Does anyone else remember the mom they were planning to be when they were pregnant and laugh a loud, hollow laugh? The media perception of the perfect mom is bullshit: we're not supposed to drink or swear or lose our tempers. Come on people, we're not magical. (If you like four-letter words as much as I do, check out Swear Thee Well). The reality is that
motherhood is its own special kind of crazyshaped by the people we were before we started popping out kids. Here are five ways that the dream of motherhood is completely different from the reality...
My Space Will Remain My Own
I was only planning on having one toy box and then filling it with beautiful wooden toys. While I worked at my desk, junior would stack his wooden blocks neatly at my feet without making too much noise. Instead I’m typing from my crumb covered sofa and staring out at an ever-growing sea of plastic crap. I swear these plastic toys are procreating and duplicating before my eyes. And that space I wanted to preserve just for me? It's been puked on many, many times. Children take over your whole house with their myriad of belongings and pile after pile of stuff. I figure I’ll just embrace the madness now and redecorate when they go to college.
Before I had kids I decided that good moms didn’t feed their children junk food. My kids were going to eat healthy and nutritious snacks, and I was going to home cook their organic dinners from scratch every night. They would love eating vegetables and laugh in the face of kids who were allowed to eat McDonalds: after all, my food tasted so much better than burgers and fries, right? Right. Now? If I have a deadline to meet without childcare and I think that a cookie or a cracker will keep them quiet for just five damn minutes then they can have the whole box. (I'm still not budging on McDonald's). For more on that, check out I've Got Mad Kitchen Skillz and My Kids Want Ramen.
I’ll Nap When They Nap
Whoever first said that you should nap when your baby naps is cruel. And a liar. What actually happens is that when the baby naps you will have your first shower in days and change into clothes that don't feature crusted snot as an accessory. You’ll pick up toys, start the laundry, and try to eat that cold piece of toast you were planning on eating for breakfast. Five hours ago. Then, when you finally decide you should try to have a nap your baby will wake up and the cycle will start all over again.
We'll Make Our Own Gifts
I once fiendishly stalked Pinterest looking for exciting craft activities for kids. I imagined we would make all our own Christmas gifts and impress the family with their incredible toddler skills and my mom prowess. Reality didn’t shape out quite like that, because Pinterest is damn liar. If you've been addicted to failing at Pinterest, you might need addiction recovery inspiration to get you through, because the truth is, crafting with small kids sucks. Glitter is the devil and little people lose interest in the whole activity after five minutes anyway. It's a stressful mess. They spend longer in front of the TV while I clean up than they do trying to make anything in the first place.
I’ll Get Right Back in Shape
I've run four half-marathons. I have a gym membership that I actually use. But the abuse my body took through two pregnancies, a c-section, and breastfeeding can never be reversed. My body is simply shaped differently now. And the amount of wine I consume keeps an eternal layer of insulation covering everything. Kudos to the women who do get back in shape. They deserve to flaunt all they want, because I'm sure it wasn't easy. But if that's not you and you want to chat and knock back a bottle or two of wine, I'm your huckleberry.
Reality came in and took a big crap on the dream of motherhood. And yet, I wouldn't change a thing. Parenting is a sticky, poop covered reality, but it's also a hell of a lot of fun.
For more on getting smacked in the face with reality...