This is a sponsored post from 8th Continent and BlogHer.
I have a pet peeve, and it is this: women referring to themselves as "bad moms" when they've made small, understandable mistakes. A woman accidentally pinches her child's fingers in a drawer, or the child falls and gets a scrape/bruise on his face while the mother is reading a novel, or the mom loses her temper and makes a snappish remark, or the child falls off just a very low changing table to a perfectly ordinary hardwood floor, and then the woman writes that she's ready to receive her Bad Mom Award.
Well, piffle. I won't plague our minds by calling up imagery of women who are ACTUALLY bad mothers, but suffice it to say that becoming a mother doesn't mean receiving the Holy Gift of Perfection, and good mothers are still HUMAN and will still make mistakes at the same rate as other humans (and in fact FASTER, with the sleep deprivation and the constant distractions and the OMG PLEASE STOP TALKING TO ME FOR TWO MINUTES, JUST TWO MINUTES, I BEG OF YOU, BEFORE I LOSE WHAT'S LEFT OF MY MIND), and that this variety of non-perfection has ZERO RELATIONSHIP to women who are, in fact, BAD mothers.
So. Pet peeve. Now you know. "FEEL LIKE" a bad mother sometimes, sure. "ARE" a bad mother, piffle.
Oh, and ALSO, I guess I am still not done, because if a woman says she's a bad mother for making a small and unintentional mistake, she's implying OTHER women are bad mothers if THEY make small and unintentional mistakes. And let's not do that! Especially because I am about to tell you about one of my own small and unintentional mistakes.
Okay, here it is. I was out on errands with my then-toddler-aged firstborn Rob, and he was thirsty, so I got him a cup of water from the diaper bag. (Yes, do we all know where this is going? It is because these mistakes are VERY COMMON.) Of course he was sputtering and saying yuck, and of course I was irritated and thought he was complaining because he wanted juice. He started crying and saying again that he was thirsty, so I got even more irritated and wanted him to just DRINK THE WATER, THEN, IF YOU'RE SO THIRSTY. Which---yes, yes, wait for it---was full of mold. REEKING with mold. Who knows how long that cup had been brewing that revolting...brew.
Oh, and there is more. Women are not the only ones who remain fully human in the parenthood state, oh dear no. I went home and put a bleach/water solution in the cup to kill the astonishing mold colony, and I put it among the dirty dishes on the counter so I could scrub it out later when I was doing the dishes. And when Rob whimpered that he was thirsty, PAUL GAVE HIM THE CUP OF WATER. The cup that was AMONG THE DIRTY DISHES. The cup FULL OF CLOUDY BLEACH SOLUTION.
Well, it's been ten years and blame has not yet been distributed to our satisfaction. Suffice it to say, I looked at a child who was sputtering out his drink for the second time in one day, and this time I had to call Poison Control.
It all ended just fine, with a child barfing as Nature intended into a large mixing bowl and sustaining no injuries (and perhaps even conveniently ridding his system of the mold he drank earlier?) (NO, I AM KIDDING, PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS ON PURPOSE IF YOUR CHILD DRINKS MOLDY WATER). But then of course I received in the mail the Packet of Shame from Poison Control: a big envelope of information for me, teaching me that I should not be feeding poison to my toddler or putting it where he (OR HIS FATHER) could reach it. O RLY?
To review: We do our best and we TRY not to screw up, but NEVERTHELESS we ALL make mistakes, even mistakes that make us FEEL like bad mothers. This does not mean we ARE bad mothers. Well, maybe some of you ARE, but I don't mean YOU, then. I mean those of you who FEEL like bad mothers when you accidentally run over your child's hand a little bit with the shopping cart or pin a teensy bit of your child to her diaper, but who are in fact GOOD mothers who sometimes screw up a little.
Plus, have you noticed how relieved and bonded you feel when other mothers talk about how they screwed up, so you know you're not the only one?
And this is what makes commercials like the 8th Continent Soy Milk ones so funny. And I do hope you'll find them funny: it's bizarre but there are some people who don't find it funny to hear small children yelling "d*ckhead," or to watch small children get hit in the head with a piñata bat. Crazy, AMIRITE? And if you are likely to find it non-funny, just say you need to go to the bathroom or something and no one will even notice you sneaking out before the show starts.
Now, goodness, we have many, many giveaways to discuss. The FIRST giveaway is the one to be given away on this post: it's a $100 Visa gift card AND twelve coupons for free half-gallons of 8th Continent Soy Milk. To enter, leave a comment on this post by September 30, 2010, sharing one of your own "Not a bad mom" moments. And if you have not yet had such a moment, or if it's hard to think of one on the spot like this, you can still enter by saying which video you like best.
Then there are, like, a million other giveaways (disclaimer: not a million), and you get to them by going to visit 8th Continent on Facebook. This is where you can see other people's stories and submit your own. The giveaways include two room makeovers from Home Line Furniture and a complete adventure package from Caravan Tours. On second thought, forget I said anything about these prizes, because if you enter you'll decrease MY chances of winning. So never mind! La la la!
PLUS, there are 8 other bloggers doing the same giveaway we're doing here, so you can go to the BlogHer.com special offers page for 8 other chances to win 8 other gift-card-and-soy-milk prizes.
You can also go visit 8th Continent on YouTube, to see the videos (there's one I didn't include on this post that involves a hamster and a reason for not vacuuming too thoroughly). Or you can become a fan on Facebook, and I'm not saying it'll increase your chances of winning (because it won't), but I AM saying it doesn't hurt to cozy up to the people giving out the prizes. And you can follow them on Twitter, too, if you want the full soy milk media experience.
Got all that? FIRST leave a comment here about one of your own little non-perfect moments (or, if that hasn't happened to you yet, say which video you like best), and that will enter you to win the $100 gift card and the free soy milk. THEN go visit 8th Continent on Facebook and enter to win the Home Line Furniture room makeovers and the Caravan Tours adventure package. THEN go to the BlogHer.com special offers page for 8 other chances to win the gift card and soy milk prize.
On this post, the rule is that you must be at least 18 years old, you must be a U.S. resident, and you can enter one time only. If you want a second entry, blog or tweet the post and leave a link to the blog/tweet as a second comment on this post. For the complete rules, see the official and complete rules. For more information about 8th Continent, see their site.
"Submit your amusing parenting faux pas on our 8th Continent Facebook App and join the hundreds of stories from moms just like you. Share it with your friends and vote on your favorites. You could win a room-of-choice makeover from Home Line Furniture or the grand prize of a complete adventure package from Caravan Tours."