Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Motherhood is...

I just saw a post on Facebook that pissed me off, which is probably going to be the title of the book that I will inevitably write.  In it, the author said "Motherhood is:  eating standing up (if you get to eat at all)."  And, of course, hundreds of people clicked "like" superfast with their superfast ninja Facebook mommy powers and then commented with a whole bunch of other stuff like "eating while washing dishes...and standing up!" and "in the pantry so my kid doesn't see what I'm eating...and standing up!"  Good God.

Ladies, get off that cross because we could really use the wood to build a house for our schnauzer.  His name his Hinkleton.  He appreciates your non-martyrdom.

I understand that the daily reality of motherhood is not always glamorous.  I mean, your fucking nipples bleed for one thing--there is nothing glamorous about bleeding nipples.  The first few days and weeks of motherhood are a torture that the Geneva Convention should protect us all against.  BUT....there are ways to keep yourself from having to withdraw from even the most basic of human activity.  I have three kids and not only have I never skipped a shower on their account (NEVER, nor will I ever--that is what bouncy chairs and Dads are for), I have never skipped a meal, a fact that is blatantly obvious to anyone who has ever seen my legs.  And I have had the vast majority of those meals while sitting down and consuming something that I enjoy, i.e., not the reheated and forgotten chicken nuggets left by some picky, overindulged toddler.

Guys, it is all about time management and appropriate parenting.

Now, I don't want to be one of those preachy harpies who tells you how to run your life, because really, my life is a fucking mess and I should be seriously looking into one of those life coach things to keep me from making patented Morgan "It seemed like a great idea at the time!" decisions (actually, I'm on a roll of good decisions lately, so let's none of us call the no-hitter, and really, I dare you to show me someone whose life, in one way or another, is not a total wreck).  But here's the thing:  if you have time to update your Facebook status, you have time to eat sitting down.  I mean, maybe you typed it out on your iPhone while standing up, but as a frequent typist of status messages on a phone, I can tell you that it takes a little bit of time (CURSE YOU FAT FINGERS!), especially when you figure in bringing up the Facebook app and then scrolling through and--oh, she finally had her baby!--and then bringing up the status screen and what have you.  So you definitely could sit down to enjoy your pb&j in that time frame.  And even if that was not an option for whatever reason, you can't tell me that there is not some point during the day, even between the hours of 11 and 2, when you could not get away from your children and/or work to eat something in a sitting position.

The author of the status goes on to say in a subsequent comment that every time she sat down, her kids asked for something.  There is a pretty simple way to avoid that too, my little croquembouches.  YOU TELL THEM THAT YOU ARE EATING AND TO WAIT.  My kids know, even the little one, that if I am eating (or getting dressed or talking on the phone), they are to hold their damn horses and do something on their own.  No one has ever died or experienced even the most mild discomfort because of this.  How did they know this?  Was it encrypted in their DNA?  Nope.  They just live in a house where we all respect each other and our needs.  That and I am sure to remind them if I have to.  I promise--you can tell your kid "no."  They don't explode.  Sometimes they kinda like it because they learn stuff and they get to be real, function individuals.  "What the fucking fuck?" you say?  If you have your own life and address your own needs, your child doesn't grow up to be a serial killer.  I KNOW.  Funny how that works, huh?

I love being a mother, I really do.  My kids are rad.  But I also love being a wife, an employee, a lady, a snappy dresser, a reader, a human being.  I will never give up any of those things to be a mom because the second I do that is the second I become a much worse parent.  So I'm not going to give up my monthly haircuts, my J.Crew habit (sorry, Matt), my job, my lunch, my shower, my Nars Orgasm blush, the occasional Miller Lite.  This doesn't make me less of a mother.  It makes me a damn good one.  Conversely, if you don't want those things, it doesn't make you a bad mother.  If you want to skip lunch and a shower and whatever else, go for it.  Just don't pride yourself on your misery and expect the rest of us to jump on board with you.

Since I think motherhood gets a bad rap for this and other Facebook-related transgressions, I give you an amended "Motherhood is..." status.

Motherhood is...
...knowing that neon was coming in a long time before this spring (tween girl's clothes were doing neon two years ago, all in a scheme to placate moms who want their kids to look how they did as a kid).
...hearing dubstep before anyone else your age.
...getting to relive all of your favorite books through the eyes of someone else.
...getting to bow out of someone's horrible event because your "kid is sick."
...finally getting to play with curly hair when it is the thing you've wanted your entire life and realizing that maybe it's not your bag after all.
...signing up to bake cookies for your daughter's class so that you can make a double batch and have yummy leftovers for the rest of the week.
...getting to shop in Delia's again and reliving every second of being 14 (and what you did in those pants when you were 14....).
...thinking that MIB: 3 looks atrocious but getting truly excited to take your son to go see it.
...getting to finish off the amazing mac and cheese from Panera out of your daughter's kids meal.
...being secretly happy your son "forgot" to shower the night before because when you wake him up the next morning his hair still smells like sunscreen and the beach.

1 comment:

  1. OMG I love this post! I'm so annoyed by motherhood martyrdom. I agree that you are a better mom for taking care of yourself and teaching your children paitence! I'm new to this whole mom thing and definitely coming at it in an unconventional way, but this is what I have struggled through over the past few months and have finally concluded as well. It's just better for everyone, all around! Thanks!