All day, I’ve been saying things like…
“What is going on?”
When I was really thinking, “Why the fuck are you all arguing again, over some dumb toy, when you spoiled brats have at least a thousand toys!”
When I was really thinking, “Why in the bloody hell did I get up this morning?”
“PLEASE, don’t do that again!”
When I was really thinking, “Kid, you are seriously going to make me lose my shit if you do that one more time.”
“It’s OK. Accidents happen.”
When I was really thinking, “Holy shit. This is it. This is the final straw that will push me over the edge. I will surely lose all semblance of sanity. My husband is going to come home and find me curled up in a ball, in a corner, rocking back and forth. He’ll have to put me in an institution. Eventually, he’ll get lonely and take up with some sexy, young, 20-something. She’ll probably be blonde. Damn it!”
The thing about parenthood that you don’t understand until you are actively entrenched in it, is that it is a complete emotional roller coaster.
You have never in your life experienced such intense emotions, equal parts joy, reverence, exasperation, frustration, exhilaration, anger, doubt, guilt, humor, hope, insanity, pride, and love — sometimes all within a 10-minute span. It’s exhausting yet strangely, magically wonderful.
Then there are those minutes, hours, days, when the magic of loving this little being of yours is overshadowed by the not-so-magical aspects of parenthood. And that is when the voice in my head starts to speak to me. That’s when Bad Bitch Mommy wishes she could tell her kids these ugly truths:
1. Guess what? I don’t fucking want to go to dance class either!
Or any of your other after-school activities. I don’t want to worry about where your uniform is or if it’s clean. Or if you have the appropriate footwear. Or instruments. I don’t want the responsibility of providing a team snack. I’m sick and tired of providing snacks for my own children. I don’t want want to have to deal with all the whining on the days that you don’t feel like going, or have to give you another damn lecture about “responsibility when you make a commitment.”
And I get butt fatigue. The seating, when there is seating, is always horribly uncomfortable, and I end up shifting around, sometimes for hours, while I wait. It sucks. Plus I get bored. Sure, you are cute and brilliant, and you make my heart swell with pride. But you are also sometimes less than entertaining. If I pull out my phone, and happen to look up and find you watching me, I feel guilty as hell. So I try not to look at my phone, but then I can’t help but notice how bored and uncomfortable I am.
2. When you read to me, I get this overwhelming urge to finish each sentence, and it takes all of my willpower to remain silent.
While I am so happy that you are learning to read, listening to you makes me want to pull my hair out. I sometimes have to clench my teeth together to prevent myself from yelling, “The brown bear sat in a chair! How many times do you have to sound out ‘brown’ and ‘bear’ before you recognize them by sight?! You’re killing me!”
Instead, I sit and patently nod my head in encouragement and smile at your attempts.
3. I don’t want to tuck you in every night.
Sometimes I wish you would just go to sleep without me tucking you in. Many nights, I can’t wait for you to go to bed so I can be alone. Sometimes I am so tired that I wish we didn’t have to go through the same damn ritual. Sometimes, while I am kissing you goodnight, I am mentally picturing myself on the couch, eating chocolate, and mindlessly scrolling through Facebook.
4. Sometimes I don’t want to kiss your boo-boos.
There are times when I wish I didn’t have to differentiate between when you need to be coddled and when you need to be told to “brush it off.” Then there are times when I know you aren’t hurt, you’re just being dramatic, but I have to resist the urge to scoop you up and coo at you in my high-pitched baby voice and smother you with kisses. I hate it that you’re growing up so fast, and you never sit still long enough for me to smoother you with my love anymore.
5. There are times I wish I didn’t have to bathe you or prompt you to shower.
I don’t want to deal with all the water on the floor, or trying to be careful to keep soap out of your eyes, or hearing your inevitable cries of protest when you get water on your face or when you’ve been told to get out of the tub. Nor do I always feel like sitting there and monitoring you as a safety precaution. I have a million things to do that don’t include watching you play with rubber duckies.
And come on tweens and teenagers, do you really not notice you stink? I’m seriously tired of having to prompt you to shower.
6. I hate the fact that you have homework more than you do.
I’m sick of telling you how important it all is when in reality you’re going to forget 90% of it, which is okay because you won’t ever have to use most of it in the real world anyway. I’m lying when I tell you that I am happy to help. Also, you write so slowly I have to resist the urge to rip the pencil out of your hand and do it myself just to get the torture over with.
7. Going to any place that involves water is a pain in the ass because of you.
I’d much rather sit there with my eyes closed, relaxing in the sun, than have to be responsible for lifeguarding you. You remind me of an annoying fly buzzing in my ear when you keep shouting “Watch me, Mommy, watch me!” every two seconds as I am trying to carry on a conversation.
And why is it that you always have to pee within five minutes of getting wet? Seriously, kid, I just took you to the bathroom. I don’t want to have to wipe off the wet toilet paper that has adhered to your body. Yuck!
8. Sometimes, I fucking hate family dinnertime.
Sometimes I don’t like the food I make. Sometimes I cook a fucking masterpiece, and when you tell me how much you hate it, I have to try really, really hard not to load my fork full of food and flick it across the table directly into your face. Why does it take you so long to finish a plate full of dinner when it takes you two minutes to polish off all entire shelf of pantry snacks?
9. Your interests bore me to tears sometimes.
I wan’t you to feel loved and important. so I listen to you intently even though I often times have zero interest. I may act like I’m enthralled in discussing the newest Disney movie, how high you can stack Legos, or the newest game app you downloaded, but in reality I am bored and hoping my phone will ring so I have an excuse to end the conversation.
10. There are times that I don’t know whether everything is going to be OK or not.
I get scared too. I worry, and I have doubts. I try to shield you at times like this. I try to act confident, to keep positive.
Because of you, these worries also carry the burden of guilt. Are you being negatively affected? Can you see through my thinly veiled mask of confident assurance? Having to lie and tell you that it’s all going to be fine stresses me out even more.
11. I wish I could control every aspect of your life, always.
Sending you off into the world, knowing you will sometimes fail, knowing that you will sometimes hurt, terrifies me. Yes, I want to protect you from everything and everyone. Yes, I wish I could be there to guide all of your decisions because I’ve lived longer and know a hell of a lot more than you do. Even though you may think I don’t understand, I do — only too well. I know I need to step back at times and let you make bad decisions so that you can learn, and it kills me.
12. More than anything else, I wish you could know how much I love you.
The love a parent has for a child is deeper than anything you will ever experience in your life. I pray you will someday get to understand this love yourself when you have your own children. And when you do, you will understand all that I do for you, all that you are to me, how hard parenthood can be, and how much I fucking love you.