Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Mom I Want to Be

I used to have labor and delivery fantasies. You know, I was going to go au naturel and be beautiful while doing it.

We all know that fantasy didn't have a chance to come true or not come true. Of course, I always joke that my labor and delivery consisted of a 16 hour flight with two sick infants who were miserable and cried 14 of those hours...and I can tell you that I most definitely was NOT beautiful while doing that. Shudder.

I guess much of life is about anticipation and maybe fantasizing about how you will carry yourself in certain roles and in certain situations. Or is that just me?

I used to swear to DH that I wouldn't gripe or complain about the angst of motherhood, that I would take it all in stride, that I would not fall apart when a certain fifteen month old needed a huge diaper change right after we arrived at the grocery store and thus I found myself unzipping sixteen layers of clothes (it was 38 degrees here this morning!) and changing said fifteen month old in the back of our car because the double carts at the grocery store certainly won't fit into the bathroom and really, I abhor those public changing plastic things anyway... but yet I found myself bitching and complaining about it to DH on the drive home from the grocery store. As if he needed/wanted to hear that story.

In the early days I felt so overwhelmed and tired and frankly, and it wouldn't have mattered how much I wanted to appear in control and not overwhelmed because to sum up our look in one word: pitiful. Pitiful, pitiful, pitiful. We both looked gaunt, dark shadowed, and stressed. Yes, we were happy! happy! happy! too but the physical toll was real. And I hated that. We couldn't hide our overwhelmedness. It was hanging out all over the place. I mean, let's get real: I started crying on that plane ride within twenty minutes of take off. Pitiful indeedio.

I wanted and fantasized about being the Mom who took care of her two long awaited and anticipated infants with ease, who didn't freak out over every little thing, who took mealtime antics in stride, who cooked and cleaned and baked and ran and wrote and read and still talked to friends on the phone and kept up with everyone else's lives and did it all with aplomb. And I wanted to be fashionable while doing it, too, just to throw that in there.

Universe? Is that you laughing?

But I'm going to rely on my old technique of faking it until making it. Because it can be done. I do not have to regurgitate every.last.detail of their naps or leaking diapers or vomit sessions or mealtime antics to anyone who will listen. That makes me exactly the Mom I did not want to be. Shudder again. I will decide to pretend to be handling it all with aplomb and eventually, as the saying goes, I will.

Wish me luck.


  1. I hear you. When I was trying to get preggo I remember thinking I would never complain or talk bad about my kids. I don't talk bad about them but I sure as heck complain and relish a day away from them. Us moms gotta' stick together.

  2. Heh. I hear ya on this one - I think about it ALL the time. I didn't want to be that mother either. But I've come to the conclusion that hard is hard - diaper changes in the trunk of a car ARE hard, in the same way that longing for a baby IS hard. I think it's fine to tell it like it is - as long as you are choosing your audience! You wouldn't buttonhole an infertile friend and moan about the poop... and I think that's the difference.

  3. Motherhood is humbling, isn't it? Thanks to sleep deprivation, those early months were a blur for me too.

  4. Sounds perfectly normal to me. Just because we suffered from IF, doesn't mean we are immune from the reality of parenthood. Not pitiful. Normal.

    1. (can't figure out how to reply to your original post)...MTL, You sound so normal! It's funny that one of the things I hear most often about myself (and my husband) is "you make it look so easy." HA! With 3 kids and 2 full time jobs and no additional kid help, we just GO. Go, go, go. There is no time (even) to complain. I guess that makes it look easy, even when it's hard as hell.

      Uh. My word verification was "idying." No kidding.

  5. I am going to borrow that one...fake it til you make it! I don't think those moms exist EXCEPT in our go ahead and fantasize. A when you get a big spit of goo in your face while you are trying to feed your!! Take care!

  6. I won't even pretend that I won't be overwhelmed, no matter what I wish otherwise. So how do you learn the humility? Are there mom time-outs? Breathing exercises?

  7. Fake it til you make it is KEY. And releasing control--that was a hard one for me. I'm still nowhere near the parent I *want* to be, but my kids still think I'm awesome. It's amazing how they don't even notice the things I beat myself up over.

  8. I'm still seriously impressed that you decided to take on two little ones at a time! I think I've mentioned before that I am super slow at getting myself out the door each morning for work, so I have no idea how you are even faking it! I do know that feeling less than perfect is a sign of a good mom though :)

  9. This post really resonates with me...I think a lot if us thought once we got our babies, it would be bliss bliss bliss. It's f***ing hard being a mom! I also totally related to your post about how some days you feel like super mom and others like a hot mess. I'm glad you are still blogging!

  10. At 3 am, after already have gotten up 2 times since going to bed at 10...I have been known to cry and wonder how I will make it through the rest of the day....just try andmake sure the good moments outweigh the bad mommy moments....ultimately your kids are pretty forgiving and the rest doesn't matter (says the woman who likes her counters to be perfectly wiped and then DRIED after every meal).

  11. Ditto what Nora said. In 6 months you'll have a different perspective as you do now on what was happening this summer.