Take this job and shove it. I’m failing miserably in my role as a mother. Why? It’s not because I don’t have great kids. I do. They’re both healthy and beautiful and SHOULD be a parent’s dream.
So, why the whine?
It’s because I can’t take any credit for it. And because of this, I feel like a failure. And unfortunately, I’ve never considered failure an option.
Here’s my problem: I can’t find a way to NOT live vicariously through my children. Their grades are my grades. Their performances are my performances. Their pimples, their laughs, their farts, their failures, their successes, their joys AND their sorrows … they ALL affect me in a way I had never anticipated.
I guess I thought that in order to be a good mother—an involved mother—I had to give up my own ambitions and concentrate primarily on the health and wellbeing of my children. And how can anyone blame me? I got pregnant, right? They weren’t accidents. They were planned. I know we were lucky because the traditional methods worked and I got to have the moment of discovery and conveyance to their daddy. Twice. And during my pregnancies, I gave my body—my entire life—over to the growing fetuses within me. I ate well. I ate A LOT. I gave up wine. I did normal exercise until I fell and couldn’t get up. I delivered both children naturally. I even pulled out the second one myself. My doctor asked me, “Do you want to reach down and do this yourself?” Of course, I said “yes!” And every minute since bringing these children into my home, I dedicated myself to their existence.
Giving birth to them, as it turns out, was easy. No one told me how difficult raising them would be. No one talked about all the curve balls life has to offer. They didn’t tell me about bullies or bad grades—the unremarkable, even disappointing performances. They didn’t tell me about diseases or death. They didn’t tell me about the lies or the myriad of bullshit modern day existence would roll down my alley … all the while aiming for my pins of perfection.
And even if they did, hmmmm, did I listen? Wait, did I miss that class?
I want you all to listen and to know, I’m not just talking about me, and MY kids. I have friends who have faced and are facing far worse shit brought on during the course of parenthood than I’m facing. [[This isn’t just a completely self-serving rant.]] Some of the things I’ve learned in recent years—even in recent days—for example, have sent my mind reeling.
Know this: You have a child and you step into a world you simply cannot predict.
I NEVER thought I’d miss the days of diapers and car seats. NEVER. But if any young parents are out there reading this lapse into helpless, self-pitying puke of parenthood—ENJOY YOUR BABIES. When all they can do is fall down and skin their knees, when they are still under your control and you are still paying 100% attention and thinking of yourself as THEIR mom rather than YOURself, mark my words: life is a blessing. You are lucky to have them and you won’t regret it.
As for the rest of us? Get a grip. They’re not perfect and neither are we.
BTW: I realize I’m talking to myself.