Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Just between you and me

Let's face it. In our society moms are not honest with each other. This has led to many a mother feeling that she is the only one in the world who is not crazy about dirty diapers and being spit up on and having her three-year-old wake her up three times in the same night needing to go potty. Why don't we call it like it is and say sometimes being a mother stinks. (I'm trying to keep the language here fairly clean.)

Your own mother will look you straight in the eye and tell you things like, "I was only in labor for a few hours, and then I don't know, I pushed a few times and you came out. It really wasn't that bad." What she will fail to tell you was that it was 1973, back in the good old days when women were knocked unconscious to have a baby, so of course it is not bad when you are UNCONSCIOUS and having a baby.

The other thing she will tell you is that she loved being a mother and that is was the most fulfilling thing she ever did and that you need to enjoy it because it just goes by so quickly! Well now that it's been almost 20 years since she had a child at home, it was a wonderful thing to raise children. It's easy to forget the nagging, whining, crying, suck-the-life-right-out-of-you behavior of three children at home all day every day in the summer.

God gives us the grace to forget is all I can say to that. When it comes to our moms, they've forgotten all the mind-numbing daily tasks involved in being a mother, and all they can remember are the sweet, angel things we did as children, not the staight from Hades behavior we sometimes exhibited. So I don't really blame our mothers for lying to us, because they really aren't. They are suffering from selective amnesia.

As for moms my age, I think some of them are out and out liars. When I was a relatively new mom, I had a friend from another town call me up to commiserate. Her son was challenging. He was the colicky type that didn't sleep well, fussed all the time and was downright difficult to deal with. She was having trouble adjusting and was fairly sure she would be the mother of an only child. My first child, on the other hand, was a little piece of heaven sent wrapped up in a blue blanket. He never cried, slept like a champ and adjusted well to any and all new situations. (Don't hate me! I have three kids, and I assure you my last one made up for it.)

Even though my son was the easiest baby ever born, I still had moments that I hated motherhood. I was not crazy about giving up my entire life just to be mom to this child. When you stay home with your child, everything you do is dictated by a little tyrant. They cry and scream to get their way and up until they are a certain age, you just have to accept that. It can be a hard adjustment.

Well, I was honest with my friend and made my usual snide remarks about the glories of motherhood. She told me that she liked calling me because I was honest and made her feel sane. (If you hadn't noticed, mythical reader, my ministry in life is to make other people feel a little less crazy. You're welcome!) Apparently her mommy friends in her town were not honest and were in the business of making other moms feel bad about themselves. One mom at her mommy group told her something along the lines of "I've loved every moment I've ever had with my children." Well, I laughed out loud and told my friend that woman was either a.) a bold-faced liar, b.) on so many "happy pills" that she didn't even know she had children, or c.) was crazy as a loon and her children would grow up warped. I don't care if you are a saint from heaven, there are days when you DO NOT LIKE BEING A MOTHER!!!!

That is not to say that you do not love your children. I would jump in front of a: dump truck, great white shark, terrorist machete, (fill in the blank with your favorite morbid death scene) to save my children. I love them with a crazy all-consuming love that makes me want to smash in the face of a snotty six-year-old little girl who has just hurt my six-year-old baby girl's feelings. Do not doubt for a moment, mythical reader, that I LOVE MY CHILDREN! However, there are days that I can not stand to be in the same room with them or even hear their whiney little voices in another room. This is the dichotomy that is motherhood.

I think sometimes mothers lie to each other because we are scared. We are afraid that if we don't love everything about being a mommy there is something wrong with us. And if, God forbid, another mom were to find out this horrible truth, she would certainly call DCS to have our children permanently removed from our homes. I had a mom tell me one time that she couldn't spank her son, because she was afraid she would lose her mind and beat him -- that's honest. It took me aback, because she is one of the sweetest, kindest women I know, but I completely understood. Kids can make you crazy, and it's easy to lose your cool. Good for her that she knows her limits, so she doesn't put herself in that situation. I think even more of her now than I used to, because I know she's not some Stepford mommy. It's nice to know she is normal like me. But it takes guts to admit that to another mom.

What got me on my soapbox about motherhood is a "conversation" I had with a friend on Facebook. She's pregnant with number three and it is not all butterflies and unicorns, and I think she feels a little guilty about it. Well, I was perfectly honest with her and let her know that I wasn't even the least bit happy about being pregnant with number three until about the sixth month. I mean truly, most women do not like being pregnant. It is not all "brown paper packages tied up with string." It is hemorrhoids and heartburn and insomnia and a few of my other not-so-favorite things.

When people would comment about my third pregnancy and I would give them my lackluster response, they would then ask if it was planned. To which I would say, "Yes, just not well thought out." I had two small children at home and a husband who was out of town working, and it was awful. I felt overwhelmed by the two children I had. What on earth was I going to do with a third? At six months pregnant I realized that I was going to have another baby whether I liked it or not (okay, so I was a little slow on the uptake). I decided the only choice I had was to get happy about it, so I did. And when she was born I thought she was all sweetness and light and one of the most beautiful babies I'd ever seen -- the other two being her siblings. She recenlty turned three and has developed the new habit of screaming at the top of her lungs to try to get what she wants, which makes me contemplate burying her in the backyard until she grows out of it. Just kidding! (It's called hyperbole, mythical reader, look it up.)

My point is that all moms have days when they don't like their children and they don't like being a mom. Quit lying about it! You are making other moms feel bad and that is not nice. This is me now stepping down from my soapbox. Thanks for listening!

*Disclaimer: If you have any thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby shortly after giving birth or adopting a baby, or you can not stop continually crying, CALL YOUR DOCTOR, because that is not normal and you should not be miserable and she will give you something to make it better!

1 comment:


    What irritates me is when you friends don't allow you to just blow off some steam. When you tell them you want to stick a rusty hanger inside your uterus, they should just laugh or hand you a glass of wine. They SHOULD NOT tell you that you will eventually love the life-sucking tumor you are growing in your belly. This is grounds for friendship divorce.