The internet sancti-mommy patrol is currently losing its $hit about how a mom is raising their kid. I know, I know…daily occurrence…when will we get used to it? It’s not about breastfeeding or immunizations this time though. This time, it’s totally petty. It’s because of a post (Facebook maybe?) that a mom wrote about how she’s got this mommy thing under control and people need to stop whining about how difficult parenting is. The problem was, this mom was a new mom…as in, her child was two weeks old.
Now stop laughing for a second and think about this. Yes, that mom has absolutely no clue about all the aspects of raising a child that she still hasn’t encountered. She knows nothing of the sleepless nights of teething, the shuttling two (or more kids) to practices, the pain of not being able to help your child when they’re just not getting math in school, or the anxiety of your teenager driving for the first time. She’s a sancti-mommy of the worse degree. But…she’s also me. Well, maybe not when my newborn was two weeks old…at that point, I was too bleary-eye and sleep deprived to think anything other than “this sucks hairy monkey balls”. But when my son was sleeping through the night at six weeks old, and I went back to work when he was twelve weeks old and I had everything under control, I thought I rocked this parenting thing. What I didn’t realize was that HE rocked the baby thing…he was an exceptionally well behaved baby and toddler. I had the audacity to think that he was the norm. He was not the norm, he was what they call a “trick child” (damn him). He made me think I could handle anything because he was so easy. He slept all night, every night for ten hours, he didn’t whine for things in stores, he ate his vegetables, and he always put his toys away when I told him to. I bragged to every mom who was walking around like a zombie, how simple it was and how I didn’t understand why people couldn’t go to work, cook meals, exercise, engage in hobbies, and have a perfectly normal relationship with their spouse (keeping this PG, folks, but chandeliers may have been involved). Then God heard me bragging and He laughed and laughed and gave me child number two.
Karma’s a bitch (and so is my daughter most of the time). I love her to death and wouldn’t trade her for the world (well, most of the time). She keeps me on my toes and has taught me, I am definitely NOT Supermom and I most certainly do not have it under control. She is strong-willed and has her own agenda which usually does not include acting like the sweet little princesses we used to read about in her Disney books. It usually involves throwing said Disney books at our heads after screeching at the top of her lungs and tearing all the pages out of the book because we wouldn’t let her make candy (yes, make candy) at nine o’clock on a Wednesday night. It involves painting her toys with nail polish when she is in the bathroom with the door closed. It involves her deciding the she “not going to school and there’s nothing you can do to make me”. It involves a lot sleepless nights when she won’t go to bed, and a lot of wine (for me, not her).
In addition to completely leveling the playing for me by adding the Diva Devil, God also thought he’d continue to teach me a lesson by making my sweet little baby boy a little less sweet, a little less babyish, and a heck of a lot more boy. He does disgusting things like tucking his dirty socks into the couch cushions, peeing on the toilet seats, and using up all the body wash in the shower for God knows what. He eats all our food and doesn’t eat his vegetables like a good boy anymore. We schlep him to practices and games and he has sleepover with his loud and equally gross friends. He forgets homework assignments and fights us about wearing a coat. He’s not so simple anymore either. Infants and babies are a cakewalk compared to the pre-teen/teenager thing.
I’m handling this parenting thing on a day by day basis and I’m pretty sure I’m screwing it up. Gone is the confidence I had ten years ago when my Charlie Brown headed three year old crawled up on my lap and snuggled, telling me I was “the best mommy in the world” (I even have mugs and plaques to prove it). Now I’m far from the best mommy. I’m the one walking around like a zombie now and I get it. And so will this “new mom” that brags about her clean toy room and spotless kitchen where she whips up gourmet meals that her infant isn’t even going to eat. She may not get it right away, but when she does? Whoa…Future Her is in for a doozy. And that’s when you can laugh, folks.