Monday, July 30, 2007

Pants on Fire

I have never been much of a liar.

I am good at embellishment, especially when recounting a good drinking or poop story. But when it comes to lying, I am too afraid that I wont keep my story straight. But yesterday I caught myself in a perpetual lie, and its time to fess up.

I was picking up the kids from daycare. They were dressed rather adorably, I must say. And I was too, for a change. New shoes, new sweater, good hair day. And as we left daycare the boys were both walking along holding my hands and chatting in their toddler dialect and beaming up at me. A regular "carters" commercial.

Another mom stopped me and said "They are so cute. They are such nice, well behaved boys. I dont know how you do it." I laughed and did my standard deflection "Oh thanks, we are very lucky. Ha ha." She looked at me and said "No really, how do you do it?" I once again deflected and said "Oh the boys are really good and easy and my husband is a great help. Very lucky, haha."I left her in a cloud of deception, prancing out the door like a Stepford wife into my perfect little world.

BULLSHIT! I am full of it and now I want to hunt her down and tell her the truth. My kids ARE good and generally pretty easy and my husband is a great partner. But there are still many days when my kids drive me crazy, my husbands head is stuck in his ass, my hair looks like a wet cat and my clothes would be rejected by Goodwill. Somedays I am just satisfied with having all the lumpy bits covered in something clean, and I regard it as a success if we all just make it home in time to eat and bathe without any major breakdowns and without my toddlers learning any new four letter words from their exhausted, overworked, underpaid, overcommitted, under-slept mother.

It is hard-ass work getting things to look and feel as good as they did that day. I earned it, but not without alot of work and no small amount of stars aligning with the Toddler Mood and Good Hair Day Gods.I saw in that mother the need to hear that I am not perfect, that it will get easier, and that she is not a failure, and I failed her. I made her feel like it was easy and cool and that I was on top of it all, all the time. And that, my friends, violates my own personal Mom Honor Code of Truth.

I dont know what this need is to let everyone think that mothering comes to me so effortlessly, but it must be stopped.I am trying to make up for it. I saw a mom today dropping her toddler girl off. She was carrying her new 4 week old. I did the obligatory "Oh the new baby! How gorgeous! Congratulations! How are you?" and she did the obligatory "She's great. Wonderful! We are so blessed! We are great!' .

Then we both stood there and our eyes met and I said "When my kids were 4 weeks old I wanted to give them to the mailman so I could just have 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep." I saw tears well up in her eyes and she said "Yeah, thats pretty much where I am right now too." I hugged her and said "I know. I know. This new mom stuff is hell." We laughed, and I felt like I was back in the Mom Honor Code's good graces. For today anyway.One day at a time.

Go give Her Bad Mother some love. She is feeling a bit like the moms above today.

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