Hey "bad moms," let's give ourselves permission to feel competent

Since the birth of my daughter, I've found myself using the phrase "I'm a bad mom" a lot. It horrifies my husband, who associates bad moms with criminals, not ordinary women with ordinary flaws.

Think about your best girlfriend who is also a mom. Now imagine someone called her a bad parent. How would you feel?

Somebody said it to my face once. He didn't really know me, had never met my daughter, he was just a drunken dick in the bar where I work, but he said it, he looked me in the eye and said: "You're a bad mother." Let me tell you, it's one hell of a fucking insult, and we should never, never, say it to ourselves.

How to find yourself when you're focused on raising someone else?

Younger mamas, I want you to know that us older mamas are just as befuddled at times as you are. I was in my mid-30s when I had my first child, and I don't feel as if you ever finish the finding-yourself journey — nor would I want to. It's part of the joy of being alive.

That said, here's what's helped for me to reconnect in areas of my life that need it…

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I feel out place in modern society: Coping strategies for living in Muggleworld

You wouldn't know from looking at me across the street, but I feel ill at ease in the world I inhabit.

I do my utmost to escape to other worlds, where no one has EVER ever ever heard of networking, diets, and smartphones… I lose myself to the straightforward and magical life of books, art, and food.

My problem is this: as I grow older, it is quite often not enough. I simply feel outpaced by modern society as a whole. How do you find inner peace in large quantities when muggle life keeps knocking on your front door, and moving to the wilderness is just not a option?

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My gender identity is confused and I'm okay with it

I should probably start by identifying my gender, but that is… complicated. I am a female, physically. What I identify as is where it gets blurry.

As a teenager, in the early nineties, I had no internet to help me figure it out. And, as a broke young adult in the new millenia, I still didn't have the amazing resources and web connection of, "Hey, my specific gender identity has a name and I'm not alone!"