Walking through Busch Gardens yesterday, per usual, I came across all kinds of different people from all walks of life. The ones I always notice, when I’m not scrunching my brow at the latest hideous “fashion” trend teens are trying to dredge back from the depths of 90’s hell, are the fellow moms. I always wonder if it’s that whole thing where you don’t notice how many people have the same car as you until you buy one, but I definitely never noticed so many moms until I had kids of my own. Now I can’t take my eyes off of them.
We moms are “so strong”, aren’t we? Or that’s what everyone likes to tell us. We’re just the strongest, bravest creatures to ever walk the earth. Growing, birthing, raising children. Go us!
I’m not trying to be a sarcastic asshole. I DO think we’re incredibly strong, a hell of a lot more than we give ourselves credit for- and that’s the thing. We may be it, but we don’t always feel it. Or maybe we never feel it.
The mom who was really laying into her kid for acting like an ass in public when he’d been told repeatedly to cut it out? Bet she didn’t feel strong. Contrary to what our kids believe, we don’t like disciplining them. We have to learn to enjoy pulling out “mean in public” mommy or it makes us feel low, and humiliated, and even embarrassed. It makes us feel like we haven’t done our “job” correctly. It makes us wonder who, at that moment, is judging us, because perish the thought we EVER discipline our children in public!
The mom frustratingly trying to pull off a standing diaper change with a wiggly toddler in a bathroom full of people milling in and out. Did she feel like a parental powerhouse? Doubtful.
The mom I saw later in the night carrying her kid that is way too big to be carried (and I say this in a non-judging way, but just by weight alone), probably because their feet got too tired, or they said their legs didn’t work, or any number of other excuses that she was probably tired of hearing and gave up and decided to just lug the kid out. I guarantee she didn’t feel strong, even with the added weight.
And me. I’d promised to take Parker to Busch Gardens yesterday for his birthday (yes his birthday was Saturday, but we avoid busy places on Saturdays). I was not feeling the greatest, and my stomach made it worse. Parker’s attitude made it even worse than that. We had a bunch of errands to run before leaving and he was directly disobeying me, so I snapped, in public, and told him his birthday plans were cancelled. He lost it. Everyone stared. An overreaction on my part? Absolutely– but he pushed me when he knew he shouldn’t have been pushing. Am I proud of it? No. I’m not ashamed, we all have moments, but I’m certainly not proud.
When we got home, and I had time to rest and feel better, and he had time to think about what he’d done wrong, we resolved our issues, went to Busch and had a great time.
In these moments people like to tell us we’re strong for powering through is when we feel our weakest–our most vulnerable. We don’t feel like good moms, supermoms, whatever-name-you-want-to-call-us-to-make-us-feel-better moms. We feel like shit. The shittiest moms on earth.
This is where I know words are mostly empty. I know it’s nice to hear that you’re doing a good job, or you have great kids, or that you’re a wonderful mother– but what do they do for you at the end of the day? Not a whole lot. What I take solace in, is knowing that I’m not alone. I know that’s kinda shitty, taking comfort in knowing that other parents had shitty parenting moments too, but in a way, it’s the best kind of comfort. Knowing that no matter what, there’s something else out there slugging through it, too. There’s someone else out there who knows that you don’t have to have the most perfect of days to still have happy, healthy kids at the end of it. There’s someone else out there that proves that you don’t have to be the “best mom ever” every moment of every day to still be a great mom.
We’re all struggling in our own ways– some more than others.
Some days are easy, some days we put our “Shitty Mom” pants on one leg at a time. Some days we miss both legs completely and fall straight on our asses, but we’re TOGETHER. We are the Sisterhood of the Shitty Moms, and while we might not be out there yelling “YAYA” at another woman who is dealing with a tantruming kid in public, we have each other’s backs in sometimes silent solidarity. A warm smile, a knowing nod, a non-judging look. We’ve been there, we’ve made it through, and so can you.
Did you know that toothpaste becomes stronger than concrete if left on surfaces for too long? I didn't either. Thanks, kids!
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Cut Yourself some Christmas Slack goo.gl/fb/4WVJe2
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He only has himself to blame pic.twitter.com/UffL59jSmz
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