1. NEO Moms promote a positive body image to their children.
2. NEO Moms get along with their parenting partner most of the time.
3. NEO Moms support a person's right to choose.
4. NEO Moms are patriotic.
5. NEO Moms like to party, laugh and just generally have a good time.
6. NEO Moms support, protect, and nurture their children.
7. NEO Moms expect their children to behave most of the time, especially in public.
8. NEO Moms take care of themselves.
9. NEO Moms have common sense priorities.
10. NEO Moms don't always follow the rules.
Ok so now I need to add some explanation to these rules.
1. Don't worry I don't expect you to feed your kids tofu and sprouts and make them do Yoga. What I mean by promoting a positive body image is don't be anorexic or obese. That's all. And I feel that I can speak with some authority on this issue because I have been both a size 16 and now I am somewhere between a 4 and a 6. But we all know women's clothing sizes are a scam so in reality I probably used to be a size 20 and now I am a size 8.
So what I am saying is that you just have to be as healthy as you can be for your kid's sake. Because if I didn't have kids I would be eating whatever I wanted and swilling alcohol and who knows what else. But now that I have 3 dependents I have to eat stuff like salad and get all gross and sweaty exercising. It's very important that I watch all 3 of them graduate college and of course my daughter will need me to take over all of her wedding planning.
2. I chose the term parenting partner because not all of us have a legal spouse. You may have a boyfriend or a lesbian lover or be single. I really don't care but my point was that you need to get along with them most of the time especially in front of your children. Domestic abuse is not cool.
3. Choice is important to me and to pretty much any mother who doesn't get offended easily. And I have a wide definition for rule #3. So I may lose some women with this, but I am including a woman's right to choose to terminate a pregnancy as a valid and respected choice.
I won't stop there though, a NEO Mom also respects a woman's right to breast-feed or not, to work or stay-at-home with the kids, to pierce their daughter's earrings or to circumcise their sons. It's really none of your damn business what other moms do if it is not hurting their child or your's. And real moms know this. A not easily offended mother knows that with every decision a mother makes, there are wakeful nights, and long discussions, and reading through baby books. It's never easy.
4. Ok so some of my friends are like WTF?! Yes that's right I am unapologetically patriotic and I think this is a very good rule. I get goose bumps and teary-eyed every time I hear the National Anthem. I love this country and it's people and it's founding prinicples. A lot of people think America sucks right now but it's our govt. that sucks not our people. So does patriotic mean you have to fly the flag in front of your house to be a NEO Mom? No, look at rule #3. Does this mean you can't burn the flag if you get pissed off? No, look at rule #3. Actually I think to deny somebody the right to burn the flag is very Un-American. But if you burn my flag I think you are an asshole. Of course I will fight for your right to be an asshole because that is the American Way.
5. So don't worry that you can't be a NEO Mom if you are in recovery. If I said you had to drink booze to be a cool mom then I would be like that jock in high school trying to get into your panties. No you don't have to drink, or whatever, but you do need to like at least cake or ice cream or chocolate and ,you realize life is way too short to not be able to laugh at least once a day.
6. This is kind of a no-brainer isn't it? Does this mean you can never yell at your kids or make mistakes? Shit I hope not! You just have to take a deep breath once in awhile and realize that you are all they have. You are mommy, the all powerful, and it is your job to protect, defend and nurture their little souls.
7. An adult woman is not afraid of a child. Even if that child is a criminally insane 3 year old. A competent mother expects their child to behave especially in public. But a NEO Mom expects only age appropriate behavior from their children. What I mean is that you can't take a 2 year old to a fancy restaurant and expect them to maintain, it's just not fair to all involved. Now if you are at a family pizza parlor, they are most likely going to be loud and squirmy but they still have to sit and eat some of their food and not throw most of it on the floor. I think that is reasonable.
I was at such an establishment recently and my 20 month old was boisterous and it was fine with me, he was eating his food and sitting for along time. This place has an arcade and a bar and is very loud and this one old man was actually giving my son dirty looks! Are you insane? This was not the place you take a date! So he was not a NEO Mom, he had no clue as to what a child's limits are. My 4 year old on the other hand was forced to sit and eat before he could play any arcade games, and he was ready to go out of his mind until I gave him the stink eye and that was it.
8. Sleep deprivation, stress, hormones, hunger. Those are 4 letter words when you are a mom. I know it's not always possible to take a nap but you have to eat, you have to breathe or you will lose it. I love those magazines that tell you to get a sitter and go get a massage.............well duh if we could we would right? How about locking yourself in the bathroom with a book and a glass of wine/beer? If you have toddlers like I do you know they are not going to get hurt because they will be on the other side of the door trying to get in. I just sit on the toilet and stare at their fingers as they slip them under the door and cry mommy. But for the safety of all I need a few minutes before I can open that door again.
9. This is another no-brainer. If you want a new pair of shoes and your kid is hungry..........the shoes can wait. Here is another analogy, what is more important dirty dishes or getting a 30 minute nap while you can? The nap wins everytime. You don't want to be yelling at your kids all of the time and seriously you will have tons of time to do dishes when they are in college. I live in a part of the country that has ants. This is what I do if I need sleep and I have dirty dishes. Pile them in the sink and then take dish soap and squirt it all the way around your sink, the ants will get lodged in the soap and die while you nap and then you can just wipe them up. Don't act all stuck-up and think I am gross, you know you are going to do it.
10. It's true, rules are for shitheads. These are more like guidelines or something amusing to read during the kids' naps.