So, I’m a mother. It’s this thing that I wanted my whole life long and that I became at 12:44am on a rainy April night 6 years ago. It was a good day.
I was prepared for the sleeplessness. I was prepared of the loss of freedom, the loss of individual identity and the whole terrible two situation. I was not at all prepared for the relentlessness of always and every second of every day and special needs requiring increasing amounts of patience and energy. I am a depressed individual, yo. Those things and more I lack.
Parenting is one of those think you know, but you have no idea situations in life. It doesn’t matter if you were a nanny(I was), an auntie(me, right here), a daycare worker(you see where I’m taking this) or even a do-gooding, social-working teacher of parenting skills(yep). No idea, is what I had.
I not only understand and approve heartily of those who are childless by choice, but I recommend and endorse it. Parenting is brutal, especially what it’s become today. I’m not just talking about the stereotypical helicopter parent, I’m talking about every one of us. Yes, you too. We are present for far more hours in our children’s lives, which is in turn causing more dissatisfaction with parenthood than ever before. Check out All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior. It made me feel better because I know I’m not alone. Difficult things are easier to survive when you know you’re not some sick bastard that hates your own kid. It just feels like that because you’e over-connected, overwhelmed and overseeing your kid’s every move.
I love many aspects of being a mom, mostly those that occur during the hours in which my kid is sleeping. He’s a glorious beacon of human perfection when he’s asleep. Until you wake him up to pee and he:
- Pees on you
- Screams at you for waking him up
- Has already peed the bed requiring more tasks than an A.M. brain can adequately perform
The truth is, as every little thing turns out to actually be, awash in the Ish. I love my kid more than any other thing like really and truly ever(I have informed him that he is the only person in existence with which I will share my mini eggs), but I feel the fiery rage of the old gods on a daily basis in response to his asshole-ish-ness(double hyphened that bitch, like a MUTHA). I want to kiss his stinky head(only babies smell great all the time) and do all kinds of fun activities with him. Until we are actually doing them and it’s pretty much just whining, moaning, complaining and utter defiance. If you really want to bring out the selfish bastard inside any kid just take them somewhere really awesome. I recommend Disneyland for ultimate pain and suffering. I want to be with him and without him simultaneously at any given hour of any given day.
Is it worth it? The question is pretty meaningless because you can’t know until you’re in it and once you’re in it, you’re in it for life. Having a kid is like joining a gang or marrying into the mob. No. Way. Out.
It’s hard, it’s thankless, it’s self-esteem crushing and oh, so lonely. It’s the only job for which you have to wait 20+ years for a positive performance review. And when you’re old af when you join the cult, you may not be cognizant enough to receive that information when it’s dealt.
For me, it’s worth it. Because no matter how hard it is, no matter how badly I suck at it, no matter how many days I struggle – I’m in it, whole-ass. This kid will always know I’m impatient and I sing to try to diffuse that frustration, this kid will always know I require time to myself to recharge my batteries, this kid will always know that life is hard, but we have each other. This kid will always know I’m in it. Him and me, me and him. To the end. And it’s exactly where I want to be.
So dudes(or other partners in parenting), Mother’s Day isn’t just a greeting card holiday. It’s like Labor Day, Veteran’s Day and Valentine’s Day all rolled into one. We have entered the fray and lived to see another day. We have scars on our bodies and hearts. We’ve shed blood, sweat and tears and cleaned up all that and worse. We’ve navigated infant feedings, potty training, preschool applications, freaking PUBERTY. Give us this day. And make it balls out awesome.
I, for one, could care less about a card. Unless it was handmade by my grubby little urchin. And presents are dope(if they’re well chosen and heartfelt, check her Pinterest boards or Amazon wish list or plumb the depths of your knowledge of her dreams and desires), but, again speaking only for myself, unnecessary.
Do all the things requiring work around the house, give her a massage or treat her to one, take your family on an outing that she would love, play board games together as a family, take the kids out for the afternoon so she can read/watch reality tv and eat bonbons like housewives are bound by the old gods and rumor to do. Make Mother’s Day a day of service. Do whatever it takes to fill her love bucket. And only try to ‘fill her love bucket’ if she’s feeling so inclined.
Most importantly, let her know that you see all those little things she does that holds it all together, that greases the squeaky gears of childhood and makes the world a softer and kinder place to grow up. We know our kids aren’t going to see the value in that service, but we hope that someone will. We hope that someone will be you.
Cadbury mini eggs are always
accepted appreciated required. Let’s be real.