I sit here feeling disoriented and shameful, moments after I get my child frantically onto the bus. She probably is on the bus, still tear-stained, plotting on how to lock her mother in the closet when she gets home, whilst she eats my dark chocolate and watches Monster High on replay. I can hear her wickedly cackle as I’m clawing at the basement door with bloody hands. (Ok, this has clearly gotten out of hand. I am not Carrie’s Momma, I am not Carrie’s Momma).
So rather than pout and self-loathe, I’m here writing and drinking coffee with my, ever-so-ironic, ‘MOM’ mug. *shame is wiggling just right in*
The gals went to see a late movie with their Dad last night – which is probably where my mean-mommy stew starting gettin’ cooked up. A whole decadent three hours to myself?? Gym, yoga, meditation, art, hot bath, reading. Oh yea. Know what I did? I paced, I had a glass of very unfulfilling wine, I texted my husband a million times, I got dressed for the gym to find out he had my sneakers, tried to take a hot bath only to enjoy a whole two inches of hot water – finally laid in bed way too early, scrolling through Instagram and hating myself more minute by minute. This could very well be a common syndrome of mommies the world over – not knowing how the hell to relax with precious free time given to us on a silver platter. At ten pm, my soda-jacked-up children burst into the house and another struggle-filled hour later, they pass out.
What. The. Hell. The rush of self-disappointment rushes in this morning: I am world’s worst mother. The older gal didn’t get her homework done. I didn’t lay out her clothes. It’s gym day; where the f’n F are her sneakers?? Oh you want me to pack your lunch? Sure, let me sloppily throw together a pb&j with old bread, some poison-dyed jello (courtesy of my very 80’s-nutrition Mother), leftover movie soda and cut strawberries someone had heaven-sently put in a zip baggie. (The shame is a-buildin’). I SUCK.
My gal is crawling and sleepy-eyed. I’m yelling like a coked up White Rabbit with an evil streak, ‘It’s Late, It’s Late’! She’s getting more and more upset and is now crying rather than rushing to get ready. I give her the answer to her last math question. Brush her very tangled hair in a not-so-nice way. Brush her teeth with adult-mint toothpaste because theirs is no where to be found. Throw dress shoes on her; how strenuous can gym class be? Ok. Stop. Crying.
I quickly transition from Sgt. Asshole Mom, to Hippy Earth Mother. I grab two homeopathic stress gummy tabs, her organic vitamins and sit her down. I am totally back-pedaling at this point and have sneaking suspicion, she’s silently calling me on my shit.
‘Honey, you know you are responsible to put her sneakers away where you can find them’. ‘Honey, you know your homework should have been done before the movies, not this morning’. Honey, Honey, Honey. I say in the sweetest, calmest voice. I can hear, ‘Mom, cut the shit. I’m now going to plan to run away from your crazyass-betty-crocker bullshit’. I say, ‘I’m sorry I was mean’ and kiss her cheek. Get her outside and wave goodbye-kisses until her bus is out of view. I do my own walk-of-shame back to my messy house, with my messy hair and crusty eyes, to drink my shitty coffee and pout.
Do vote for me for Mom-of-the-Fn-Year, will ya?
And I breathe. And I’m not perfect, nor do I want to be. And I apologized to my bitter 9 yr old. And I kissed her. And I write for clarity. And I learn, to prevent this fiasco from happening again.
We’re human. YOU are human. Life is messy. Parenting is messy. Our houses are messy. It’s all one big ol’ mess we’re all swimming in, trying to do the best we can. Trying to love our children and not set them up for a lifetime of therapy. Trying to, at the very least, sanitize the important parts of our home, lest child services get involved. Trying to not pack our shit and run away when things get hard. Trying to love our very clueless husbands and give them some ‘special’ time when we just want to curl up into an exhausted ass ball. Add to all of this Trying, trying to keep trim, enjoy life, smell the goddamned roses, not lose ourselves in the sea of diapers and pb&js. Don’t forget about self-love on top of all of our to-dos. Sure, I will get right on that.
The thing is, this craziness, these wretched mornings, these days where you just want to spend another 20 minutes in the bathroom, not because you’re pooping, but because it’s the only semi-private time you have to yourself – THIS IS LIFE. And would you really want a perfect Instagram family life? Where everyone is happy happy happy? No boo-boos, no struggles, no fighting, no lost sneakers, no crusty sandwiches? If that’s what we had 24/7, how would we ever be able to appreciate the beautiful times?
When our husbands lovingly caress our hips, knowing he’s not expecting anything more? When the sun glitters off our child’s hair, as if she were truly heaven-sent? The hilarious moments when your four year old innocently calls your cat a ‘pain in the ass’. The family summer picnics in the park, when you watch your gals run about happily, as you and your husband nibble food and secretly, each other. When your dog curls up for bedtime story with your children, not knowing he’s any different. When you just can’t get enough kisses or inhalations of your daughters’ cheeks?
These moments of sunshine could not possibly be noticed, treasured, absorbed if that’s all we had. It’s like the glorious sun after a storm. The chaos creates this beauty, this joy, this bliss.
So when shit hits your Mommy-fan – just breathe. Acknowledge. Learn. Hug your children. Tell them you know Mommy was a turd, but you’re trying and you love them very much and are very sorry. Kiss often. Hug often. Try to sneak in a hand grab with your mate. Call a fellow Mommy to commiserate and relate with. E.g. my darling bestie just texted me, ‘Which would you rather have? An Over-Medicated, Numb Mama or a Real & Angry but Loving Mama’? (she always knows how to make me laugh at, rather than loathe, my imperfect self). Which is most important! Love, laugh and forgive yourself. You are allowed to be not-perfect. And have FUN. Our children seem to teach us a hell of a lot more about life, then we do for them. Play. Giggle. Screw the dishes, they can wait. Take-out dinner won’t poison your children. Messy hair and the lack of sneakers on gym day won’t get DHS called.
This is life. A beautiful, chaotic messy life. Love every minute. Every tantrum. Every struggle. You can’t Instagram that. This shit is for reals.