Today was a day destined for book marketing. I spent the whole day trying to figure out how I could get my latest ebook into the hands of the parents who need it. The target audience is all parents, regardless of whether their children are gender non-conforming or not, so how tough can that be? The book is really just a reminder about unconditional acceptance of your children, so I figured I’d go out and buy a little advertising in parent communities.
So there I am, out there surfing the interwebs looking at mommy blogs and checking out parent magazines—and the more I read, the more I realize—I’m in trouble. I mean, big trouble. Who are these parents in these magazines? Who are these moms that can clean a 4-bedroom house in 20 minutes, put in a full day at the office, and then prep a 7-course meal before hubby gets home—all the while blogging about it with a set of twins dangling from her breasts? Is that fiction? I also came across an entire parenting blog dedicated to storage. Um, OK, what? I mean, I can sort of see how organization might be catchy, but is that real life? Do these people actually live like that? Because if that’s my audience, I’m not going to sell shit.
I’m not a twenty-something perk-fest who smiles in her sleep and spends her days engaged in home-made crafts for her curious toddlers, and then spends her evenings mapping out the storage of lego pieces in colour-coded bins. I actually want to slap mothers with that kind of energy and committment across the face. Hard. The kind of slap you only see in old movies when someone is acting hysterical.
I’m gritty. I’m the kind of mother who scares other mothers. I’m aggressively unfancy and socially handicapped by severe facial expressions. I blame the children for my deep scowls and twitchy temper. Yes, I said it. I’m not ashamed. It’s their fault. I was a beautiful woman once.
I kept a clean house once too. I think. Well, fairly clean. No, actually, I mean tidy. And that was only for about 10 minutes in 1996. Now, I name the dust bunnies that scoot across the hardwood floors when I enter a room. There are fingerprints on my mirrors that read like a childhood growth chart and yes, there is a styrofoam container in the back of my fridge with takeout from a restaurant that closed 2 years ago. I do laundry on the schedule of mom-I-don’t-have-any-clean-underwear and I wash dishes when I run out of spoons. That’s gritty living right there.
I also cuss in front of my children and have been known to walk around in ratty underpants. I spend one hour a week fangirling over the latest episode of The Vampire Diaries—during which the only interruption I would allow is an air raid siren signalling the onset of the zombie apocalypse—and then for 15 minutes after the show while I have inappropriate daydreams about the Salvatore brothers. I’m not proud, but that’s the reality.
I’m a loud, moderately controlling, socially awkward, opinionated cuss-pot. I’m not the perfect parent, but I’m the perfect parent for them. We exist together happily. (Most of the time, anyway.) You won’t find organization, clean towels, or a place to sit in my house that isn’t covered in crystalized dog spit. But there’s laughter, love and acceptance here. If you don’t have that in your home, buy my ebook. (Or share it with someone you know.)
#grittymoms rule. 🙂