Motherhood is tough. Sometimes, it’s shit. But for most of us, it’s tough shit.
Wanna pee without an audience? Serve a meal without a complaint? Need a full night of uninterrupted sleep? Tough shit!
All the guts and blood and sweat and piss and puke and poop we take on because we’re “Mom” are all for minimal sparks of glory. Unless you’re a celebrity. Bitches get all the write-ups as if they’re experts now. Most don’t do the grunt work. They’ve got nannies for the nannies cause they got cash to splurge on shit most can’t even afford to daydream about.
“You’ll miss these years,” women well into their retirement age say to moms on the brink of a nervous breakdown. “They grow up and are gone in the blink of an eye…”
As if we don’t know this shit already! Let me guess, you did this once too and though it was hard and exhausting, it was worth it? Please. This isn’t your era. We’re not working 50+ hours a week to come home to then cook, clean, and raise some kids with a smile just to PROVE we’re an equal sex. We do it for different reasons, but none of us are crazy enough to believe Superwoman ever existed.
· Some of us can’t afford full-time daycare even with two-incomes from full-time jobs.
· Some of us thought it was a good idea to stay home. It would be an investment in our children’s future. But by the time we return to the working-world, we’re considered “too old” or “dated” for the jobs we once would have slid into without an afterthought.
· And some of us know the childcare industry can be sketchy. How many people have the financial security to take a $12 an hour job for babysitting a bunch of other people’s kids day-in, day-out? Even the best childcare providers have a breaking point – unless they have a spouse making bank, own the joint, or have their own kid on the attendance roster and are just biding their time till they can move on, out, and up in the pay scale rankings.
“Find your village!” some say. Great idea! Mommyville has a population of millions, except it’s sprawled out. It usually inhabits a single woman in a barren wasteland with no car, horse, or train in a ten-mile radius to get to her closest tribal-sister. Let’s admit it: sometimes, motherhood can feel like the most soul-killing, dream-crushing, social-sucking kind of lonely.
Who wants to listen to us bitch about our kids for hours, days, okay, weeks? Who could we trust with our real thoughts? Running away from it all to a child-free, husband-free resort with Michelin Star-worthy meals, unlimited massages, and personal trainers to help us reach our [realistic] targeted body-images? And who could we confess our darkest fantasy about how we’d “do it?” Where, when, and by what method?
Nobody. Cause its some tough shit to unpack. Tough shit to admit. Tough shit to handle. And we’re not stupid – the mom’s we’d tell have the same thoughts swirling through their minds.
But please, tell us more, almighty specialized mental health professional or medical doctor or best friend or colleague or mom-friend by play-date association or social media acquaintance. Please, tell us how “it’s going to be okay” and “all we need is some self-care.”
Duh! Why didn’t we think of that? Those 48-72 hour retreats are lifesavers! They fix everything, don’t they?
Until we scrimp and save for a year and sign up only to have to cancel last minute because the spouse got the “flu,” grandparents are out of town, and friends have their own shit to deal with. So we convince ourselves we’re better off without the hassle because we know for every day we’re gone, 4-5 days of backlog greets us at the door. The trashed house. Twice the amount of laundry we left behind. Oh, and a two week stretch of sleep regression from the kids. Not to mention the guilt; the infinite supply for even thinking about going in the first place.
Because mothering is a gift, it’s a blessing. And tough shit if we don’t like it. There are women literally dying to be in our place. They want to be called “stupid” by their four-year-old for putting them in time out. They want to be slapped in the face by a toddler for saying “no” M&Ms at 7 am. And they yearn for the badge of snot and tears on their blouse at work during the most important presentation of the quarter.
Suck it up, Moms! We’re being selfish. They’ll grow out of it. We just need patience.
Tough shit if we think we’ll get any of these when we actually need them though.
Patience comes when we’re well slept, nurtured, fed, and appreciated.
But the therapist…there’s a two-week waiting list and the only available slots are 1 pm or 4 pm – when the youngest is napping, the sitter’s at school, and the oldest has to be on the opposite side of town at practice by 3:45.
Besides, the chocolate stash has been raided.
And the people who own and run the closest dispensary? They’re big on the PTA and consider the idea of boundaries or the word “no” to be a travesty in child development. Too bad, bet they’d be fun to rip bongs with.
So, we grin and bear it. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. And saddle up for the wildest ride of our lives. Mommy-ing is something none of us expected, yet here we are in the thick of it with our flimsy armor, minimal access to good food, and an affinity for life-changing adventures. It’s tough and often leaves us covered in layers of excrement, but this is what binds us. What makes us warriors.
And if we come out of this alive – most surprisingly do, albeit the psychological scars that would make some men plea for a higher dose of Zoloft – we’ll know our truth: the tough shit, was some tough shit, but shit… we were tough!