After watching a piece this morning on The Today Show, I'm feeling a little better about myself. The segment focused on a mom who wrote a book called "Confessions of a Scary Mommy." An honest look at motherhood, as they call it. (Damn, this should have been my book deal!) After a year of blogging about the ups & downs of being a mother in this day & age, I find it unfortunate that we still need to justify how we choose to parent our children. How we define "mother" and ours & ours alone.
In the video montage, mother after mother admit to feeling overwhelmed, having the life sucked out of them and just wanting to read Us magazine instead of cooking dinner. You know what? All OK!!! Is it so bad that a mother admits that she looks forward to when the kids go to bed so she can uncork her Chardonnay and relax? Or another who confessed that she feels no guilt when she vacations, sans kids, twice a year with her husband? I say, good for you ladies! Becoming a mother does not mean forgetting everything you are. Sure there are things you need to prioritize, but we can't have any sense of self?
I have been a mother for almost 9 years. A rookie, you could say. I have learned an incredible amount about myself as a person during this crazy & amazing time. Not all good, but not all bad either. I remember when my oldest was born. I looked at my husband and said "we are somebody's parents?" OMG! I guess I figured I would be transformed into this domestic goddess that wore an apron, whistled while I worked & had all the answers. 9 years later, I don't own an apron or an ironing board (much to the chagrin of my own mother) and remain as confused as ever. What I tell myself everyday is that it is OK! It is OK that I don't know the answers. Who does? These so-called "experts" try to tell us that balance is the key. I tend to lean more toward alcohol or the magic 8 ball.
The truth is that no one is a mother like you. You are you. Wonderful, crazy, neurotic, bitchy, unstable, loving & exhausted you! And anyone who tells you that is wrong needs to be kicked in the shins. Honestly being a mommy is the scariest thing ever. You are responsible for a life & raising this child in a day where nothing a taboo and cookies & milk cannot solve everything. No book can tell you what to do. They can only justify your feelings & validate that you are only one person who is doing their best. What gets me is that we are constantly having to explain why we are who we are. Who are we trying to impress?
There are many times when I sit & think about "what would so-and-so think" and how I am perceived by others. I know that it shouldn't matter, but deep inside, it does. To many of us, we are out to prove something to someone when we really should just.. be. It is a struggle for all of us mommies out there. But at the end of the day I can sleep knowing that I am doing the best I can do, and that is has to be enough.
There isn't an attainable mold we need to fit into. Trying to do so results in this monumental guilt complex that we all have. That is no way to live. I want to be happy, don't you? I would love to be this stunningly beautiful, perfectly fit, cupcake baking, skinny-jeans wearing mom who floats through PTO meetings & baseball practices with ease. In the real world, I wear sweatpants more often than I care to admit, I have roots, my house is not spotless and I sometimes do enjoy reading the occasional Us magazine while my kids eat chicken nuggets from a bag. I think there are more of us out there than you think, ladies. Embrace you..and forget all the other bullshit out there. Is that so scary?