And so begins in earnest the slinging of motherhood perfection. Not that it wasn't earnest before now, but I'm telling you - nothing brings about the perfect idealized mother issue quite like mother's day. One of today's MSNBC headlines reads: The Best and Worst Moms on Television, and you know there's sure to be more where those came from. Lots more.
But so far this one, currently all over facebook, is my hands down favourite:
"To all the unselfish moms out there who traded sleep for dark circles, salon haircuts for a ponytail, long showers for quick ones, late nights for early mornings, and designer bags for diaper bags, and wouldn't change a thing. Let's see how many moms post this who don't care what they gave up and instead LOVE what they got in return. Post this if you LOVE being a MOM ♥"
And..... the inevitable sound off... (you knew it was coming....)
I love the chatter of my babies, their observations about the world, their sweet kisses and sticky hands. I love watching them grow and change. I love when they call me "mama" and slip their hands into mine. I sometimes even love it when they tell me off. There is so, so, so very much to love about being my children's mama. They are amazing small creatures. And I would sell my soul (watch out, I'd sell yours too) to make this world a safe, loving and happy place for them.
Oh - but I do care what I give up.
I miss my long showers. I miss being able to go to the bathroom alone. I miss being able to do anything alone. Despite loving breastfeeding, I'd like my breasts back now, please. I haven't slept in around two years, slept well in four. I'd like some of that back too. I've lost a chunk of social life. And worklife. And brain life. I'd like some of that back too. I never stopped getting salon haircuts, and I'm not going to. Oh. Hell. No. Not for anyone. Not even my kids. (Yes - that's right. I said I'd sell my soul but not my hair). There are lots of days in the week that I'd rather stab my own eyes out with a fork than listen to kids music or a constant stream of chatter or crying. There are days when I just want to squirrel away and be inside my head. And sometimes the frustration of spilled milk and the constant stream of "whys" and the insurmountable mess and the tantrums is almost too much to bear. Sometimes I'd sell them to the highest bidder just to get a chance to be alone, or spend an hour talking (really talking, not talking in between wiping noses and diaper changes) to a friend.
Does that make me selfish? Probably. Could I be in the running competing with TV's worst moms? Maybe. But I highly doubt I'm really so out of the ordinary.
This Sunday, I'm going to fill a big old glass of wine. Enough for all of us, maybe. And I'm going to toast all the mamas out there like me. The really, especially (openly) imperfect ones. The ones that yell sometimes and swear sometimes and sometimes pine for the parts of themselves they feel they might've lost along the way. The ones who'll back me up when I say that wanting to change some things doesn't mean I love my babies any less fiercely than any other parent.
I love being a mom. With 999/1000th of all of my heart. But that doesn't mean I'm willing to sell my own needs out in order to do the job unselfishly. So - happy mother's day folks. Here's to us. (And to continuing to try to turn the ridiculous expectations of mothers right on their ass.)