From the book, Mother Shock - Tales from the First Year and Beyond, Loving Every (Other) Minute of It by Andrea J. Buchanan, the author writes about her first year as a new mom to her daughter. It includes lots of straight-forward essays about what she experienced, including the essay that comes from the title of this book, "Loving Every (Other) Minute of It." She includes in this essay a list of things she does not so much love about being a mother or about raising a child. I thought it was brave of her. I admired her for being so honest. Her point in doing this is to say, Hey, it's not all butterflies and flowers around this parenting block. There are some bad days. There are some tough stuff. It's OK to admit that. It doesn't mean we are bad moms just because we don't necessarily love changing diapers.
From pages 64-65 the author writes a few things she does not like:
"I don't love every minute of going to the playground. I don't love every minute of watching Elmo. I don't love every minute of having uninterrupted sleep at night." I don't love every minute of having to endure the stares of people when my child freaks out in public. I don't love every minute of making food that my kid ends up throwing on the floor. I don't love every minute of being peed on, pooped on, and thrown-up on..."
I decided I want to write this list for myself, and for you moms-to-be or new moms. I know this will be the one thing I write on here that you skim through, looking through your rose-colored glasses of optimism, thinking to yourself, it can't really be that bad. Still, I promised you from the beginning I'd be nothing short of totally honest in this blog. So here goes...
Things I'd rather do without as a mom or with raising a child:
-poop... in a diaper, on my child's legs/hair/up the back to the neck, or on my arms or clothes.
-fevers that I have no idea what they mean or if they are the ones I should really call the doc or take the child to the ER at 3 a.m. for
-trips to the ER at 3 a.m. Those are never fun.
-waking up every two hours in the beginning.
-hearing babies scream bloody murder. It makes me want to cry myself. Seriously.
-toddler attitude and tantrums and when he learned to say "no"
-my son throwing the food he loved to eat just yesterday, but today has decided is terrible
-my son despising anything green on his plate, when just six months ago he would eat a mixture of pureed plums-nectarines-green beans all in one sitting.
-toys all over the house, at all times, despite me cleaning them up ten times already today
-not being able to go to the bathroom alone or shower right after a run because it's not nap time for my child yet
-not being able to play certain songs on the radio because I'm nervous he'll pick up some bad words
-the stares from people who don't even have kids, assuming they know they could do this ten times better than I'm doing
-having to be "on" all the time - teaching, watching, being responsible, packing a zillion extra pairs of clothes/wipes/diapers/sippy cups/snacks, etc.
-feeling pressured to be great with everything moms are "supposed" to do, like nursing.
-watching my child cry and squirm and look at me with eyes asking, "Why did you let them do that to me, Mom?!" after my son gets his shots at the doctor's office.
I'm sure there are more. Surprisingly, I don't feel like a bad mom writing those things. I feel liberated. Well, OK, maybe I am wondering which of those things my friends will read and think that I'm crazy for writing... but whatever. I'm sticking with it, that honesty thing I talked about and the reason I started this blog in the first place.
The point here is that it's all right to be messy, chaotic, and weird as a mom. The whole parenting process is defined by those words anyhow. Just jump aboard this crazy train. It takes you to a wonderful place, I swear!