To the Department in Charge of the Mom Worry Switch,
I am writing to thank you, albeit a few years late, for installing the MOM WORRY switch T2000, which I actually never ordered, when I first became pregnant.
It was a nice surprise, waking up one morning, after the previous night’s huge cry fest frenzy of warm congratulations from friends and family when we announced that I was pregnant, that you had installed the latest T2000 Mom Worry Switch in me, without prior warning.
“How nice,” I thought, “I am not entirely sure what this Switch is exactly for and why Mothers would actually need it (insert naïve laughter) but it says here, all Switches come free with ALL pregnancies.”
We don’t get anything for free nowadays, so I was stoked to receive a free gift for simply being pregnant, but I did think it odd that it came without a manual or guidebook.
“That’s okay,” I told myself, “how hard can this Switch be? I’ll wing it like how I wing folding fitted sheets.”
One morning I was myself and the next morning, I was Mother Godzilla of a nervous wreck. It was like an out of body experience, as I watched my pregnant self sobbed uncontrollably on the phone to her clueless husband. Spitting out words as well as up chucking the celebratory dinner, she was convinced that she had hurt her unborn child with the mayonnaise on the salad, which she had just read online that it was a big NO-NO. That mayonnaise must have super tripped the Switch as she soon developed heart palpitations over what really is soft cheese, red wine in Spaghetti bolognaise and lavender scents in toilets.
The switch pushed this said pregnant woman into googling, ringing hotlines, texting friends and ringing family, and even asking on Twitter, convinced that she was doing everything wrong.
“OMG! OMG! You’re pregnant and you did everything you were not supposed to, like you just read on Facebook and those parenting forums! YOU ARE SO DEAD!” The Switch screeched like a siren.
“Don’t TOUCH this! Don’t DO this! WHAT? OMG, you did what?” The Switch simply amplified what I read on social media.
The Switch seemed to work in perfect frequency with Mildred (Twitter handle @TheMomSpag), who insisted I brush my teeth with bottled water and who should name my firstborn child “Kale” as tribute. Every time Mildred tweeted or posted a new blog post about the benefits of not shaving armpit hair, I reached for that bar of Cadbury.
I consoled myself naively that all these feelings would pass when I finally had the baby, right? The “OFF” button would automatically appear when the baby appeared, right?
- I worried about tiny buttons not being sewn tight enough, when I had to dress him for the first time.
- I worried if my newborn was breathing. So many nights, I crept by his bed and just watched the rise and fall of his chest.
- I worried about cutting tiny fingernails.
- I worried about how much breast milk he was consuming – was 20 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour enough?
- I worried if he was ill, uncomfortable, frightened or sad?
Then I re-assured myself that the switch had to be super duper working because he was still so little, just a babe who can’t articulate his thoughts. When he’s older, a toddler, he’ll be able to tell me what hurts or if he’s upset and then the Switch could be dialled back a notch, right?
- I now worried if he fell?
- I now worried if he did not eat his lunch?
- I now worried when he did not speak?
- I now worried when he did not stop speaking?
- I now worried when would he start walking?
- I now worried when he would stop running off?
Then I told myself, I would definitely find that “off” switch when he starts school. He’ll be older and able to take care of himself. As his first day of school approached, I waited in nervous anticipation for the installation to happen but it never happened.
- I worried if he would know how to tell the teacher he wanted to go to the loo.
- I worried if he knew how to take his lunchbox out.
- I worried if I packed the wrong lunch for him.
- I worried if he had remembered to bring his books.
- I worried if he would make new friends.
- I worried if he would hurt himself in the playground.
So while I commend you on the nuclear bomb durability of this Mom Worry Switch, surely, mine must be faulty because I worry myself stir crazy.
To date, I have not been able to find this elusive “OFF” button.
And I tried everything.
I even created the “Opening of the Red Wine Bottle with your feet and teeth while reaching out for a box of chocolates in unnamed random pink Yoga Pants” every morning which helped numb the worry just for a bit but this darn Switch would not turn off.
So I hope you will attend to this with a matter of urgency as my son is now preparing to go to University and I cannot imagine what my Switch would be like when he leaves my arms. Please, I just want to return to my lazy pre-kids days of sleeping in, getting drunk on cold pizza and dancing to bad radio music with wonky hair, instead of worrying about an 18 year old driving.
OMG, my Switch just went into RED when I typed “driving”? Can you tell me what RED means? I hope this means I will finally be able to finally sleep at nights now.
Oh, and since I have your attention, I would appreciate you attending to my mother’s Switch too as she says that she has been most unsuccessful in finding the “OFF” button for the last 45 years. (Well, that’s her excuse.) This would be a matter of greatest urgency because this is a Woman who has just told me to bring an umbrella with me because there is a 18% chance of raining today and she did not want me to catch a cold, oh and that she “does not give me permission to ever call for an Uber ride”?
This is really unprofessional of you as how long can you expect a daughter to keep buying her mother wine and chocolates for, find yoga pants which she actually think is not “indecent” or imagine a life of not ever being allowed to try an Uber ride?
I implore you to do an urgent re-call of all your products, which obviously must have been defective since 1970 and actually start installing these “OFF” switches.
PS. I just found out that Mildred @ThatMomSpag is actually a 62-year-old Single Gentleman with four dogs, working for Cadbury.
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