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.
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