According to the New York Post, “more and more” moms are smoking pot in order to “chillax” from the stresses of childcare. Of course, no statistics or numbers are actually given illustrating this idea, but let’s go along with it for blog posting purposes.
Yes, I get that stay-at-home parents have more than their fair share of insane days surfing the turbulent tides of toddler mood swings, accompanied by the soothing Muzak of temper tantrums and virtuoso whining. But the moms quoted in the New York Post article (am I the only one skeptical of quotes from unnamed sources?) take it a step further – they don’t just smoke up to unwind after the kid goes to sleep. Rather, it’s what they regularly do to get through the day. Which, to me, seems highly not-kosher. And I’m speaking as someone who believes pot should be legalized, but that’s another article. Let’s focus on the Post for a second.
These mothers, who get high while laying low, say parenting is a tough job, and insist the mellowing effects of pot make it easier to get into a childlike state — to see where your kids are coming from. ‘We have so much fun,’ says Jennifer (who stresses that she would never get behind the wheel of a car while under the influence). ‘We read books and play and joke around and giggle.’
There’s something kind of sad about an inability to “read books and play and joke around and giggle” without getting high first. I mean, don’t get me wrong – the monotony of “Moo Baa La La La” and “If You Give A Pig A Pancake” can get to anyone after a while. Much of children’s literature – and let’s not even start with the Wiggles – is the equivalent of Chinese water torture. Some things are more awful than others (i.e. why I told my kids that the Wiggles discs didn’t work in our DVD player, ‘because they’re Australian and our DVD player is American.’ Best Lie Ever).
But really, don’t you kind of like this kid you’re home with? I mean, because it’s yours and all? And if stay-at-home parenting is really so crappy and boring for you drug-free, don’t you think you should consider going back to a more official kind of ‘work’ (which, in all likelihood, would probably also frown on drug use on the job, but still) to make you happier?
Turning to pot as the solution to your parenting ennui, as opposed to tweaking your parenting patterns, is probably not the best idea. First of all, Jennifer says she would “never” get behind the wheel of a car while under the influence. Kids do things off the grid all the time, though. What if you have to go to the doctor or the hospital unexpectedly? Do you feel comfortable making decisions regarding your kid’s safety or health when you’re high?
Jennifer, perhaps my favorite mother quoted in the story, also says pot is “a welcome relief from the monotony of parenting a newborn.”
‘When they’re first born, they sleep all the time, and you have to be home and you can’t go anywhere,’ points out Jennifer, who’s been smoking since she was in college.
I hear you loud and clear on the monotony. Yes, being a parent can be a pain in the ass sometimes, and being a stay-at-home parent can be particularly mind-numbing. But out of curiosity, would you hire a babysitter or childcare provider who, when you interviewed them, said, “I like smoking up to chill out, so I hope it’s okay if I do that with your kid”? Probably not. So why would it be okay for you, the parent, to parent on pot?
I don’t really believe that this is officially a “trend” (unless you tell me otherwise, commenters). After all, I was at Babies R’Us and Buy Buy Baby recently, putting together lists for my soon-to-be-born child (see whole Jewish evil eye thing as to why it would be nothing short of insane for me to purchase such items now, even though it would save many people time, cash and hassle).
At both of these retailers, there was nary a bong in sight, much less the option to put it on my registry. So how much of a trend can this really be? Maybe moms are now expected to be so freaking crafty that I should be building my own bong out of Wiki Sticks.