The Mommy Exchange

I am aware of a strong, over-active maternal instinct that makes me want to take care of everyone who is hurting. I want to kiss the hurt away and offer comfort. I want to solve their problems and offer unconditional love.  It’s not because I’m a good person or even because I’m a mammal. I think it’s an empathy disorder that makes me feel teary at the sight of little old ladies with coiffured hair, or kids who look neglected.

But sometimes, I just want a mother. I want to feel secure that someone else is in charge. I want to be the kid, not the mommy.

That’s why I like The Mommy Exchange. Most of my friends let me call them Mommy, even if they’re much younger than me. The deal is, they can call me Mommy, too. It’s the perfect solution.

I hereby offer this deal to anyone out there who wants to sign up for it. Hammy and Janet are already signed up, even if they don’t know it yet.

Being a mother is just too hard. Today, the Huffington Post is full of essays on motherhood, each one listing a million rules for being a successful mother. Here are two I have failed at miserably:

Establish a routine and respond with a balance of consistency and flexibility to your child’s needs.

Regulate your emotions to avoid extremes in behavior or being reactive.

Shit! I’m not consistent, at least not consistently. And I haven’t been able to regulate my emotions. Not only that, but I forgot to teach my kids Life Lessons. I didn’t bake them cookies and I involved them in my pranks. I joined the PTA but I stopped going to the meetings. I overprotected them but I didn’t protect them enough. I taught them by example to defy authority and now they defy authority. I was strict when I should have been permissive and vice versa.

I hope it’s enough to let your kids know you are always there for them, no matter what. And I hope all you kids out there will tell your mom what a great job she did, even if she didn’t. She probably tried. I hope she did. x0

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32 Responses to The Mommy Exchange

  1. Romeo says:

    Know what my mom did for mother’s day?

    She killed one of her dogs.

    So I ‘m thinking one mommy is more than enough, thank you.

  2. Sister Wolf says:

    Romeo – Oh god, your mom is a wonder. Can’t I be your mom? I’m good with dogs. xoxo

  3. Juri says:

    Fuck, it’s one of the three annual guilt days for us bad sons again! I have, of course, traded my entire family in for better one years ago but Mother’s, Careless Ejaculator’s and Santa Claus’ days all still manage to trigger some weird mixture of guilt and bitter hatred in me.

    I did visit my mother when I went to Finland this Easter, and feel still pretty proud about it! It was not because I wanted to, but because I hadn’t visited her since 2007 and felt obliged. The guilt made me do it. The last time I met my father or spoke with him was in 2003. I suppose I have a good chance of breaking my previous eight-years-with-no-contact record from the nineties.

    Happy mother’s day to you, though. I suppose I’ll send my mom a text message too. Not because I want to but mostly because I think I must. Then I’ll feel like a pretentious cunt and want to get drunk. Maybe I need to get drunk before I manage to send that message.

    Fuck these guilt fests!

  4. M says:

    I desperately need a Mommy. Sadly I’d be no use as one in return 🙁

  5. Pudfish says:

    i don’t see how any mother except a robot/Stepford Wife could stick to those Huff Post rules; I fail spectacularly at both continually.

  6. annemarie says:


  7. You are an incredible mother, Sister. Your kids better appreciate you!
    I’ve failed miserably at most of the mommy rules too, except the unconditional love part. I can’t even provide a consistent schedule of meals, and have never controlled my emotions. Mother’s Day makes me a little depressed.

  8. arline says:

    I always need a mommy. I collect them. I miss mine a lot. I have a step mother, and we went through hell and back. I do love her, after a lot of work and forgiveness on my part, but, she doesn’t quite have the mother energy I long for.

    I suppose I will always keep searching and collecting.

    Have a joyful and happy day Sister

  9. dana says:

    Anne Lamott nails it (as usual) at Salon re. mother’s day. So I’ll say no more. But hearing about Max at home with you has been a wonderful thing. The ending of the horrible hospital posts alone is cause for celebration. Hope all are doing well, to a cool family and one who deserves all good things exactly as much as everyone else does.

  10. Suebob says:

    I still remember the moment when I realized that my mom was A PERSON. Just a person like other people. I was in my 20’s! It just struck me all of a sudden – oh my god, she’s just a human like everyone else, doing well at some things and badly at others.

    I think it is a sign that she did such a good job that it took me so long to realize. Either that, or I am just a big idiot.

  11. Dru says:

    My mum doesn’t believe in Mother’s Day, or at least she lets me think she doesn’t. She did a pretty ok job on me, though, and she knows it- though we will never see eye to eye on her taste in home decor (I remember, two years ago, threatening to hurl a pair of miniature plaster-of-paris cherubs out of our kitchen window if she didn’t remove them from the living room, where they were publicly viewable. She compromised and kept them, but not where anyone else could see, thank goodness).

  12. Cricket9 says:

    I’m in for the Mommy thing, my own died some 30 years ago; it doesn’t hurt anymore, but I do miss her.
    Happy Mother’s Day to you all; you’re right, Suebob, Moms are human too and they, more often than not, try really hard, although I draw the line at killing dogs…

  13. Suspended says:

    My Mum never bothered with Mothers Day, professing it was just another Hallmark holiday. All of this ended when she got an office job and saw other Mothers with bunches of flowers etc. Suddenly I was a shit son, which incidentally I have no problem with as she was/is a shit Mother.

    I hate the pressure I feel on Mothers Day, Christmas and her birthday and I’d love the chance to realise she is only “human” and mellow out my highly strung negative feeling towards her. If only she’d act like a human this might be more than a fantasy line on a blog.

    Actually, on second thoughts I’d much prefer to never deal with her histrionics again, ever. Yet, I’m strangely at odds with this feeling/notion.

  14. stella mayfair says:

    someday in our late teens my best friend and i started to call each other “mutti “and “papi” which is german for mom and dad. we still do that today, because we both need a responsible parent in our lives. frankly, we both are not very responsible on a daily basis, and our parents are either dead or abusive. so, we parent each other if needed. yes, we’re both over 35. duh!

    fabulous mothers (and fathers) are always needed. the exchange seems to be a great thing!

  15. JayJay says:

    I’d let you be my mommy, but you’d probably just tell me I’m fat then phone-stalk me all me day. Just like my real mommy!

  16. dust says:

    If I can be your Mommy, will I get a present?
    When Daddy was our Mommy he was the only male in audience of school plays, later it became clear that he was getting presents too.

  17. Aja says:

    Happy Mother’s day to you. Don’t be so hard on yourself, I bet your kids love you. You seem like a pretty cool Mum.

  18. Bessie the Buddha cow says:

    Happy Mother’s Day SW! You’re a good soul, you’ve got a kind heart, and like AJa says, “Don’t be so hard on yourself!” Enjoy your family today!

  19. Andra says:

    My mother died 15 years ago at the age of 87 and I have missed her every day since then. My mother and my sister were my two favourite people in the world and we never had an argument in my whole life. My sister is still around and still the nicest person I have ever met. She is heading towards senility (runs in the family apparently) and lives alone a long way from me. I would like her to come and live with me so I could look after her but doesn’t seem to be quite ready for that.
    My one and only child is father to two small children and he is a wonderful father and partner. I love them all to bits and we are currently in the process of selling everything up in Australia and moving to Bali to live together in two adjacent houses.
    I am always so astounded to hear about rancour in families. It is just so alien to me, although I must admit I didn’t like my father but I pretty well ignored him and did my own thing and he had the decency to die early.
    I am sorry for those of you who didn’t have this wonderful upbringing.
    Maybe things will be better with your own offspring. Why not?
    Happy mothers’ day to you all.

  20. Angie says:

    I hate how this day makes me feel. Guilty though I know it’s not my fault, but her’s. Screw Hallmark, but hurray to you Sister Wolf for being a great mom!

  21. Bevitron says:

    I love the mommying idea, except I would be a truly awful one in return. In fact I’d probably be an antimom or something. I don’t have kids but I’ve always had lots of animals and I know I’m a good mom to them, if that counts any, and they do mom me back, in their silent but wise little ways. I miss my crazy & manipulative mother terribly, even though she really wasn’t cut out for mothering, especially not to a whiny, fussbudget kid like I was (am). She died 6 years ago, but there’s still a huge void. I’m so glad that your son is (apparently) so much improved – what a great Mother’s Day gift for you. I really don’t belong here – I don’t know squat about fashion, or much else, but I recognized a great soul when I started reading you, SW, & I couldn’t resist. Happy mother’s day!

  22. Sister Wolf says:

    Juri – I want to be your “good” mom. I’m here when you need me.

    M – How do you know that??

    pudfish – That’s comforting.

    annemaire – YAY! Thanks Mommy!

    Make Do – I was hoping you’d sign up!

    Iheartfashion – No no, I suck. It’s depressing cuz they won’t get us any fucking flowers, that’s why.

    arline – You are so insightful, thank you.

    dana – Thank you dana! Things are much better, but still difficult. I’ll go look at Salon.

    Suebob- I love you.

    Dru – It must be great to have a nice functioning mom!

    cricket9 – YAY!

    Suspended – You need a better mom. Sorry yours is shit, welcome to the Crazy Mothers Club.

    stella mayfair – That’s awesome that you two have kept it up over the years. It does work!

    JayJay – No way, I don’t have the energy to stalk you.

    dust – No presents, not until I find employment. In fact, go to your room!

    Aja – I’m a cool mom; just not a good one. Huge difference.

    Bessie – I hope your kid stepped up today! xo

    Andra – This whole wonderful upbringing is like a fairy tale to me. I’m so glad you are there for your sister!

    Angie – NO, I SUCK. But I’m sorry your mom let you down, and I urge you to get another one!

    Bevitron – You not only belong here, your contribution is very important! And I think you’d be great at The Mommy Exchange. xo

  23. Aja says:

    I’m sure a lot of mothers think they’re not good at the role. There’s no perfect parent.

  24. XuXu says:

    Hot Stuff Sistah Mother!!

    My friends and I have the Stroke Exchange.


    Is not what it sounds like.

    I can, at any time, request to place my
    body in close proximity, position head
    on friend’s shoulder, then have them
    stroke my hair.

    Like. I was a little girl.
    Which. I am.

    Would you like a Shoulder Cuddle Hair Stroke?

    Lady Sister Sweet Pea Who Is a Great Mother???


  25. hammie says:

    You have a son who knows when a homeless person is rocking a look. Sis, I think you nailed it xx

  26. alittlelux says:

    happy mother’s day 🙂 you are a great and powerful momma….

  27. Ann says:

    I want in but you know this already.

  28. Alicia says:

    I’m in! I adopt all of my friend’s moms. You can be my first mom-friend. Or is it friend-mom? I’m sure it doesn’t matter.


  29. Sister Wolf says:

    XuXu – Yes I would.

    hammie – Well, yes, I did do a good job in some ways! More than good!

    Ann – You are so in. xoxo

    Alicia – You too.

  30. Tom Isenberg says:

    I have a few surrogate Mommies. Best thing since my original birth mother, and most of the time, better.

  31. Max page says:

    I’m in mommy!!!

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