I never really wanted kids. I was actually quite adamant about it. Then my damn sister had to go and have a baby. And when I held my beautiful, little nephew in my arms, I was all done. Sign me up. I wanted one of those sweet-smelling, warm, cuddly lumps of joy.
That’s how they get you. It’s like those cute little puppies in the pet store window. How can you resist those sweet, playful things? You fall for an adorable bundle of fuzz like this:
Completely oblivious that it will one day turn into this:
Let’s get something straight. Wanting to be a parent and actually BEING a parent are two very different things. Before I actually became a mother, I was the quintessential parent. My children would be smart and funny. They would not talk back, swear, or bite. They would be respectful, good listeners, and I’m pretty sure have a halo. I, of course, would be “that” mom. The fun mom who played with her kids, who got her point across without yelling. I would be the mom who made the right choices, feed the right food, give the right amount of freedom, and the right amount of discipline….in a word, I’d be perfect.
Before I had kids, I was a discipline expert. You see, It’s very easy to discipline kids you don’t actually have. I would see a mom doing something and I’d think “I would never allow my kid to do that, say that, watch that, eat that. Oh no, not my kids! They would know who was boss from day one. (And they did. Only it wasn’t me. It was them.)
Once I actually HAD kids, I realized I’d been duped. All the books and the shows and even your friends and family all lead you to believe that motherhood is all sunshine and roses. They entice you in with talk of milestones and memories, of first steps and first words. They give you the sugar-coated version, never revealing the underlying dark side of motherhood. The up all night, colicky crying, messy, smelly dark side. Talk about your bait and switch! It’s like being told you’ve won an all expense paid cruise to the islands, then showing up and finding you’re booked on the SS Minnow for a 3 hour tour with a know it all professor and a whiny rich couple. And you’re like, WTF? I didn’t sign up for THIS! I was supposed to be on a luxury liner with all the classy people, living the easy life!
In the end, I did become “that” mom – just a slightly different version.
I’m “that” mom who:
- while trying to return a simple item to Target, gets tapped on the shoulder and asked “is that your son?”, only to turn around to see my two-year old has climbed to the top of the security gate and is waving happily at all who enter the store.
- has feed her kid chicken nuggets for breakfast, lunch and dinner to avoid a tantrum and because I really didn’t have anything else in the house to feed him anyway.
- has let her kid watch 5 hours of TV because I just couldn’t stand the thought of playing one more round of Ninja turtles meets Barbie any more.
- has bought my kids a treat even after telling them ‘no” 40 times because they wore me down and I was too tired to fight anymore.
I’m also “that” mom who:
- will spend an hour and two rolls of duct tape building a super-duper space rocket out of cardboard boxes so my son has a “real” space ship to go along with his astronaut costume.
- will rearrange the living room furniture into a giant fort and enjoy a picnic lunch, jammed underneath a mountain of precariously placed blankets and sofa cushions.
- will watch my kids perform a 240 act play, five minutes before bed and clap in all the right places.
I’m also “that” mom who has taught my kids to find the humor in life. That even during the darkest of times, you can always find something to laugh at.
And I’m also “that” mom who has two uniquely wonderful children who, in turn, have taught me so much about life, about who I am and who I want to be and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
So in a sense, yes, I’ve become “that” mom and you know what? I’m ok with “that”.