How Baby #63: Baby Oatmeal
I’m sure by now you’ve probably heard about how cats are better than babies. Well, I thought babies deserved right of reply.
(A lot of things didn’t make it into this comic. Like, having a birthday for your baby is way more socially acceptable than having one for your cat. Baby clothes are much nicer. Baby food can be practically free. You get a tax break for having kids. Being a parent has never made anyone write about how cat owners are bald, sallow, regretful barf-slaves. Score.)
Anyone who’s read this comic long enough will know I’m the first to (figuratively) throw babies under the bus. Surviving babyhood is difficult, mostly thankless work. Still, I’ll also be the first to circle the wagons when it comes to defending babies, and that work, against vitriolic hatred. You know who usually gets shafted by parenthood? Women. Amazing, how that happens. Everyone demean and mock caregiving roles, it’s open season. But, you know, if you’re a woman, don’t reject caregiving roles either, because then you’re selfish. Be available for our mockery, always.
When I was pregnant, I struggled a lot with how it changed my identity. I felt (and still feel) disconnected from my hip, cool friends. It was portrayals like this one that trained me to think like that, to internalize discomfort with caregiving so much that I felt embarrassed to be a mother. I had been trying to perform the ‘cool girl’ role for the past twenty years, and to suddenly screech into this new one, this one that NO ONE thinks is cool, was horrible. Not the role itself — I love being a mom — but rather, the way I’d been already conditioned to hate the woman I was becoming.
It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
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