Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This is sooooo politically incorrect...

Before I had kids, I thought I was going to really have to work at not becoming The Mommy. I thought I was going to get sucked into the whole thing: Motherhood. I thought I might love it all so much, be so enamored by the whole adventure, that I'd forget about being The Wife or The Friend or Just Me.

Boy, was I wrong.

It turns out (brace yourself...big secret coming...major potential for offense here) I don't really like being a mommy much.

It's true.

After all those years of worrying that I would love it so much I'd cross over to the other side...the side with bob haircuts and no stilettos and scrapbooking parties and holiday-patterned cardigans...it turned out I'm not actually The Mommy Type.

Hmph. Who knew?

Okay, so yeah...this is where I say what I have to say (which is actually quite true): I love my kids, I have no regrets, I am sooooo grateful for them, their health, their smiles, their moments of joy. Yes. Blah blah blah. I am all of that too. But mostly, I am tired. And stressed. And exhausted. And sleep-deprived. And sex-deprived. And freedom-deprived. And carefree-ness-deprived. (What do you mean, 'That's not a word'?!?)

*Intermission: As I am typing, my chubby little Aidan Kai crawls over, pulls himself up, grabs onto my leg and, in an attempt to join my blogging confessions, starts slapping at the keyboard. Then, as I point out his little piggy toy is waiting for him a few feet away, he grins his dimply toothy smile and trots off...yes, trots...because he has just started to walk, and I melt a teeny bit. Parenting is the only thing that can make you feel that way: a million contradicting emotions at once. Frustrated. Trapped. Amazed. Blessed. Giggling at his antics while bitching about them...*

But yeah...I've come to realize that I am not The Mommy Type. I thought I might become the mommy type after some practice, but yeah, um, no. Like at the end of my workday, I don't always look forward to going home. I don't. I know. That's really, really terrible. But it's true. In fact, some days I dread it. I just don't enjoy entertaining and lifting and disciplining and cleaning and refereeing at the end of a long work day. I'd much rather be on the couch, reading or sleeping or writing or romping with the Hubby.

And on the weekends, I'd much rather be out...glammed up, out late, dancing and drinking. Or, not. Maybe in my pj's, staying in, sleeping in, and doing absolutely nothing. But that's the whole thing: with parenting, you just don't have that many choices. You don't have that many opportunities. You usually don't get to choose whether to go out or stay in. Because most nights (at least around my house, anyways), we are getting through all the Requirements: baths and meals and toys and to-do's, and then...oh, we are sooooo done. Done. Exhausted. Get into bed and just barely watch the latest episode of Rachel Zoe (or Monday Night Football, depending on which one of Us we are talking about).

And another thing...you know those uber-cool pics of Gwen Stefani and Heidi Klum, all chic and thin and fabulous, with a kid in one arm and a Starbucks Venti and the latest It Bag on the other? That is SO not motherhood. I mean, I could look like that too if I had a nanny (or 3) and a hair person and tons of money and did I mention a nanny? Real motherhood is not glamorous. It is not chic. It is, usually, messy and wrinkly and bags under the eyes. And if you happen to be having a good day...your hair is done and your nails are polished and you've got your sparkly hoop earrings...then chances are you're extra tired from the effort that took AND there is an even better chance that your 1-year-old will tear out, at the very least, the hoop earring, if not the whole earlobe.

So now here I am, 4 years and 2 kids later. And I don't have to work at not being The Mommy. In fact, it is the Wife, Friend, and Self that is constantly pushing and battling against the Mommy...all the Me's fighting for equal time. Except no matter how violent that fight gets, the Mommy usually wins. I admit, it's not by choice. I'd like so much to see myself as a woman who happens to have kids, instead of a mom who happens to have a life, but I can't. The truth of the matter is that when you become a mom, it becomes a major part of who you are...whether you want it to or not.


  1. Here Here. I hear you loud and clear. Although I CHOSE to stay home with my kids because I thought being a mommy was what I was best at and loved most. More than my career, more than having time to go get a manicure during lunch, more than gossiping with friends at work, more than peeing ALONE. I chose this. And some days (like the day I wrote that prison post) I want to UNchoose it. There are days that there is nothing I love more than my kids and my life with my kids but as moms, there are more days when we feel kicked around, walked over, sick to our stomachs exhausted, ugly as hell and just bitter about what life has become (at least I do). But I strive to make the good days the ones that count and one day (ONE day somewhere in the future), we'll get OUR lives back and hopefully we'll look at our kids and know the hell we went through was worth it.

  2. What an utterly honest and profound post, Liz. Any mommy who tells you she doesn't feel the same once in a while is lying! Being a mommy is really hard work - it does get easier - and harder - as they age. Being a mommy means being totally un-appreciated. And the fear that you are losing yourself is a real threat. Because being a mommy is so demanding, that it is entirely possible to lose you. So continue to fight the fight to be You. Yes, being a mommy wins out most of the time; but eventually those babies are going to spread their wings and fly and the mommy won't be as necessary any more. Beautiful post - loved it!

  3. Liz, this is my favortist post of yours. And yes, that IS a word, in MY dictionary. It's all about our roles. Jen and I talk about this a lot. I think we need a transcription service to take down our conversations and put them on the blog because that's where all the magic happens...on the phone. Where we talk about how the role of motherhood consumes you. Even if you don't really want to be consumed. How your time is already apportioned. How coming home after work isn't always dandy. You have to pick up messes as soon as you walk in the door. You are IN DEMAND as soon as you greet the kids. They WANT YOU. Everyone wants you and needs you. Your boss. Your kids. Your husband. It's exhausting. There is no retreat.

    And so we blog. Thank god for that. Because really? I'm tired of trying to NOT think about it. Motherhood is not glamourous. I'm tired of thinking that I'm fucking up all the time. I want to hear that other mothers feel that way too. And you know what? They do. Phew. I'm not a reject.

    And you? You are more than a mother. You are sexy and smart and fun. I can tell that much. Imma gonna make my way to Florida and throw a few more adjectives in there.

  4. just think that pretty soon it won't be so 24/7 like it is now...
    then you can go back to being fab and carrying the it bag and the venti.

  5. Motherhood is not glamorous. No it is not. I hate those images of moms in the media. So NOT REAL. And I hate NOT REAL. I love this: "I'd like so much to see myself as a woman who happens to have kids, instead of a mom who happens to have a life, but I can't." I love it because it is TRUE and REAL. And because a lot of moms are just too damn scared to admit it!

  6. This post is a real thinker! Being a Mommy can be all consuming and I love that you spell out how the You and the Mommy are fighting it out! I like to think I am a Mommy who managed to hang on to a wee bit of style and self. I know it won't be too long beofe my babes leave the nest and then it's just me andthe Hubs again. I don't want to be lost when they are gone.
    SInce I hate cooking, cleaning, and laundry I think I will be ok!!

  7. Thank you for not being afraid to be honest - putting aside political correctness. It's so nice to stumble onto a mom blog that is real, sensitive and honest.

  8. I found your post refreshingly honest! Stopping by from SITS roll call.

  9. I love this post - thank goodness for the internet so we can get these thoughts out there and find out that SO many others feel the exact same way! My blog is all about wellness for moms and I've written some things that are similar. Check out my post http://www.thepranamama.com/moms-the-word/movie_star_mo.php. I love your blog and have it linked on my sidebar. It sounds like we have A LOT in common!


Comments rock...