Sunday is Mother’s Day. It’s the one day out of the year that us Moms get freed from slavery. The oppressive [child] labor we’ve endured is recognized and we’re finally given a pat on the back for our tireless efforts. The second I hear scurrying feet and louder than necessary voices at the crack of dawn Sunday morning, you can be sure I won’t waste any time cashing in on my “get out of the laundry room for free card.”
I’ll try to keep my devilish smirk to a minimum as I roll over and ignore the whining that will undoubtedly already be taking place in the kitchen. I’ll be officially off duty, and not just until the first glass of milk spills on the floor. I’ll be officially off duty ALL DAY LONG.
Anyone who says being a Mom is easy must either be certifiably insane or completely full of shit. In my opinion, a Mom’s job can suck the life right out of you. It’s the hardest role I’ve ever played and it doesn’t look like my understudy is showing up anytime soon. Or ever.
Before having children of my own, I’d hear the generic woes from friends who had already become indentured servants. I just assumed their tales came with a degree of embellishment solely for the betterment of the story. Little did I know that there is absolutely no poetic license needed when trying to describe what happens in a car on the way to anywhere with two youngsters in the backseat.
Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? When will we be there? Are we there yet? I’m hungry. How much longer? Did our friends get there yet? But why? Why? When will we be there? How much longer? Are we there yet? I have to go to the bathroom.
OMG. Is this really happening? I can’t cope. Can someone please remind me why I gave up Wall Street for Sesame Street? It pretty much takes every ounce of restraint not to pull the car over and let myself out. If only I could handle the situation the way I really want to:
Guys… THAT’S ENOUGH! I’m serious… My brain hurts from the talking.
You are killllllllingggg me with all these questions.
I have an idea. Let’s play Simon Says. I’ll be the Simon.
Simon says, SHUT THE FUCK UP!
Don’t misunderstand. It’s not that I don’t love my kids. To say I love them would be the understatement of the year. I live for them. I would die for them. I love them every second of every minute of every single day. I will love them that way for the rest of my natural born life. I pray incessantly for their good health and well being. I only want the best for them. It’s just, well sometimes… I just don’t like them very much. They can be so annoying and I don’t understand what they think they’re gaining by being so loud. Even when I’m alone and there is enough silence to hear a pin drop, I have ringing in my ears. I hear so many weird noises that I’ve diagnosed myself with kid-induced Tinnitus!
They’ve already mastered the art of manipulation; They don’t smell nearly as baby fresh as they used to; And they just don’t listen!
Guys, stop doing that. Guys, stop doing that. Guys, I said stop doing that.
HEY…You two… Knock it off. Someone’s gonna get hurt. I don’t care who started it. Why do I have to say the same thing ten times? Just cut it out and
STOP. DOING. THAT!
Ok, so my parenting skills need work. This is nothing I don’t already know. I’m convinced that the kids’ poor behavior is somehow my fault. I must be doing it all wrong!
Sometimes, their actions put me so far over the edge that I’m at a loss for words. I think they’ve figured out that the quieter I am, the more irate I must be. I need to find a way to assuage the frustrations that build up. Since I can’t beat the living crap out of them, and even I know I can’t start drinking until at least lunchtime, I have to come up with an alternate resolution.
Plan B is to hide in my closet and cry. I have to cry it out of my system so that there’s enough room in my gut to store tomorrow’s inevitable angst. Intellectually, I know they love me and need me and would be lost without me, but they sure do have a lame way of showing it.
And when you think things can’t get worse, it’s always fun when a random stranger decides to chime in. I’m probably the least approachable person I know, (especially when I’m aggravated) so it amazes me when somebody I haven’t even met thinks I want their advice.
“You know Dear, the days are long but the years fly by quickly. I see you have your hands full but try to enjoy it more. Before you know it you’ll turn around and…..blah blah blah blah blah”
Honestly, I mentally checked out of the conversation the second she called me Dear. But what I should have said was, “Gee, Lady… I actually wasn’t feeling as guilty today as I normally do, but thanks to our chat, my cup of guilt hath runneth over and I’m back to feeling like the shittiest Mom in the world. Thanks a million. It’s been a pleasure. Go fuck yourself!”
Then, when you least expect it, and ironically need it the most, patterns shift and we’re reminded why us Moms wake up every morning and take the beating all over again.
You get an unsolicited hug for no reason.
You see the sparkle in his eyes light up the moment your gaze meets his as he gets off the bus from school.
You hear a truly authentic “Thanks Mom, you’re the best” for doing a simple task like packing a killer lunch and remembering to include the ice pack so that the drink stays cold.
You feel his sense of security at bedtime and you know it’s because you’re the one tucking him in.
It’s because of moments like these that make it all worthwhile. The moments that though some may consider to be subtle and small, I consider to be victorious nonetheless.
When I’ve completely forgotten about Kindergarten Round Up, and I realize that in order to make it there on time it means I have to skip my Monday Morning Mantra class, I try not to let my son see my initial disappointment. Except midway through the school tour, my little five year old catches me holding back tears and innocently asks, “Mommy, why are you crying? Is it because you couldn’t go to yoga this morning?” I quickly wipe my eyes and reply, “No baby, that’s not why.”
The Know-It-All Stranger Lady was right. Our children are growing up wickedly fast and being a tortured Mom is just part of the process. I turned to my kid and pulled him closely into my arms. I said, “I can’t believe you’re going to Kindergarten. I was crying because you were just in my belly a minute ago.” I put my hands on his cheeks, kissed his delicious lips and whispered, “I hope you know it’s not about the yoga. I would never miss this. There’s no other place I’d rather be.”
I tried to savor every last bit of this special moment because I knew it was just a matter of time before I’d be screaming at him again!
So yes, Sunday is Mother’s Day. I will welcome the opportunity to punch out and sleep in and let my lunatics take over the insane asylum. I will also make it my business to salute the other Moms, my fellow compadres whom I lean on when I’m having a low Mommy moment. I will want them to know how much I appreciate their support and I will be sure to wish them a stress-free day full of peace and quiet. And then I will have the greatest privilege of all. I will honor my own Mother for her never-ending love and commitment. Still, after all these years, I know she is the one person I can count on to always have my back. She is a champion of my accomplishments, a voice of reason when I’m feeling helpless and the epitome of a loyal friend, tried and true.
AND JUST TO LET YOU KNOW… Occasionally, when I regress and have my own child-like moments of poor and inappropriate behavior, I know whether she wants to or not, my Mother will act as a human punching bag and take the beating. I know she will, because she’s a Mom, and that’s just what we Moms do. It’s a job that lasts a lifetime.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY