Monday, May 13, 2013

On Mothering

1) Thank all the deities we do not now, nor will we (probably) ever, live near my mother-in-law.  I just had this terrifying flash of ham dinners every Mothers' Day from now to eternity.

2) I understand - in an intellectual way - the pain and heartbreak of wanting children, and not having children.     However, this does not mean that people with children are, in fact, grateful for them every moment of every day.  It's more... an abstract.  Or a Platonic ideal.  The day-to-day (seventh major meltdown, now strapped into the car to have a tantrum there due to sounding like a tornado siren, FOR EXAMPLE, while the little one stands at the door and cries "Mama!  Mama?  MAAAAMAAAA!!!!) is more like this (thank you for your eloquence, May):
 "If someone bitches to me about noisy anxsty teens or little princesses who break things in their tantrums, I agree, it’s distressing. I don’t think they should suck it up and be grateful. And if I ever get pregnant again, let alone get lucky and end up with a shrieky picky noisy anxsty stormy house-destroyer of my own, I too will want the right to bitch about it all. Ungratefully. Because it’s worth bitching about, even when I and you and everyone knows it’s damn well worth it."
And also this:
 Every time I’m out with my kids – this seems to happen: An older woman stops us, puts her hand over her heart and says something like, “Oh- Enjoy every moment. This time goes by so fast.” ...
Now. I’m not suggesting that the sweet old ladies who tell me to ENJOY MYSELF be thrown from a mountain. These are wonderful ladies. Monkees, probably. But last week, a woman approached me in the Target line and said the following: “Sugar, I hope you are enjoying this. I loved every single second of parenting my two girls. Every single moment. These days go by so fast.” ... 
There was a famous writer who, when asked if she loved writing, replied, “No, but I love having written.” What I wanted to say to this sweet woman was, “Are you sure? Are you sure you don’t mean you love having parented?”

So to everyone out there who, on the day where everyone is so grateful for their children, wasn't feeling especially grateful, cheerful, or even fond of the children:  ME TOO.


  1. One of my most gleeful moments yesterday was DH taking the kids to Sunday School and leaving me home Alone!! Lmk if you need some uninterrupted time, too.

  2. Anonymous9:41 AM

    Yesterday, I pulled down a pair of underwear and a pile of rabbit-pellet shaped poo fell out and rolled all over the floor. Obviously, I was appreciating every second because by god parenting is the. best.

    Here's to not living near mother-in-laws. My sister tells what I wish were tall tales but are not about her mother-in-law who demands that all the kids (mothers or not themselves) spend the day with her (flying from far flung places), send her to a spa, cook her dinner and give her gifts not less than $100. Yes, she specifies the amount.

  3. I really loved that second piece for the balance between oh love every moment and parenting sucks. The idea of finding special moments to appreciate works for me.

    Of course I also told my kids this morning that they are difficult because as soon as one is happy and sitting in my lap wanting to read a book the other wants to have a tantrum.


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