You like me! You really like me!
Or, at least, you like my ramblings. So I will continue to rant and complain and post photos and I’m promising myself to make a solid effort to talk about some of the fun and good stuff that happens as well.
As I told my sister-in-law, I sometimes feel like I am the only one in my peer group to admit to insecurities and “failures.” I look around me and see a whole lot of people who seem to have this parenting thing down. They have their kids under control, they make dinner every night, and they are not crumbling under the pressure or near tears or about to strangle anyone and they are certainly bouncing back from pregnancy a heck of a lot better than I seem to be. And that’s hard for me, because I know, rationally, that everyone has struggles. Maybe everyone does not obsess about their bodies like I do. Maybe everyone does not have a dire need to get the dishes clean every night. Maybe everyone does not have world’s most strong-willed toddler. But we all have something. (Right? Right?)
I think it is perhaps tougher if you know me in person. This is the place where I vent, where I air almost all of my problems, at least those having to do with parenting, body image, weight-loss, and other life things (there are some things that are sacred, of course, and some things I have trouble writing about simply because you all know me; I sometimes think that if I were a famous blogger with a wide readership, I’d be inclined to be much more personal and, perhaps, gruesome, just because I probably would never meet you). If you meet me, I am bubbly, kind, and very patient with my child (I’d say children, but Jamie is not terribly demanding in a way that requires patience… yet). I probably appear to have it all put together. And the trick is, that’s likely how you appear to me.
What is it about human nature, about motherhood, that makes us wish to cover our weaknesses and struggles, to put on a happy face, to pretend like nothing is bothering us, nothing is throwing us for a loop, nothing is getting us down? Wouldn’t we be better off if we shared more of what’s really going on? Shouldn’t we be more transparent? At the very least, in knowing that other people struggle, I think I would gain some close friends, close friendships that I think I am missing out on right now.
The most stunning realization for me about motherhood are its inherent isolation and loneliness, followed closely by the lack of time – time to work, time to myself, time to do anything. I shouldn’t feel so all alone all the time, especially since I KNOW plenty of other mothers. But when you can’t count on getting out of the house at any specific time (I meant to go to work today after I dropped Charles at school, but he threw a monster tantrum and we ended up being an hour late. I was drained and just threw in the towel and came home) and you need to pack diapers and snacks and extra clothes and the activity and the friends need to be amenable to stopping and going home if the shit hits the fan (or the diaper blows out), well, it all seems like a lot, you know?
I think that’s why I keep this blog, really. To reach out and touch somebody. To not feel so all alone. To air my dirty laundry in the hopes that when I bring it back inside it doesn’t stink so much. As a coping mechanism, I suppose it is as good as any.
All through our childhood, Leland and I teased our mom about her singing voice. She’s a bit tone-deaf, and without rhythm, but she does love music. And who’s to say she shouldn’t sing loudly and often if she wants to?
Thanks to many years of music lessons, I have rhythm. However, I have inherited my mother’s awful voice (it’s a lovely voice when she speaks, though I still think my voice sounds like that of a 12-year-old boy). And now my kid is the one who tells me to “stoppit! No singing, mommy!” The only time mommy singing is acceptable to Charles is when he requests a specific song out of one of our songbooks, usually a Christmas carol, but also Elmo songs (which drive me nuts, as all of the Elmo songs are classic/traditional songs like “She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain,” but with Elmo lyrics).
Well, I’ll tell you what. At least for now, Jamie likes my singing. I can get him to calm down with just one round of “I’ve been Working on the Railroad.”
Sorry for all those years of being a pain in the ass about your singing, mom.
I think we’re going to start a new lawn service in town: Naked Toddler Irrigation.
Seriously, though, thank you, everyone, for your kind comments. I wish we could all have coffee and bitch together. We’d be much happier, dontcha think? You make my day with your words.