Ever since a young age, I have been intrigued with the unfair, unjust, under-represented, and underprivileged. My mom frequently recounts that I used to ask why things were the way they were. The notion that things ‘just were’ never made sense to me. Because of that I chose to pursue my masters in Human Rights.
Working for the UN, I quickly realized that it was all a bit of blah blah blah. I always imagined that I would have a corner office with a great view, some crisp pantsuits tailored and sexy-yet-comfy heels. I thought I would be Amal Clooney’s new bestie. People would confuse us because of our work in the field. Needless to say, that’s not what happened (but I will send her a copy of my book once it’s published).
So, I began drafting as all good UN-folks do. These human rights articles are really applicable to anything in life – most of all mommyhood and showing us moms what we are NOT getting.
So here is the Universal Declaration of Mommy Rights or The Mama’s Constitution…
Article 1, Right to equality
All moms are born free and equal in rights to every other mother. That however, is not expressed in the playground or those tiresome mother luncheons where women compare who is most disheveled/least disheveled (depending on the lunch).
Article 2, Freedom from discrimination
Yea, right. You will judge, be judged, and become an absolute professional at judging moms in the park with one scan. Stroller, diaper bag, and whether or not she has stains will determine how high she ranks on the rating system only you have created. Oh, and this rating system has absolutely no logic to it.
Article 3, Right to life, liberty, and personal security
You have the right to live, be free and feel safe from flying objects? Oh, wait that’s totally wrong. You better learn to catch vomit, poop, squeaky toys, and those terribly-heavy wooden building blocks. And forget about liberty. You won’t be peeing alone for the next 5-10 years.
Article 4, Freedom from slavery
Nobody can treat you as a slave. This would be true except that babies can’t do a lot of things on their own and even when they do learn how to wipe their own butts they’ve grown so accustomed to you doing it for them that they’ve made you their slave. Minus the shackles. Except on weekends where you’re playing arrest. The physical bruises though, will fade much quicker than the bruises to your ego.
Article 5, Freedom from torture and degrading treatment
Nobody has the right to torture, harm or humiliate you. Umm, isn’t this what motherhood is all about? I have had all three done to me before 7 am on most days.
Article 12, Freedom from interference with privacy
There is no privacy, are you kidding me? You apparently have the right to be protected if someone tries to harm your good name or enter your house, open your mail or bother you or your family without good reason. Hmmm… need I remind you that mommyhood is void of ALL reason?
Article 19, Freedom of opinion and information
You have the right to hold and express your own opinions, but this would involve finishing a sentence or conversation without an interruption.
Article 24, Right to rest and leisure
So, every human being apparently has the right to rest and free time. Oh okay, before or after the bouts of diarrhoea, making cupcakes, and convincing my two year old she cannot eat one as dinner because she has diarrhoea.
Article 25, Right to adequate living standards
1) You have the right to the things you and your family need to have a healthy and comfortable life. This obviously includes 18 different stuffed rabbits each with a different name who enjoys eating different things. “Oh, sorry…that’s Bunbun, I forgot. And she eats? Ah yes, ONLY raisins. Got it.”
2) Mothers and children should receive special care and help. Indeed. Where is that damn care and help?
Article 30, Freedom from interference in these human rights
No person, group or government anywhere in the world should do anything to destroy these rights. Except our little ones do…. On a daily basis! But you still love them for it. Spills and all.
To conclude, mommyhood is one of those (many) exceptional cases, where perhaps, Human Rights are not as applicable as they should be, especially when your baby may not have read them yet … but that was never the point of discussion in the first place… Ahhh… ignorance is bliss.