I've been thinking about Mothers Day lately. So has much of the blogosphere. I love that so much of what I've seen is about the dirty, smelly truth of it all, how ugly and hurtful, wonderful and terrible it can be.
The cooing baby lying fetchingly in its cradle too easily supplants the trials and embarrasement of labor, I think. What you see in the media and in most books is the rosy, downy-headed ideal of it all: the soundly sleeping baby; the cozy mornings in the nursery as the rising sun softly paints the walls; the first laugh, steps, words. As a result, it seems like women are afraid to talk about the rage and isolation that can come with having children. Like they're bad mothers if they even so much as think that maybe this whole motherhood thing isn't as great as everyone said it would be. Even worse, I think some start to think there's something wrong with them for not being 24/7 head-over-heels in love with their children. That's starting to change--and about time--but not fast enough for my taste.
Every now and then, you see what's been hastily swept under the rug. Brooke Shields blew the barn doors open when she publically revealed her battle with postpartum depression. Liv Tyler lambasted other celebrity moms for rushing to lose their pregnancy weight too fast. For the most part, though, celebrity mothers have nothing to say about motherhood but how wonderful it is, how fullfilling, how they can't imagine anything as entirely glorious. Feh. Give me a nanny, driver, cook, housekeeper, and personal trainer and I'd have nothing but sunshine coming out my ass, too.
Most of us, however, muddle through as best we can with no one to aid us but family if we're lucky, nearby friends if we're not. There isn't enough public discussion about the raw insides of motherhood. I hope that will change soon. Until then, I'm here to rant about it in excruciating detail.
Happy Mothers Day, you.
Five bad motherhood things about me:
- I spend entirely too much time online. Part of that is that we live far enough outside of town that working around the nap schedules of two kids pretty much prevents me from running errands or doing toddler-time activities without sacrificing infant sleep. So I
waste a shitload of timesocialize online. Oh, and blog. I do that, too.
- I am a terribly impatient person and get immensely frustrated when she dawdles or refuses to cooporate. When we need to leave yesterday to get to an appointment and she refuses to get dressed, I get icy and stiff.
- I have discovered that I don't like toddlers nearly as much as I like babies. Not to say I don't get a kick out of her on a pretty regular basis, but this independence thing is killing me.
- I let her watch more tv than I would like because I'm spending too much time online (see #1 above).
- No idea how to entertain a toddler, especially on shitty, cold, rainy days. Which we've had for the better part of a week. Which will continue into next week. Which sucks. Immensely. I leave her to entertain herself a lot more than I think I should because I don't know what to do with her.
Five good motherhood things about me:
- Perp eats anything we put in front of her. I put that down to feeding her whatever we're eating and refusing to make food an issue. We'll fight about so much stupid shit in our lifetimes, why make food a battle?
- She's sunny, independent, and sociable, mostly due to her inborn nature but fostered by my willingness to hand her over, as a baby, to nearly anyone who asked. Or so I tell myself. She never had stranger or separation anxiety.
- Both my children were breastfed since the day they were born. Perp continues to nurse several times a day at over 2 years of age.
- I am a Good Enough Mom.
- I honestly can't think of a fifth item. How fucked up is that?