Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Two posts in one day. I can't help it. The kids are taking marathon naps and the word mommy is making me sick

I can't keep my mouth shut anymore. I have to say it: I am sick of the idea of motherhood.

It started when I read the post about the mom who admitted, for all the world to see, that she "thinks" she loves her son more than her daughter. People freaked. Mostly over her comment that "There are moments – in my least sane and darkest thoughts – when I think it wouldn’t be so bad if I lost my daughter, as long as I never had to lose my son."

People assumed she meant she wished her daughter would die. It certainly can be interpreted that way, though the mother denies it.

What bothers me about the piece isn't that the woman thinks she prefers her son over her daughter (it happens), or even that she wishes her daughter would disappear; it's the idea that yet another mother has yet another confession to make.

How many effin confessions are there left to make about being a mom? And why do we assume that our deepest, darkest thoughts and observations about mommyhood are so earth-shattering?

My favorite confession is the "I'm not perfect" confession, most recently made by Scary Mommy on CNN. I like Scary Mommy's writing and her blog. A lot. But is the idea that mothers (or fathers, for that matter) are imperfect really revolutionary? Haven't we established that? And if we haven't, could we please mark this date down as the day it was officially proclaimed so that we can all move on?

Maybe I'm on a different planet than everyone else, but I never expected perfection from my parenting. I hope to raise my children without severely damaging them emotionally, like my parents did to me. I hope my children know they are loved and that their home is a safe, nurturing place.

Most of all, I hope that the day they realize that I'm not perfect--a coming-of-age conclusion every child reaches--they understand that I did the best job I humanly could and that I loved them to the best of my ability, given the limitations of my own upbringing, how much sleep I had and how much wine was in the house.

Really, the whole idea that a mother (or again, father) should hold themselves to a standard of perfection is absolutely ludicrous. Look at what animals children can be. They keep you awake all night. They cry, shout and fling themselves on the floor over things like deflated balloons and whether or not they can put on their own shoes. They defy you. They cling to you. They want to watch you poop. They don't appreciate you. They won't let you eat dinner at a restaurant in peace. They're irrational. Sometimes their temperament reminds you of all the things you hate about your spouse.

How can anyone possibly maintain perfection in light of all that? And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

The answer is you can't. You just fucking can't. Why it's newsworthy that anyone is still trying is beyond me.

If you want a good laugh about mommy confessions, check out this one by Kaui Hart Hemmings.

15 comments:

Brandy@YDK said...

Thank you. Thank you for putting it into perspective. Because every hour of every day, I feel so completely imperfect. But you are right, I'm doing the best I can.

VandyJ said...

I long ago gave up perfect--now if both boys are alive and sleeping at the end of the day--I won. I know I'll yell, snap at them, threaten to sell them to the gypsies, but then they say I love you and well, it makes it a bit more bearable.
But perfection--nope, not gonna happen.

Stacie's Madness said...

amen.

Pricilla said...

It seems like the publicist has missed sooooooooooo much by not having her own children after raising her brothers starting at age 6 because her mother was too drunk to do it.

Soooooooo much.
She will stick with goats, thank you

tootertotz said...

Anyone who can pretend they are surprised by being imperfect is the same type of person (in my opinion) who will complain that she just can't seem to gain weight...I would like to offer them all a hearty, "Ahhh, go fuck yourself!"

Sparkling said...

i could not agree with you more!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mrsbear said...

I could do without that confessions, but please, please tell me more about how kids are like animals. It is a comfort to know I'm not alone.

Forget perfection, I'm happy with shreds of sanity.

Dysfunctional Mom said...

I don't think I started out expecting perfection from myself. But then I stumbled upon the internet, and was like OMG everyone else is perfect, and I suck.
Now the confessions are coming out and I'm realizing I'm just normal and all those perfect moms were just faking the whole time!

Mrs. Tuna said...

I always knew mom liked you better than me.

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

Oh dear holy hell.... I know of NO teenager who has said, "Yes my mom screws up but she's doing the best she can." They only say, "My mom is screwing up, that's why I'm drinking beer and having sex."

They don't admit that their own parents weren't so bad until they are parents themselves and realize, "Oh shit, I'm going to be put under the microscope by my OWN offspring. Heh. Maybe mom wasn't such a moron after all..."

My mom always wished (cursed?) me to have children exactly like myself. What does that tell ya?

marybt said...

Amen. Thank you.

And while we're at it, can we slap the mothers who haven't yet confessed to not being perfect and instead write blog posts about how they "do it all"?

Seriously. When someone asks you how you do it all, they're just being NICE. They don't really give a shit. And they don't really think you're any busier than anyone else.

Keely said...

I've never felt much pressure to be perfect, not even self-imposed, so the "revelations" going on are a bit baffling for me, too. But it does make me seem hip, all of a sudden, instead of socially inappropriate.

The Momma/Nanny said...

Love this. Your blog is always one of my favorites because of posts like this.

Catootes said...

Bowing to you at this very minute.

There is no such thing as a perfect parent and if anyone really thinks they have reached that pedestal, they are self delusional.

We do our best, with what we've got. We love our kids, we raise them as best we can and hope that we don't screw up the same tings our parents did.

Or maybe that's just me.

The Mother said...

Parenting is a seat of your pants operation. Anyone who tells you different is either: a) lying, or b) totally delusional.

We as a nation just LOVE to judge others--and parents are way up there on the judge-o-meter. It's unhealthy and causes maternal hypertension.

Were there whole years when I liked one of my kids better than another? Sure. Do I tell them that? Hell, no. Do I feel guilty? Not really. Does it change with time? Absolutely.

We are only human. We can only do what we can do.

In defense of adoration—even in the deli line

The toddler was all over his mother. Cam and I were in line at the deli at Mulletville Lite's town grocery store, watching the lov...