Thursday, June 25, 2009

it's okay

I don't want to be a Mommy Blogger. I don't want this to be a Mom Blog. I don't want to give family updates and post snapshots of my kids doing kid quotidian things. I don't want to center my posts on my beliefs about child-rearing or my enthusiasm for babywearing or my woes as a mother. I'm not knockin' it. I just feel like, for me, Motherhood is more of a job than a personality trait.

Yes, sometimes I do some of those things. But mostly, I go for weird close-ups and embarrassing Photoshop comments and hopefully humorous ranting. And, when in doubt, I aim for a review of a random movie or some imaginary boyfriend drama. But today, I want to talk about being a mom, because i'm having a hard week at my day job, which is Motherhood.

Psychologically, children go through periods of equilibrium and disequilibrium, and parents are basically in the sidecar, screaming, hoping we don't get scraped off against the guard rail. It's not all nature, and it's not all nurture, and sometimes we are just innocent bystanders to the human drama as played out in our own personal cavemen as they evolve into something more reasonable. Before they become teenagers and are utterly unreasonable again.

Let me reassure you and myself. Let's assuage our fears together.

* It's okay if you have days where you don't like your children very much.

They're little people, and they are sometimes hard to like. Toddlers are loud, obnoxious, greedy tiny dictators with neither manners nor emotional control. Babies are tools of their own digestive systems, smiling or screaming at the whims of tooth, stomach, and colon. You always love 'em, you always keep 'em safe, but you shouldn't feel guilty for telling your husband that the baby was a total a$hole today. Because he was.

* It's okay not to wash your hands or your child's hands if the air dryer in the restaurant bathroom is so loud that it makes her cry.

Just keep hand sanitizer in your bag at that restaurant. Seriously, that dryer hits Mach 2 with a sonic boom. Thanks a lot, environmentalists! You make my kid cry!

* It's okay to swab your toddler off with a wet wipe and call it a "bird bath" when you're in a hurry or the roofers are staring in the bathroom window.

I mean, Louis XIV only bathed *twice* in his life. The kid'll live.

* It's okay if you run around the house stabbing and trashing your kid's balloons after she goes to sleep.

She honestly does not need deflated 5 Trader Joe's balloons dusting the floor. And they're choking hazards. And make you imagine robbers at 2am when you need a swig of OJ.

* It's okay if you're using the internet as an escape.

It's really the only escape a mother of small children can get. The kids are contained, supervised, fed, and vaguely entertained. You can't read a book, finish a sentence, or do anything requiring needles, scissors, fire, closed doors while caring for little ones. You have to be in the room with them, anyway, and are possibly trapped under a Boppy and a sleeping baby. It may be your only way to connect, whether with yourself through a blog or with others through forums or with your urge to shop. Children are only small for a short time, and sometimes you just have to inch towards daylight, getting by any way you can.

* It's okay to have nothing left at the end of the day.

Some days, my husband comes home and goes straight to bed. No supper, no conversation, just a nap, snack, and sleep. And that's totally cool, because he works his a$$ off. Sometimes, I feel the same way. And that's totally cool, because I work my a$$ off, too.


Complaining on the internet from my air-conditioned home in the suburbs is a grand luxury. People have done much more with much less. But I think it's important to give myself permission to not feel guilty when I have a bad day. Mothering is hard. It's imperfect. It's a work in progress. And it's one of the only jobs where you get your boss's poop all over your hands on a daily basis. And you're not allowed to quit.

And as much as I may not want to categorize myself as a Mommy Blogger, I cannot escape the fact that I am a blogger who happens to be a Mommy who is having a rough day at work, and telling all 93 of you about it makes me feel a helluva lot better.

If you're a mom, please remember to be gentle with yourself.

It's okay. We're in this together.


charissimo said...

You are my hero.

laterg8r said...

here's hoping your day gets better :) i totally agree with you!

EttyOop said...

well said... may tomorrow be a day of wonder rather than a day of "oh dear lord let this end"...

and now i need to go remove the baby from the drawer of the wall unit *sigh*

Anonymous said...

That was a great post. Don't you just hate that term Mommy Blog. It drives me nuts. The only time I want someone to refer to me as Mommy is my kids.
Sometimes my kid is an @sshole.

Doula Mommy said...

With you on this one! Thanks for the reminder.

M family said...

And thanks for definitions - made me nod along ...

Caroline D. said...

great post, d. Whatever your blog is called, I find it hilarious and interesting and helpful. It's one of the best on this world wide web, in my humble opinion. :)