This essay was originally published in 2017 in the now defunct literary humor magazine Neutrons Protons.
In case you didn’t already figure it out from the kazillion photos of my child’s face plastered on my Facebook profile, I’m a mother. That’s right, I birthed children out of my vagina, and my breasts have done double-duty feeding a human and sexing it up with my husband on alternate Saturday afternoons during naptime. And because my nonprofit career of wiping poop out of my children’s butt holes and rocking screaming toddlers wasn’t relaxing enough, I’ve started a business from home – like the badass that I am.
But please don’t deign to call me an entrepreneur. The word entrepreneur might recall images of white men in three-piece suits who spend their days pitching tech start-ups and world-shaking social media platforms. You might imagine an entrepreneur hobnobbing with investors in Silicon Valley, and afterward sipping martinis out of a crystal carafe with co-workers to celebrate the fact that someone just dropped the GDP of Malaysia into his bank account. You might envision an entrepreneur gazing over the Bay from his corner office, leaning back into his leather chair and adjusting his wireframe glasses for a short nap before a million-dollar presentation — unlike his childbearing wife who spends those same hours on her hands and knees picking up Cheerios that have been ground into the carpet and trying to communicate with a non-English-speaking dictator. No, I insist: call me a mompreneur. That way, I’ll remember my place in the world: the sex who shares her tits with a bald, drooling mammal.
I freaking love my freaking mom identity! How could I not, with all the stimulating conversation and activities I experience on a daily basis? I can’t get enough of the experimental wall art created when my children are supposed to be napping. And as if scrubbing cave drawings off my drywall weren’t enough to make my day, the daily stabbing of my foot by Legos hidden in the fibers of my carpet makes my heart just swell with joy. Being a mother is my love, my soul, my life – even more so now that my resume is out of date and childcare prices would bankrupt us.
Fortunately, when I was suffering from postpartum depression, at the most vulnerable moment of my existence, the network-marketing angel (via my well-meaning fellow mompreneurs) dropped a stack of brochures into my lap, full of essential oils, over-priced jewelry, leggings, and Tupperware! Now, that’s my jam. Never mind that I studied micro-biology and graduated summa cum laude: slap that oil on me, bitch! I want to smell like my favorite laundry detergent while I meditate in the bathroom, where I go to pray that my old boss will offer me a job where I’ll make five times what I make now for just pressing buttons on a keyboard and copy machine in sequence while I overdose on free coffee.
Can you blame me for wanting to get paid for my long, arduous days spent at home watching Daniel Tiger reruns? Anyone else doing my job would make over $100K a year – but up til now, I have just settled for cuddles. That is, until I saw the light: you can bring in millions by simply posting images of products to Facebook! And by the way, the part of my job where I plan parties for a bunch of strangers so that I can beg them for money while I balance a plate of Costco appetizers on my knee? It’s the best!! And watching all my friends unfollow me on every social media account I have since I’ve started posting daily business inspiration? I can confidently say that I’ve found my calling, and it’s not just the Prozac talking.
Plus, I’ve nearly made back the crippling down-payment required to purchase my stock of wares. Maybe someday my husband and I can put that money back into our 401(k), like when I’m so successful at pawning these chemical-free cleaning products onto my friends and distant relatives that I’m winning trips to Aruba! Heck yeah!
I hope this makes you see me for the relevant, accomplished mother that I am: a modern-day Rosie the Riveter with a screaming child strapped to my back. I’m a God-damned miracle!
Also I pray to God that you’ll finally have the decency to stop posting photos to Instagram of yourself in your string bikini on some Caribbean beach so that I no longer have to throw up in my cereal every morning, longing for your taut, cross-fit body and the margarita in your hand. ‘Cause the network-marketing angel promised that now, finally, all my dreams will come true: now that I’m a freaking mompreneur.