Thursday, December 4, 2014

Fresh Brewed - Motherhood, Confessions of a Not-so-Super Mom

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This week on Fresh Brewed: Motherhood
The confessions of a not-so-super mom.

I am not Supermom.

I appreciate the compliment when it has occasionally been bestowed. And I try to be graceful, knowing that it usually comes from a place of kindness, and sometimes admiration. But I always feel guilty, plagued by scores of  'if only you knew' snap shots in my head.

You see, I'm afraid that people will get the wrong impression, namely the impression that I've got it all together. Let me emphatically assure you, I don't.

But I will admit that a part of me doesn't always feel entirely undeserving of a little praise now and then.

Because it is the struggle to keep going that is far more praiseworthy than the short lived, occasional Pinterest worthy moments.

Motherhood is crazy hard!! It's dirty, surprisingly wet, gross, and often full of mystery smells. It's demanding and often thankless.

Kids are inherently self-centered, and by the time our lessons sink in about being kind to others, minding their manners, and picking up after themselves...they move out. Sorry mom, and in case I haven't told you lately, thank you for everything you taught me!

I'm not saying being a Dad is a piece of cake, but let's face it, most Dad's get to use the bathroom alone! Several times a day even! That by no means wraps up a dads role, and it is not meant to be demeaning. I treasure my husband, and he is an awesome dad.

I can't write about life from a dad's perspective though, so mine will have to do.

I'm not complaining. I LOVE being a mom. I just want to talk about the side of parenting that we don't tend to photograph. 

Like the all-nighters spent cleaning up puke and diarrhea, usually getting puked directly on at least once during the process. Then not being able to take a sick day when I inevitably catch whatever bug they threw up on me.

Or the fact that my floor only gets really, truly, deeply mopped about 5 times a year. Just spot cleaned the rest of the time. (Just so you know, this number is about five times the amount the above mentioned puke-fests happen. I honestly believe life in a clean, though not super sanitized house has given my kids some pretty good immune systems. They are rarely sick, even with a cold. But it seems that at least once a year, at least one somebody gets a stomach bug.)

The yelling. Mine, specifically.

The fact that we have fought in front of the kids.

That most days I don't get around to the dishes. It's every few days, in fact.

I am always behind on laundry.

I am not a morning person. My kids are not morning people. Getting this family to anything that starts by, but especially, before 10am is overwhelmingly hard. I literally cry sometimes just thinking about it. I cannot even imagine having to wake them up and get them off to school by 7:30. 

I often welcome, with open arms, the peace and quiet that ensues via screen time.

Having loads of patience doesn't mean I'm not bearing it through tears or chanting something silently to distract myself. "I'm a happy mommy" is the current favorite.

I don't cook every night. Not even close right now.

None of us use top sheets. We all use blankets or comforters that are easy to wash and way easier to make the beds with. When the beds actually get made. 

I do not want people to just "drop by", if you do (and you are not family or a really really good friend), you may not be invited in. Trust me, it's better this way. Let's just all avoid mutual embarrassment, call first.

When I do have people over and the house looks nice, don't open my bedroom door. 

One of my kid's friends found a half-eaten apple in the kids' closet almost every time she came over. Not the same apple every time, but a new old half-eaten apple. In the closet. Like six times! I still have no explanation. 

I found cat hair in the refrigerator. The cat has never been in the refrigerator. That I am aware of.

I buy cheap plastic-ware because I know that inevitably I am going to throw the entire container away rather than open it and clean it.

I haven't ironed a piece of clothing in about seven years. If it can't de-wrinkle after a few minutes in the dryer, we don't keep it. The only 'dry clean only' clothes we own are the guys' suits. 

I hate baby talk. Babies don't talk like that. Only big kids talking "baby talk" talk like that, and it makes me want to throw things. I don't, but I want to. It's forbidden in our house.

We have't been to the movies as a family for three years. I just can't stomach paying $45 for something we could see for $1 by waiting an extra four months. And with a kid with sensory issues, going to the movies is far more stress inducing than fun. (We are going to give it another chance this month though, the new 'Annie' is coming out, and we have decided to try and go see it all together. Here's hoping!! Ed: Victor says he thinks it's a bad idea. We are still officially "undecided".)

I have stopped saying that I want something to happen "just for once" or "just for today". That's a lie. I want it to happen that time, and every other time from then on. 

I have cried during almost every Early Intervention meeting, autism evaluation, and IEP meeting over the last two and a half years. And a whole lot more in between. It's getting easier, just a little. But having had to say good-bye to people who got it and who actually helped my kids progress, heartbreaking. And dealing with those who don't, infuriating.

Feeling utterly helpless during one of Kit's major meltdowns is one of the worst feelings I've ever felt. My child is in complete mental and physical chaos, and I am powerless to stop it. I hate that I can't make that go away for her.

I'm not heroic nor anything of the sort for choosing to homeschool. My sweet, kind, creative kids would be torn apart by the unforgiving demands of public school. They are excelling academically precisely because their developmental needs come first, they are allowed to learn at their own pace, and according to their own style. 

Some days we delve deep into subjects, do expansive projects, feel completely enriched. Some days we fight and argue over getting through the basic minimums. We disagree on the value of learning certain things. Sometimes I put my foot down. Sometimes I relent. 

There are whole days that I am just grateful to be over and hope that their pattern of events does not repeat itself soon. 

There are many things from this season of life that I will not miss. I will look back with fondness on the days of my kids being little, yes. And I am in no hurry for them to grow up. But I do know how to appreciate the peaceful moments that come after the storm. And some days, weeks, months, even years of parenting sometimes feel like storm after storm. 

Weathering out these storms does not make me super. But it does make me a survivor. Someone who fights to hang on through the rough patches. Attempts to make the next ride smoother and be better prepared. But sometimes we just make it through by holding on tight to the ones we love and praying hard.

In the words of Annie...

'tomorrow, there'll be sun.'

I'm definitely looking forward to that. After I sleep in, that is.

Tell me what's on your mind about motherhood. Or fatherhood! Dad's are more than welcome to weigh in here!


  1. You're welcome, honey. By grandparent stage, we know that all things are cyclical, children grow into fine adults, work never goes away, so it gets done when it gets done. And sleep is its own master. You fall asleep on Friday night watching that $1.oo movie after the opening credits (which give your children opportunities to relate the plot in absolute detail the next day-which they will do anyway). And nodding off in deep conversation with teenagers releases their inhibitions; they then tell you everything, which resurfaces the next day with pride or panic as you finally digest what they really said.
    So life goes on, highs and lows, and every day that's the prayer of thanks: for Life.

    1. "With pride or panic", ha! Made me laugh. Love you, Mama!

  2. Well written with a humorous slant on many things not humorous at the time - good job, mom! You "show up" every day in your children's lives and don't leave their growth and parenting to someone else - you can tell yourself at the end of even the most difficult day "I was there." Love you!

  3. A friend sent me this text and said I could share it here since she wasn't able to leave a comment from her device...

    "Judy, I am enjoying your blog! It is so comforting to know that you also have a hard time getting to the mopping! And I love imagining you chant "I'm a happy mommy". That is so ME! And that you don't cook every night either. I have improved just lately, but it's still not daily.

    So good to hear from another mama like me."

    ♡♡ Love you! You are a great mom!

  4. The expectations of the mother these days just keeps getting harder, and we all do not live up to that. It is great that you wrote this, because it lets other mothers know they are not alone.