Whining (and it’s not Chardonnay)

I am a bad mom. At least if I believe the two nasty letters I’ve received over the past nine years of writing this column.  Actually, the big word they used was, “whiner”.  I am a whiner.

And their point?

I guess they missed it last year when I wrote, “Sure I whine about my children. I also whine about the price of chocolate covered espresso beans but that doesn’t mean I want or love them any less.” Do they think this is something I try to hide?  For Pete’s sake there’s a chapter in my book titled, “Just Let Me Whine, You’ll Get Your Turn.”

I’ve given birth. I have to share my car keys and chocolate and bathroom sink.  I have stretch marks and cellulite that will never again tan.  I have weak nails, blotchy skin and I’m over forty. I’ve earned a little whine time.  Sadly, I have to assume these two women (only one had the guts to sign her name) must be miserable. I feel sorry for them.

Perhaps they think it’s a sin — a celestial slap in God’s face — to whine about blessings He’s given them.  The little blessings we begged to give birth to all those years ago. As if God wouldn’t understand a perimenopausal, chocolate-deprived woman who spent half the night changing barf laden crib sheets only to stumble into the kitchen, trip over a backpack and find there’s no bread for school lunches, no caffeinated coffee and the comics are the only section of the paper soaking wet from last night’s unpredicted storm that kept the toddler up screaming all night and soaked the car when the windows got left open?

And if you can’t whine to fellow Mommies — in print or in person, either those currently with you in the trenches or those who’ve been there and lived to tell about it — then to whom can you whine?

Your dad?  “I told you you shouldn’t have married that guy. See what he’s done to my little princess? Want to go to Law School? I’ll pay.”

Your mom?  “Don’t tell me!  I had four more than you and did it all without a dishwasher, central air, car or second bathroom.”

Your brother the bachelor?  “Uh, like, why don’t you go away for the weekend and get a little rest?”

The grocery store clerk?  “Paper or Plastic?  On second thought, Mrs. Rinehart, I’ll just keep you away from the plastic bags.”

Call me a bad mom for running out of sugarbomb cereal and milk.  For waiting until she was twelve to have my daughter’s tonsils removed.  Because I lose my temper and swear in front of my kids, forbid TV’s in their bedrooms, shadow them at the mall and refuse to condone underage drinking after high school graduation. Call me a bad mom when I whine about running out of wine.

Go ahead. I’ve been called a lot worse.  I’ll just whine about it anyway.

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  • Claire

    I’m sure you’re a great mom, Karen. Actually, I think you’re doing great if you’ve only gotten two negative letters in 9 years! I’m sure your positive feedback has greatly overshadowed those two disgruntled commenters.