Hi! I’m Heija, the Worst Mother in the World. Before you let envy set in, know this, I share this wretched title with every other mother ever, even Angelina Jolie.
While I became a parent in the typical fashion (mommy and daddy shared a special hug), my irreverent parenting style and unusual perspective are influenced by a not so typical childhood. I am the biracial daughter of an eccentric German immigrant mother who was divorced from my black father who still liked to pop up occasionally to teach us confusing life lessons. I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness with more siblings and stepparents than fingers. It is genetically impossible for me to have that special filter that keeps most people from saying what they are thinking. Naturally, my best qualification for “worst” bragging rights are my notoriously indiscreet offspring, three at last count.
My affiliation with a highly fertile congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses made me feel pretty confident about becoming a mother. After all, I was a tiny super-nanny by the time I was 10, taking care of any child in the vicinity that wasn’t already being wet nursed by my own mom. Despite a rough labor and delivery, I remained confident even on the day we brought our first child home. Unfortunately, that confidence was shot about ten minutes after my mother left us alone, after smothering my child’s tiny little bottom with a cement-like mixture of baby powder and diaper ointment. Little did I know that mixture would soon mix with thick, black, meconium poop to create an impenetrable barrier. It might still be there today.
Fourteen years later, I have a deep respect for the beautiful insanity of motherhood. I have an even deeper respect for the cunning ploys, reliable distractions, mommy magic, and network of save my a** fairies that help me survive until bedtime. On my darkest days I do what every good, loving, worst mother does, and toss around loud empty threats while invoking a higher power like Santa, the Tooth Fairy, or Oprah. I am not ashamed. This is survival. Despite my best efforts, I am the Worst Mother in the World, and so are you. Let’s compare notes.
Heija is an award winning humor writer and columnist whose work has appeared frequently in The Seattle Times and Reporter Newspapers. Her column, Loud and About, appears monthly in Scene Magazine. She has appeared on local and national television and radio programs including several appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Heija is a passionate community activist, volunteer and fundraiser; a Planning Commissioner for the City of Medina, a member of the Executive Leadership Council for Hopelink a local non-profit organization, and a member of the Leadership Advisory Group for Group Health Cooperative. She has also served as a past Board Member for KidsQuest Children’s Museum.
Other memberships include the Pacific Northwest Writers Association, Society of Professional Journalists, National Association of Black Journalists and of course the local PTA, also known as Pretty Tough Audience.
Heija loves talking to strangers and lives near Seattle with her ”Attorney” and three very resilient kids; “Sweetie Boy” (14), “Venom Pen” (12) and “Sistafoo” (7).