Today I hated them. I know that hate is a strong word. If I accidentally use that word to describe anything other than murder or mosquitos buzzing in my ear, Little E will remind me, "Mama, hate is a strong word." Yes, I know. But I think, for a moment, I actually might have hated them. The squabbling, the crying, the super irritating defeatism that rears it's ugly head during A's daily homework, the crying, the crying! That fucking crying is just so loud.
It's over, the crying that is, and they're in bed trying very hard not to fall asleep and I no longer hate them.
I once accidentally voiced a sentiment not even as strong as hate on Facebook and I was met with a barrage of mean comments all suggesting that maybe I shouldn't have chosen to be a mother and certainly I had no business being a stay at home mother since clearly I was bitter and angry.
I was too new at being a mama to know that those commenters were idiots. Instead, I believed them. I thought that if this job was kicking my butt, which it was, and that sometimes I didn't love my babies very much, which sometimes I didn't, or if, God forbid, I even hated them a teeny tiny bit for a second, or that sometimes I hated the job itself, that I must be bitter and angry at best, and probably also incompetent. Because I was awash in feelings of shame and embarrassment and self doubt, I didn't have the where with all to process the fact that after a patient vomits in a nurse's face and he mutters on his way out of the room, "This fucking job," no one calls him bitter and angry. No one suggests that he shouldn't be a nurse. People think, "Yep, that is one hard and messy job." When a Nike exec complains about all the after hours work he puts in, no one suggests that maybe he shouldn't have chosen that career. People commiserate. It's a difficult climate and they suggest that Nike should not be expecting its employees to put in so much extra time. And they suggest that they should all go out for a drink and trash Nike for the evening.
There is little of this type of forgiveness in the parenting world. If you have chosen to be a stay at home parent (or any kind of parent) you are supposed to smile and wax sentimental about how fast the time is going. I do that. I do, because, truly the time is flying. Just like all the elders of my community told me that it would. And much of it (some of it) is very sweet time, but let's not pretend that we don't sometimes hate it a little bit. And sometimes, some of us, hate the sweet babies a little bit too. Just a little bit. And just for a second. It's ok. There's nothing wrong with us. This job is really hard and the hours suck. So does the pay. And, don't even get me started on the benefits package.
And we love it too. And, holy shit, do we ever love these babies. This is a love far more fierce than I ever imagined. Sometimes I look at them and I think that I truly might just burst or overflow with how much muchness is now contained in my body. They are filling me up. And I love them. And the job of keeping them safe and happy and fulfilled and in clean clothes and sleeping on clean sheets and eating healthy yummy food and peeing in a clean bathroom is just a really fucking big job that never ever ends and that is exhausting. And, the truth is, parts of it, like the bathroom cleaning and clothes washing are not very fulfilling.
And then this (that wonderful little naked baby on the right) happens and again with the super fullness. We are lucky to have this ridiculously difficult job and when we are done hating it, we'll be grateful.
Cut yourself a break. It's ok.
I'm Molly. I'm all in for parenting. I'm all in for good food. All in for big and small outdoor adventures. And really only partly in for homemaking. I want a Martha Stewart home and meal, but the truth is, we mamas just can't do it all. Not really. This shit is tricky!
This is a collection of musings and missives about parenting like you mean it. I mean really mean it. About how you can pull off a really mostly decent meal, keep your house kinda clean, do some of your laundry, and also even remember to usually feed your pets. But mostly about how being a mama is hard and we can totally rock it, but maybe that dream of perfection has got to give a little.