Thursday, June 10, 2010

Never

I think as women, we all have an idealized version of ourselves we aspire to. We want to be a particular kind of wife. A specific kind of mother.

I know I had visions of grandeur.

Make that delusions.

When we got married, we received two crockpots as gifts. I promised myself never to use them for anything but chili and meatballs. I swore I'd never make boring things for dinner like casseroles and stews. I vowed to never ever put fruit into a jello mold. I swore I'd never spend entire days cleaning the house. I promised to fold the socks.

We'd be gloriously happy and share hobbies. We would go for long walks with our well behaved dogs and talk about everything we did and felt and dreamed of.

Back when I thought about what kind of mom I would be someday, I had many ideas of how things would go. I'd have immaculately clean children. My kids would never have snotty noses and unclipped fingernails. They would always be dressed in unstained, matching clothes.

I swore I'd never have the family room cluttered with toys and rocking horses and ball pits.

I'd never let my kids watch tv. They'd be constantly enriched with educational games and toys. I would have playgroups and mommy and me classes. I would breastfeed for precisely one year, never allow pacifiers and take away all bottles at the times I was supposed to.

Clearly I was delusional.

Not only do I use my crockpots all the time, I have to confess to using both of them at the same time on several occasions. I make a casserole at least once a week. There is jello with fruit in it in my fridge now. I pretty routinely spend all day cleaning the house. And I don't fold the socks, at least not until I really, really have to.

My husband and I have almost nothing in common. We don't go on long walks and our dogs are not the kind you ever take out in public.

I tried really hard not to have dirty kids for a while, but with four I just can't do it. I can't keep them all clean all the time. It just is impossible. Even when it was just Aidan, he always had a snotty nose. The kid had clogged tear ducts and chronic sinus infections. Part of the reason I always keep wipes in the car is for the last minute oh crap we are going somewhere and you are all gross moments.

I have a five year old girl who insists on wearing whatever she wants, and trust me when I say it's just easier to let her than argue about whether something matches or not.

I've learned there is a difference between clean clothes and unstained ones. Big difference.

My kids love tv. LOVE it. I try to limit it, and there are days that it's never on. But then there are the other days...

I gave up buying educational toys, at least the ones marketed that way. They never play with them. But give them some bubble wrap and toilet paper, now that is a guaranteed good time.

I stopped going to playgroups when my second was born and none of the groups allowed older children. All those first time moms, delusional still, they wanted their little babies to be protected from the bad influences of the big kids. Someday they'd have more kids, I laughed. Someday they'd learn. Someday they'd be like me, lost in the sea of boredom with too many kids to ever be welcome anywhere again.

I've nursed all of my kids for as long as they wanted to. My almost two year old is walking around with three pacifiers as I type this. And he's carefully maneuvering around the piles of toys in the family room.

I could go on for days about all the things I swore I'd never do. Motherhood teaches you a lot about who you are, as opposed to who you thought you would be. And it teaches you a lot about life in general.

First and foremost, never say never.

4 comments:

  1. Tell me about it. And screw those stuck up Moms. That's why I started my own playgroup where there was no pretentious bitches who wanted to take minutes and hold elections for president and secretary Or talk about you when you weren't there. Or need to constantly plan and get annoyed when you can't come or you planned to come but the kid slept right through. We have a set day and time every week, and if one makes it it's great, if not oh well. We have yet to talk negative about each other. And from the get go, we've had older kids, and loved those Mom's and their advice. Been together 3 years this summer...and they are wonderful women who I admire and respect. And I'll be nursing Rebecca forever it seems:) You do what works for you and if your kids are happy and healthy, then you are doing a great job. Keep up the good work...and I love my crockpot!

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  2. I guess I need some crock pot recipes! I'm trying to cook pretty much every day, and I'm running out of ideas. Finally stopped nursing Lauren, which is good since I was starting to think she was going to go to college like that!

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  3. I'll have to post some of my crockpot recipes for you Erin! And really, Lauren would have a hard time beating Ally. LOL

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  4. How about a crockpot recipe exchange:) I only have a few I actually like...but I keep trying.

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