Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Yes, but...

Normal disclaimer: first time mom, parent of one 6 week old. No idea what I'm talking about. Don't judge me.
Just kidding. Love my kid to pieces. Other children? Meh.

As I've been getting out in the world (work happy hour! Family visits! Mom's meet ups!) I keep getting the same question. The normal, polite question, "How's it going for you?"

And I answer the normal, polite answer, "Fine, thanks! He's such a joy!"

That satisfies about a third of the people. Those people are my favorites. 
Please stop making me talk to you.

The other people.... they have follow up questions. Maybe they can see that I applied my makeup one-handed, and that only one armpit has deodorant (stand on my right. You're welcome). Maybe they see the way I nervously bounce and/or sway even when I'm not holding D.

The other. other people are the nostalgic parents of older children. They are often men (stereotyping here) who have forgotten, or never knew, how hard small babies are. They only see how lovingly I gaze at my little boy's perfect face.

Follow up question 1: Oh but aren't you SO TIRED? Isn't it hard not sleeping? Don't you miss {insert thing that yes, I do miss}?

Follow up question 2: Isn't parenthood the BEST!? He's so tiny, he must just be an angel! Does he nap a lot? That must be so nice!
I need new House of Cards episodes, continuously.

I struggle to answer both these types of questions. I mean, yeah, he's an angel. But yes, I'm tired. But I chose to have a child, so I'm not complaining. But is complaining a little ok? 

From my extensive time on the internet, I've noticed so many mom stereotypes. Moms are harried, subsist on wine and coffee (an otherwise great blog posted about exactly this. Gag). We're all crossing our fingers for well-behaved kids and looking forward to that next pedicure/girls' night/vacation. The other option is being the beatific Downy-commercial type. Fresh-faced and bright eyed, full of vigor. Our children are all smiles. They make primary color messes that can be cleaned up with just a single paper towel... if it's the right brand!

Can't I be both? The snarky, tired mom and the one that's madly in love with my kid and slightly has her shit together? Spending the day with D is stressful, but it's an honor. I get to raise this tiny person and shape his mind. I get to have him nap on me. I wake up next to his sweet, tiny face in the morning (and throughout the night). That's freaking amazing. But... I am tired. I desperately need to shave my armpits, paint my toenails, and deep clean the kitchen, but those things fall to the bottom of the priority list when my baby needs to be snuggled. 

I guess I just have trouble interacting with people (I could end the sentence there!) who are convinced that it's all one way or the other. Either kids are little scoundrels or they're blessings. Motherhood is either a slog or a miracle. No. It is both. 

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