No One Makes Parenthood Look Harder Than I Do

frazzled_mom

You know those mothers who waltz around Target with their three offspring looking like they just strutted off the runway of a Lulumon fashion show? They’re all toned and fit and tasteful looking, like they’ve actually brushed their hair and teeth. There’s a confidence in their stride that declares, “Hey, they’re just kids. I got this.”

Then there are those women who are capable enough to continue their careers, charitable works and social lives after bringing life into the world. They juggle board meetings, cocktail parties and neighborhood BBQ’s like they were born to this circus.

Finally, there are the über mommies who line up playdates like toy soldiers, schlep their progeny to a slew of enrichment classes (before they can even walk) and prep healthy snacks a week in advance. These mothers scare me the most. Why? Probably because I want to be this kind of mom but never will. Ever.

I’m the kind of mom that looks like I barely escaped an Old Navy clearance sale with my life. I usually have at least two stains on any given outfit I’m wearing which always, always includes yoga pants from the afore mentioned Old Navy. I don’t wear Lulumon for two very distinct reasons. 1.) Their largest size, XL, fits a size 12! Who in God’s name caps out at a size 12? I’m 6’1” barefoot and have given birth to 2 children. I slid out of the womb at a size 12. 2.) I can’t justify spending $100 on yoga pants that won’t rub my feet or clean my bathroom for me. All they’ll do is cover my butt, not that I could fit into them.

In my defense, I was forty the first time I procreated. I had two wonderful self-indulgent decades under my belt. A clean house was the norm. I was well-rested. Words like, “manicure,” “hair appointment” and “lady’s lunch,” were in my vocabulary. Then I became a breeder.

After three miscarriages, my first sweet baby was born and it was like someone flipped the “competent” switch to off. I was plagued with postpartum depression the likes of which could have crumbled dynasties. I formed a panic disorder and worried the gardeners were plotting to kidnap my daughter, smuggle her across the border and sell her for parts. I was such a head case that I didn’t take her shopping by myself until she was six months old.

A year later, my husband and I had a come to Jesus moment. We sat down and discussed the possibility of giving our child a sibling. We both knew what we were in for and against all sanity we went for it. Another miscarriage later and we were pregnant with our second daughter. As soon as she was born, I handed off my oldest to my husband and said, “Take care of her.” We both knew I wasn’t going to be capable of caring for two children for some time.

When my youngest turned one and my oldest, three, I announced, “I’m going to take them both to the store, alone.”

My husband panicked, “Are you sure you can do it?”

I replied, “No. But it’s time I try.” And I did it, successfully!

Two months later, my husband was diagnosed with stage-four tonsil cancer and began a battle for his life. From that point on, I was fully responsible for both of my girls. I was a nervous wreck.

Now that they’re four and six, I’m just figuring out how to do the extra-curricular class thing. I’ve fit in one manicure in the last six years and get my hair cut every year like clockwork. I even meet a group of other moms for happy hour once a month. I still wear Old Navy yoga pants every day and my hair usually has gray roots but at least I brush it now. I’m still flummoxed that I have to feed these kids three times a day but have decreased the number of times I give them breakfast for dinner to only once a week.

What I’m trying to say is this. I’m in total awe of mothers the world over. This is the hardest job on the planet and no one makes it look harder than I do.

 

 

 

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5 thoughts on “No One Makes Parenthood Look Harder Than I Do

  1. You certainly have a way with words and humour!! My children are now grown, and your musings brought plenty of memories of my feelings during that time!!

  2. Thanks for unfolding your life in such a honest and hilarious way. I still want to write that book, “While we were walking….” It’s pretty wonderful to see how all those musings we shared have manifested in our lives….warts and pain and heartache and joy and wonderfulness and all. You are the best.

  3. Hmmm…I’m not any of those. Okay I was mad for a playdate and an enrichment activity but I was the mother whose husband travelled and her child was awake from 7am-11pm without a nap so they were long days to fill in. I used to cling to the other women who were taking their kids home for their “second nap of the day” at noon and beg them to stay with me for 10 more minutes. I was the woman who was told she couldn’t have kids and then literally vomited her way through her one and only pregnancy so everything felt better than that. (I took a bucket with me everywhere for 32 weeks). I was the mother who played Disney memory at 10.30 at night with her 2year old a cheeky glass of wine or two in hand. I was also the mother you could call any time for a chat or a moan because I was awake! Hopefully I was kind to the other mothers who were making the journey differently to me.

  4. Post-twins, I might be a little competition for your self proclaimed title. When I went to the dentist the first time after the twins were born and the dentist asked the routine, “Are you flossing every day?” I laughed out loud very loudly. They asked what was so funny and I told them that I didn’t even know where my toothbrush was to say nothing of floss. They were aghast but then admitted that my teeth weren’t that bad off for having not been brushed regularly for 8 weeks. Love the posts from you!

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