Whenever I mention camping with small kids people look at me like I am the most badass outdoorswoman to ever make a toddler carry her own fully loaded pack into the deep woods.
The internet is full of criticisms for mom groups, and I will admit to laughing far too hard at the recent Ten Little Monkeys parody that has been making the rounds. I know those moms; the helpful advice couched in disapproval, the condescension and impractical suggestions. I know the moms who look for a fight, who rage quit at every opportunity and who have turned hypocrisy into an art form. The moms who publicly attack their peers for transgressions in the organic food aisle, and then hit up the drive through on the way home.
I’ve spent an enormous amount of mental energy forging routes around fear; taking the long way to avoid those scary woods. It’s an exhausting and isolated path, full of its own obstacles and lacking a GPS signal. My way was studded with compulsion and hidden distress, holding myself responsible for outcomes and creating imaginary control where I had none. I hid it well, which only served to make the road more desolate.
It is frankly astonishing that child protective services never showed up at my front door to question my parents.