Wednesday, April 20, 2016

To The Mom I Wanted To Be

mommy cusses parenting and humor blog

We thought we had it all figured out, didn’t we? We added only the very best of everything to our baby registry, pinned healthy bento box lunch ideas to carefully curated Pinterest boards and poured over baby books. We listened to the horror stories of seasoned parents while smugly saying to ourselves Well, when I have a baby... (insert totally naive thing you will or won’t do). And then we did.

The first time I felt you slipping away was the second night at home with our son. I was a frazzled mix of frantic and tired all at once because he wouldn’t sleep. He just cried. Surely I’d already screwed up the first steps to that successful bedtime routine I memorized from the parenting magazine. “His days and nights are switched,” someone said and I’ve realized since then that I have to say goodbye to you. 

I can’t choose what type of mother to be because we don’t get to choose what kind of child we get.

I assembled you methodically from things I read and saw, people I admired. You were going to be pretty amazing. You were supposed to be our definition of the “perfect mom.” You’d be fun and energetic, hands-on and tough. You’d serve healthy foods, limit screen time, you wouldn’t let bad days get to you. You wouldn’t wear yoga pants or have a mom ass, you’d shower and exercise, and, and, and, you started to kill me.

You were getting too big, too demanding. The lesson plans and Pinterest activities were crowding my brain. I was drowning in your expectations (and not gracefully, either). I’d go to bed feeling like the worst mother ever but you didn’t let me off there, you continued to torture me even in my dreams.

Every perceived failure, every time my son didn’t take to something or didn’t hit a milestone. Every time he absolutely refused to even lick one of those goddamn broccoli tots some stranger online convinced me would taste just like potatoes you were there tapping your foot at me. Tsk tsk tsk. Every time I blindly picked my outfit out of clothes strewn across the floor or let the TV babysit my child so a meal could get cooked or a shower taken or a candy bar eaten without sharing you were there, haunting me.

We can’t control the people in our lives but we can control ourselves and I was losing to you. I found new things to add as I browsed the Internet and scrolled through my news feed. I put so much weight on you it’s no wonder you finally started to crack.

And it’s okay. I’m okay. I am enough without you. You, reading this, you are enough.

There’s a quote I recently read from the book She by Kobi Yamada (or at least that’s what Google told me) that said, “She took the leap and built her wings on the way down,” and I think that perfectly sums up motherhood. So I’m jumping ship before we crash and burn. I’ll find myself through the mistakes and the challenges because I have to, there’s no escape. Not even the bathroom. 

I guess this is a good time to say I’m taking half of all our Pinterest boards with me though. Sorry.

And don’t worry about the kid, okay? Turns out he’s pretty great regardless of what I wear as long as I just show up every day. Doing the best I can is what’s best for him. He may live solely on a diet of chicken nuggets and mac ‘n’ cheese but at least he’s not starving. 

I know you meant well, we were just clueless.

The Mom I turned out to be

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