice is privileged and rare. It can be a funny, entertaining, and enlightening voice. But it mustn't be used to drown out the voices of the vast majority of mothers on this planet.
Most mothers on the earth today are poor, uneducated, and deeply in love with their children. And they are buried in shame and silence.
So Mommy Bloggers, please - take a moment to look and see the mommys who ring up your groceries, who clean the toilets at your children's preschool, who empty the waste baskets in your husband's office. See them, notice them, reach out a hand.
They are Mommys, too.