I’ve been a writer for a long time and a parent for even longer, but I didn’t intend to start a blog about either today, really. In fact, today started out as just another day. I had to take my 17-year-old daughter to see her foot surgeon for a follow up of her ankle surgery and go to the post office because my 21-year-old son’s college textbook was stuck in the post office lock box that wouldn’t open. When I got home, I figured I could have my 15-year-son try and determine how far behind he was on last year’s math so that he could maybe be ready to start a new book next week. (Yes, there’s a lot of kids. That’s not even quite half of them. They range from 21 to 5. And, we homeschool. Don’t worry. I’m pretty bad at it.) That’s when things went south.
My 15-year-old is my challenging child. He always has been. Okay, fine. I remember him being a very sweet baby and pleasant if determined toddler. But, by the time he hit Kindy, he was, uh, difficult? Spirited? I don’t even know. I’m trying to be positive here. That was also around the time that his little brother, number five, joined our family. I have no idea if these things are related or not. Anyways, there’s a lot of conflict that involves this particular child of mine, and he communicates poorly, so things frequently get tense and frustrating. Like today, with his math lesson. After my attempt to communicate where his progress stood and whether or not we might be ready for school next week didn’t go well, I spontaneously posted the following on my Facebook page:
“I know it’s not a Pinterest-worthy sentiment, but I don’t “enjoy” motherhood. I have a particular child that I’m in active conflict with pretty much daily, and it’s been like that for probably a decade. I’m exhausted and feel like I’m doing a crappy job almost all the time. Not going to lie, some days I find it the ultimate cosmic cruelty to put people in dynamics where they’re socially and morally responsible for another person’s behavior when the actual truth is you can’t control anyone else. Feel free to leave your own confession. I clearly won’t judge. #notpinterestworthy ”
I’m all about being real. In fact, it’s kind of my MO, you could say. Years ago, when I still kind of felt like I knew what I was doing, I stumbled across a little book called “Confessions of a Slacker Mom,” and that book became my mothering mascot, in a way. My permission to be okay with not always being okay in this gig. So, I don’t sugar coat things, really. I feel like we don’t do each other any favors by pretending that the pristine and polished online world is where we all live. Because, I don’t. Still, even I was surprised at what a response this spur-of-the-moment post generated.
This Facebook post went live at 6:45 on a Tuesday afternoon, and I had over 50 replies by the time I went to bed at 10:00. All from moms with their own stories of living in the real world. Women that thanked me for saying out loud what they all felt and were too afraid to admit. Parenting can feel like an island of isolation and loneliness where the perfectly portrayed world around looks nothing like the life you live everyday. The real truth is that we’re all in this together. I find beauty in the mess in so many ways, and I find sisterhood in knowing that I have a tribe that lives right there with me. I don’t know all the directions I might take this blog, but I hope that the journey we walk will make you feel like someone understands and that you’re not alone. Because, you’re not. Either way, it will be therapeutic for me to write about my crazy, messy, wonderful life. It’s #notpinterestworthy, but I still love it.
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3 thoughts on “I Was Just Having a Bad Day…”
I Love that you have done this Rosa. Being a Mom is, well it’s tough sometimes. I understand and have had all of these feelings at one time or another some emotions and feelings way more than others. I Love my Kids with everything I am, but to say that they have been my biggest challenge, some of my biggest heartaches, as well as my most proudest moments. It’s so confusing. And now I am raising 3 more (Joe’s) and I have to say being a “Stepmom” has it’s own new set of WTH! And Really!? I love them to pieces and I am happy to step into this roll, but Damit! I have never needed a drink (Margarita) so bad ever. Lol but seriously Stepparenting is a whole new level of SMH. Thank you for doing this blog, I can foresee a lot of Moms in here sharing, venting, and needing this so much.
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Thank you for being real. We need so much more of that in this world. I’m only on child #1 and he’s only been with us for 4 months, but it didn’t take long before I noticed how unusual people found it when I’d respond honestly to their inquiries. Just saying, “tired,” when asked by co-workers how we were doing would elicit a combination of surprise and relief – surprise that I wasn’t trying to pretend everything was all rainbows and new maternal bliss, and relief in that my own honesty somehow gave them permission to put down the front as well.
PS – I really enjoy your writing style, whatever the content. You’re just dang good at it (:.
Thank you, Nichole! That’s so kind. I’ve been a ghostwriter for quite a long time, and it’s nice to be able to write in my own voice about things I actually care about. Heh.
I find that being real gives others permission to be real as well. Besides the fact that pretending is just freaking exhausting!