Time to revisit that parenting/motherhood thing. Its been a rather challenging few days up here in my corner of the world. First off Mama is dealing with PMS and it seems with each passing month that mothering and PMS do not go together…all I want to be honest is to be left the fuck alone. Seriously, I just want to relax and veg out on bad fiction (re-reading VC Andrews first books at the moment) and bad TV (silly programming on Bravo and maybe Lifetime for real cheese-ball factor). I want to eat junk food and generally just be in the zone.
The problem though is that I have a super active almost 4 year old daughter (known to regulars as mini-me, for she looks a lot like me and acts like it too) and despite having a uber helpful husband, mini me is just not wanting to hang out with him. As you can imagine, this can create a lot of tension, it meant this weekend, I helped my girl create construction paper eggs and other Easter decorations when all I wanted to do is sleep. In the end it was fun and I enjoyed myself but I am still tired and extra cranky.
Thing is this parenting gig is hard work, I have said it before but I will keep saying it, parenting effectively is not for the weak. There is nothing that can prepare you for parenting, I did it the first time as a young woman and figured it was my lack of education and maturity that made the job hard at that time. So I waited almost 14 years before I tried again, in that time acquiring an education, skills and a solid marriage. So I was sure this time it would be easy since the first time it must have been hard because I was woefully unprepared. Nope, this time I got a kid whose energy level is insane…..seriously, mini-me came out the womb requiring little sleep and demanding 150% of my efforts. No mere 100% was good enough for her. There are days I look back fondly on when I was a single Mama with my son, at least he was a mellow child and my concerns were on feeding us and keeping us housed.
Let me say it again, parenting is not for the weak. Which is why I get amused with the writings from fellow Mamas and how when they strive to be truthful those who live and die on the altar of motherhood, get all up in arms. Check out this blog piece by the NY Times Judith Warner. She talks about an article in another publication and about the downside of pumping breast milk. In the past few days I have seen Judith and the other author get roasted, my goodness we all know breast milk is best at least that is what they started telling us after I had my first kid in 1992. In 1992, there simply was not the push to or rush to make women breastfeed.
Now before anyone gets ready to roast me on breastfeeding, let me just say I have proper breastfeeding credentials, I won’t get specific other than to say I nursed my daughter for over 2 years, so I am above the national average when it comes to nursing. So I feel that I am in a place to comment but truth is nursing is hard work. The first 18 months of my daughter’s life I never slept longer than 3 hours at a time. I thought was going to die, I was so tired and run down that my husband put his foot down and took her out of our bed so that I would sleep. See, this is the shit folks don’t tell you about….that at 18 months you still won’t be sleeping. New mothers expect that they won’t sleep in the first weeks after a baby’s arrival but a year and a half later? No one tells you that and in my case I had done this mothering gig before. You have no idea how many times I blamed breastfeeding with my girl’s inability to sleep, my son slept through the night early on, so I expected the same thing.
No, its easy as to idealize motherhood when you aren’t in the trenches or you have the mellow kid but for those us deep in the trenches with a high maintenance kid, our eyes are wide open. Which is why Oprah’s most recent show (disclosure, I didn’t watch it but a friend told me about it and I saw some clips and read up on it on Oprah’s site) about Mamas being truthful really struck a chord with me…why don’t women ever talk about the bad shit and why is it bad when we do. It doesn’t mean we don’t love our kids but my goodness sometimes you wish you had a mute button or a pause button to hit when your kid is driving you ape-shit. Shit, sometimes I wish I had that button for my Spousal Unit and I bet he wishes there was one for me as well.
Yet while its a hard job, the love we receive back makes it oh so sweet and I would trade my girl for nothing in the world.