My dear friend just told me about a fellow mom who was sitting at her table at a bridal shower over the weekend. Naturally, the ladies at the table were chatting about their kids. This one particular mom responded to the group with, “I’m just so BLESSED to be their mother. I feel blessed everyday.” (Actually, what she said was, “…I’m so BLESSED to be their MOTHAH….”, because she’s from here. New York.)
Anyway, after my friend and I swallowed the vomit that had churned up in the backs of our throats, I said to my lovely, exhausted, nonjudgmental, equally harrowed mom-friend, “You know what? Sometimes I feel the OPPOSITE OF BLESSED to be my child’s mother.”
Before you other blessed haters come at me angrily swinging bubble-wands, let me explain. I f’ing LOVE my children. I would step in front of traffic for them. They are adorable and hilarious and goofy and inquisitive and all of the things any parent would hope for. I would never imagine a life without them.
You know when I don’t feel so blessed? This morning at 1:27am, and the 55 minutes that followed thereafter of my 2 and 1/2 year old screaming – SCREAMING – from his bed about absolutely nothing rational. I should add that his new thing this week is doing all things topless. Any suggestion of a shirt sends him flying off the rails with rage. Thing is, it’s summer, and there are A/C and fan breezes keeping the bedroom cool. He is also a sleeping-blanket-tosser. So at 1:27am, my topless monkey woke up shivering and blanketless. I forcefully put a shirt on him. This did not help his feelings toward me at the moment. I relented and re-removed the shirt. I tried to bundle him back up. He asked for a bottle. I brought him a bottle. He handed said bottle back to me and couldn’t believe I’d had the nerve to bring him a bottle. He yelled for his blanket. I fetched his blanket. He rejected this blanket. It was the wrong blanket. I fetched a new, usually crowd-pleaser stripey blanket. Now he’s pissed at the mere notion of any blanket. (Keep in mind, his angelic 5-year-old brother is sleeping just feet away in the other bed. How he didn’t wake up, I will never know… or question.)
This dance went on for a psychopathic hour, and then magically the clouds parted and, as if nothing had ever happened, this topless ball of adorable exhausting energy, curled back up whilst clutching my forearm, and fell back to sleep. (After which I re-covered the shit out of him with the stripey blanket.)
The point is this. If you claim that your life of parenting little people is a constant state of blessed, stressless, sunshiny bliss, I call bullshit. Whom are you trying to convince or impress? The only conclusions I can come to are:
- A nanny is raising your children, and you pop in to see them periodically between massage appointments and mani-pedis.
- You are highly medicated 24/24 hours of the day.
- Both of the above.
I’m here to tell you that sometimes, raising my adorable, lovable, silly, smart, energetic, imaginative sugarballs is challenging and unpleasant. Which causes me to not always make the most brag-worthy choices, in an effort to save my own sanity. Such as:
- A child in my house might go to bed without his teeth being brushed. More than once.
- I might leave a poopie diaper unattended just a bit longer than his sensitive skin will tolerate so that I can finish my cup of coffee, or play 10 more rounds of Words with Friends.
- Fries might be the only solid food my self-inflicted-liquid-diet child may eat in a whole weekend.
- The toys might all be thrown into the nearest storage bin in a haphazard manner instead of separating them into lego bin vs. vehicle bin vs. blocks bin. Or they may just get kicked under the couch until I get around to dealing with them. Later that week.
- One child might bathe in the leftover bubbly bath water left behind by the previous child’s bath because it’s already 8:30pm and I just don’t feel like waiting for an entire tub to drain and refill again.
- I might lie to my child about the YouTube app on my Apple TV being “broken” because I just can’t take another god damn second of that show about how train tracks are laid.
- I might lie to my children about having not one single battery in my house because I’d rather their noise/movement-enabled toys not work to their full potential. Oh, and all of the “battery stores” are out of batteries as well.
- I might call something “ice cream” or “candy” if I think it will increase the chances of my child eating it.
- We might spend an entire gorgeous-perfect-postcard-worthy-weather weekend cooped up indoors all 48 hours because I had a crazy week and I don’t feel like getting off the couch, thereby depriving my children of life-enriching outside-the-house experiences.
I could go on but you get the point.
Don’t get me wrong, I have many self-loathing moments where I beat myself up about how I should be a better parent. But this parenting thing is difficult. And some people I know actually walk around comparing themselves to the “perfect” moms in their Facebook groups or Mommy & Me class, and constantly questioning themselves.
Stop doing that. Your kids are ok. My kids are ok. They’re more than ok. I know this because despite my occasional less than blessed resentments and less than perfect mommying, I’m still showered with hugs and “I love you so much Mommy”s on the daily. Give yourself a break. I suck sometimes, and so do you. And it’s ok.