I’ve been reading a little bit of online criticism towards mommy bloggers for being so negative about parenting in their blogs. I could feel the defensiveness well up inside of me as I thought to myself, “It’s my blog, and I’ll complain if I want to”. Personally, I love to complain but feel that a good mommy blog covers the basics of motherhood while mixing complaints with stories of love and devotion.
Ultimately, I believe that humor is one of the most important assets one can have when embarking on the road of parenting. Without it, I would be sunk by now. Just this evening, after dinner, my husband got the task of taking the kids outside to play with the neighbors and their kids. As he left, he looked at me and said, “I hate you right now”. He was tired, it had been a long day, and all he wanted to do was get the kids ready for bed and have some time to himself. I got to stay inside with Rocky who was pretty happy babbling away and playing with herself. Had it not been for a sense of humor, which I happened to possess in the moment he said it, I might not have laughed out loud. I might have just thrown a knife at the door.
We sat down after getting the kids down for bed and set upon our backlog of Tivo’d episodes of United States of Tara, a show that chronicles the life of a woman living with Multiple Personality Disorder. As I watched this show, I can’t help but identify with her, because motherhood for me has been like I am living as one person one day and another person the next. Lately, some days for me have been easy and I’ve been happy-go-lucky with the kids. The next day, I want to have nothing to do with parenting and would rather be on a deserted island all by myself. My patience and tolerance isn’t always so great on those days.
Those multiple personality days are usually when I haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep or haven’t been feeling well. This past week it seemed like it was both for me; I had a hard time sleeping while getting over the worst sore throat I’ve ever had plus pink eye (I can’t believe I had pink eye. What am I a dirty little kid?).
I know that I can be light and a happy mom if I choose to be. As a mother I do laugh a lot, have a good time parenting, and I can write about it too. But sometimes, I’d rather write about how much I hate Play-Doh, which a friend on Facebook reminded me about this week. I hate how it gets everywhere and dries up. I have a hard time when the colors mix together even though the kids don’t. I hate that my kids always want to play with it after the floors have just been cleaned and I find little crumbly pieces for days after we play with it.
I hate finger painting and getting messy. I hate how washable markers sometimes aren’t really washable. I hate sidewalk chalk. I hate bathtub crayons even though the mark they leave can be washed off. I hate stickers even though as a kid I once had the biggest sticker collection that ever existed. I swore that I would never be that kind of person that allows their children to put stickers on their car windows. Then I found stickers on the back window of the van the other day and I spent an afternoon scrapping them off.
I hate my daughter’s little plastic dress-up shoes and how loud they are clanking against the hardwood floors. I pretty much hate all things made out of plastic in our home. I hate sippy cups. I hate that Olivia never lets me wash Ponty (her blankie) and that he smells (oh, yes, it’s a “he”) like milk gone bad. I hate the stacks and stacks of papers from school that my daughter insists on saving (even though I love her artwork).
The list can go on and on but for everything I hate, there are at least a dozen things that I love and more. I tolerate the things that I hate because I love my children. They don’t know how I really feel about their dirty Ponty. I get over the fact that Play-Doh gets everywhere and markers stain because they are kids and they are only kids once. What’s a childhood without Play-Doh and markers?
I love being a mom and just because I write about the things that I struggle with or bug me doesn’t mean that I would have it any other way. My children are amazing teachers and I am learning so much from them. I am also enjoying the camaraderie with other moms that are in the trenches with me. I feel like knowing that other people can relate helps me get through those days when I am sad for no apparent reason or quick to anger in my reactions to my kids. Parenthood isn’t always candy and roses and thankfully I’m doing it, albeit one day at a time.
But if, at times, I do forget to touch down and see how good my life with children really is and someone feels as though my writing is overloaded with complaints, I get to turn to them and say in my best mock four-year-old voice (which I know all too well from experience), “Hey, it’s my blog and I’ll complain if I want to!” Either that or “You’re not the boss of me!”