I use to write a lot of list posts--- you know, the kind that attracts the "browser." Or, the kind of reader that wants to skim without actually engaging in the text. That is what all the "tips" on how to write a successful blog say anyway--- "keep it short and sweet" and "get to the point." But you know what? I followed those rules when I was writing for you. Now I am writing more for me. That is not to say that I do not want you to read my blog, because well, I most certainly do. But I'd prefer it to be because you want to get to know me more and connect with me….and connection takes more than numbered lists.
Anyway, today I wanted to get it all out on the table. Lay it all out there like I don't give-a-rip (even though I totally do). Because envy and comparison runs thick at the playground as we judge the mother on the opposite bench from us.
Today, at the playground, I saw a mother handing her three children apples for a snack. They were undoubtedly organic and bought from the local Farmer's Market-- "damn, she's good," I thought as I handed my children prepackaged, chemically charged, absolutely-the-best-thing-you-ever-put-in-your-mouth Oreos.
Then came the guilt. The whole I-am-not-good-enough because I feed my kid's too much crap thing.
But that is the truth. The bare-boned, I don't give-a-rip truth.
And here are some more of my mom confession truths:
CONFESSION ONE: I've tried bedtime charts to get my children to stop sleeping in my bed. Hell, I have even bribed them with new apps (yes, my children depend on me to sleep and depend on screens for entertainment---double threat bad mom-ness right there). Sure, I am pro co-sleeping so you would think that I just embrace getting kicked in the head in the middle of the night…but the truth is, co-sleeping is what I have succumbed to because it is the only way to catch enough zzz's to make it through the day with four children. Whatever works, folks. Whatever works.
CONFESSION TWO: I have a "land of lost socks" bin. It probably holds every single sock in our entire house because I hate finding the matches to socks. SO I throw them all in there (knowing that it's match is probably in there too) and pretend that they are "lost." If I were rich I would buy new socks for everyday of the rest of our lives.
CONFESSION THREE: The microwave is our main cooking source.
CONFESSION FOUR: Macaroni and cheese (the really bad powdered cheese kind) is served at least once a week for dinner at my home.
CONFESSION FIVE: Laundry and dishes are my nemesis's.
CONFESSION SIX: Fruit and vegetables are often gagged at. Legit gagging.
CONFESSION SEVEN: We have lived in our home now for 3 years now and my kitchen still has a wall with partially peeled off wallpaper.
CONFESSION EIGHT: My fridge is from the 50s. Not sure why that is important right now…but I really wanted to add that.
CONFESSION NINE: I HATE when my kids have homework. I hated doing homework when I was in school and I hate it even more now. My daughter's second grade math homework is already over my head. My son's sixth grade homework is impossible.
CONFESSION TEN: I hardly ever read bedtime stories to my kids. Just kicking myself while I am down here (the guilt is overpowering).
CONFESSION ELEVEN: Sometimes my kids go to bed without their teeth brushed.
CONFESSION TWELVE: I think Legos suck. I mean I fucking loathe legos, man. They are little weapons of foot destruction. Does anyone ever actually play with them or are my kids just using them against me?
CONFESSION THIRTEEN: I curse....all the fucking time.
CONFESSION FOURTEEN: I always wished more than anything that I could fast forward past age two. Age two sucks. PERIOD.
CONFESSION FIFTEEN: I liked my kids better when they couldn't talk. Or, should I say, when they couldn't talk back.
Ahhh, that felt pretty good. These confessions are pretty much the universal struggles of motherhood though, am I right? It's this incredible journey where you want to scream and vomit and skip and twirl and celebrate and mourn and feel all the feels. It isn't based on perfection. It is real. And raw. It is messy and full of moments when you want to rip your hair out and run for the f*cking hills. Every mother has her vices and weaknesses. Mine may be my sailor mouth and distaste for laundry while yours may be something else.
I'd like to think that the mom at the playground feeding her kid organic apples has her vices too. Maybe she too has a pile of dirty clothes at the bottom of her stairs that everyone seems to trip over. Maybe she too curses like a drunken sailor. Maybe she too is counting the days when they are all in school full time and she can breathe again. Or put on makeup.
And you know what? I bet that same kids at the playgrounds you saw eating organic apples is having sodium-packed hotdogs for dinner straight out of the microwave. Yupp. There I said it.
At the end of the day, we are all going through the thick of it. The truth is that even with all the confessions, it only takes one moment, one smile, one accomplishment, one "I love you," one gut-wrenching giggle from our child to make us stop and realize that it is all going to be okay --that it is all worth it.
Our kids just have a way of bringing us back. They can be little shits for 23 hours and 59 minutes in a day and then curl up beside us and say, "you make my heart happy Momma," or even just, "thank you" and all is well with the world. That one minute makes motherhood worth it.
So now, I do have one more confession for you all. It's the one that brings it all into perspective for me. Driving it home here, ya heard?
MY FINAL CONFESSION:
I am now well aware that the days are long but the years are short. This is not lost on me. My oldest son is now twelve, he's almost my height, he no longer fits on my hip, or lets me kiss on him in public. I dont remember the very last time I held him on my hip, sadly. That memory has faded and I likely wasn't even aware it would be the last time when it happened. I wish I did. Oh how I wish I had cherished that moment. My sweet boy. I should have marked it down in his history like a first step or a first word, though I suppose it's a little bit sad to measure all the "lasts." Anyway, if your babies still fit on your hips, even if you carry all the same confessions as I do, I urge you feel their presence and warmth. Allow their bodies to press against yours. Feel their weight. Carry it for them. Try to take note of all the firsts along the way, but don't forget to notice the lasts as well. The lasts are underestimated.
turns out it was still pretty much a "list" post.