There are days when I hang my head and say quietly to myself, “I am just not cut out for this whole motherhood thing.” I knew from the beginning that taking a self-absorbed Queen Bee like me and shoving her into the role of Parent was going to be a stretch, a Stretch Armstrong kind of stretch. I have mostly kept this sentiment to myself because the moment you say, “Being a mom is hard”, people tend to get very self-righteous, become a little soap box-y, and are quick to remind you to “suck it up” because “those kids didn’t ask to be born”. But, after countless hours of dedicated internet research (Studying = Merlot + humorous blog reading), I have discovered that there is a burgeoning sub-culture of women who are saying out loud what I have been thinking all along: Parenthood is not for wussies, and anyone who claims that their experience is nothing but sunshine and butterflies, well, let's just say I’m calling your bluff.
I am lucky, extraordinarily lucky to have had two healthy children who don't bite other kids on the playground or eat paste. They have so far resisted the urge to ram acorns up their noses and only occasionally vomit without prior warning. I love, love, love my children, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t days when I am Googling to find out if the National Circus of the Czech Republic has any immediate job openings. I will do somersaults and ride elephants with Boris any day of the week over cleaning up after a child's serious encounter with the rotovirus. I would be lying if I said that I haven’t studied our budget thinking, “Hmmm…if I stop buying shoes and meat, then maybe we can afford that Russian nanny.”
Ahhh...Svetlana, my fantasy Russian nanny. What I love most about her is that she barely speaks English, so I don't really have to communicate at all. I just smile and point and use my made-up sign language to get my message across. She's here to make sure bones aren't broken, referee fights, and facilitate homework being completed in a timely manner. She is such a worker bee, so while the kids are in school, she happily cleans my house and puts the laundry away, all while singing her traditional Russian folk songs to stem her homesickness. (Seriously, though...How could she be homesick for sub-zero temperatures and a mostly gray wardrobe? And those furry hats? Please! She's in the sunny South now. After tasting our Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, she's kicking her Stoli's to the curb, baby!) Did I mention that she's a fabulous cook? Oh yes, my sweet Svetlana whips up a gourmet meal for the family each night and wouldn't dare let me help clean up. What a peach!
Sorry, I digress...
I am very suspicious of any mother who thinks it's perfectly delightful to have their toddler poop their pants and then spread the contents of their diaper across the den wall like some sort of performance artist. "Bravo! Bravo! Don't you just love it when little Skippy works in all natural media? He is so ahead of his time!" she says, as she patiently scrapes excrement off the dry wall. Maybe it's just me, but when I get puked on, it can sometimes ruin my day. And, no, I do not want to see my kids bowel movements no matter how adamant they are that I rush in for a private viewing. I am not impressed that it's the fecal interpretation of George Washington. I'll pass. (pun intended)
The secret is out, people. We know that behind your meticulously planned birthday parties and Facebook updates proclaiming that your children are perfect and life couldn't possibly be any finer, is a medicine cabinet full of Zoloft and a fridge full of Chardonnay. You don't have to pretend any more. We are an Army of One now. You can let down your guard and purchase store-bought cupcakes for the next classroom party without remorse. Trust me when I say that dinner at McDonald's every now and then will not keep your child from being accepted to an Ivy League school. Feel free to go ahead and alert the social media that your child was kicked out of his advanced math class for poor grades and that you found pot in his dresser drawer. We'll all give you an understanding, sympathetic nod, raise our glasses and propose a toast to Us, the Not So Perfect Moms.
And June Cleaver? She can kiss our collective asses.