When I was pregnant there was this girl on my facebook that acted like every single day of parenthood was the best and happiest ever. Of course I had that same expectation, and of course I was wrong.
Every day of parenthood isn’t fun, and if you say it is you’re a liar. You don’t get a gold star for pretending your child never makes you want to rip your hair out and it doesn’t make you a bad parent to say so. That girl made me believe that calm babies that don’t shit on your favorite (and only clean pair of) pants right before you walk out the house are anything more than a myth. For a while, I was so disappointed in myself because I just wasn’t as overjoyed about motherhood like she was, I actually thought I wasn’t a good mom because of it. I was happy, yeah, but I wasn’t like “every day with you is the best day of my life” because sometimes it was rough, and looking back it was an amazing experience but every day was not good.
Yesterday I tweeted about how the greatest sacrifice parents make is their sanity, and it’s true. Kids are crazy. They are rough unrefined little lumps of coal we’re expected to turn into diamonds–not only is that a big job, but they don’t make it easy. Instead they swing from the chandeliers and break things (mostly your self esteem) and wipe their dirty little hands and mouths all over your belongings but cry when theirs are missing or broken. And they are the greatest things on this green earth. There is nothing like seeing your child happy, even if it’s at your own expense. So we dance in public and sing the dumbest songs, watch the dumbest shows and become a completely different person when they’re around because they are the light of the world.
But every day your child is not your favorite. That’s why so many of us drink wine at night. It’s why I haven’t slept since about the 4th month of pregnancy. Even when they’re asleep you stay up to watch adult shows or have adult conversations (sometimes with people on twitter), it’s what bonds us as parents! Everyone that has reared a child always looks so happy when they see my son running through a store or trying to break dance in the floor because one day we will miss this. And I, personally don’t want to miss something I tried to make seem better than it is. I want to miss the real experience, when I look back at my facebook statuses and see that I posted about my son drawing pictures on the wall with my foundation, or seeing the pictures of his standing in the living room after he tore it up like a small tornado.
Motherhood really isn’t a competition, so why do we all (I’m looking at you, twitter) try so hard to compete? Why lie about your baby’s milestones or make someone feel badly about when their child reaches one? Why can’t we just be happy that we all made it through one more day laughing about how our children almost killed us today but didn’t succeed? There will always be someone that parents differently than you, that has different beliefs and that’s okay. It’s okay to admit that today was a rough day because trust me, we understand. We are all going through the same thing, though some of us are single or married or waiting on a ring, being a mom is still hard as hell.
Let’s stop pretending to be the perfect parent and learn from each other and have some wine (unless you’re underage, grape juice for you). Seriously.