I had Oprah on yesterday while prepping dinner, and the topic was one dear to my heart--Confessions of Real Moms! I found myself laughing at the desperate measures many of these moms had gone to in order to just survive their days with kiddos. Like the mom who peed in a diaper in order to keep from stopping during a car trip, since her children were peacefully sleeping and would have awakened for a pit stop. Or the mom who confessed to fake crying in front of her kids in order to get them to behave.
One of the most important messages of the show, though, was that as Moms, we pull it together, put on a brave face, and try to appear to the world that we have everything under control and somehow, we've managed the impossible feat of living the perfect suburban life--but then we slink back home, crying alone while we feel like failures because our house is a disaster, we haven't showered in three days, and our kids are out of the control half the time. Like so many moms before me, I have struggled for years with unrealistic expectations--I feel like a failure because I can't keep my house clean, have the perfect dinner on the table every night at 6, volunteer for every good cause I believe in, keep up with reading parenting books, read my Bible daily, go to the gym regularly, and juggle every other task on my plate to perfection. I hold myself to an impossible standard and then feel like a screw-up when I don't make the grade.
Since my recent lupus diagnosis and flare up, though, I've finally started letting go of that need to be the perfect suburban wife. I've let people see my house messy. I've finally let on to my husband how exhausted I am and asked him for help. I've said "No" to a few requests on my time and have let go of some of my commitments so I could focus on being more pleasant to my family and not so stressed. I've even served a few *gasp* processed, prepared meals to my family and enjoyed a night off of cooking. I know, all this seems pretty silly, but for me, it's HUGE! And the fact that I'm admitting it all to the universe on my blog, well, even more progress!
On my path to a healthy acceptance of my shortcomings, I figured I'd even list a few Mommy Confessions of my own. I invite all of you fellow moms to join me by leaving a comment with your own Mommy Confession. Come on, give in, just admit to one of those moments where you blew the June Cleaver image out of the water--it'll be cathartic, I promise!
there are photos of me drinking a very large margarita--while nursing my 4 month old.
that I regularly get up when Aiden wakes, turn on the Wii, hand my son a granola bar and a glass of milk, and then go back to bed for an hour.
that I've forgotten to feed Aiden lunch.
that I've offered to pay my son $20 and take him to Peter Piper Pizza if he'd just be quiet for the entire 15 minute drive home from the grocery store (after a 2 hour grocery trip in which he never stopped talking, even to breathe, I swear.)
that I've lost my temper and yelled at Aiden so loud and so fiercely that I scared him into a cower. (Talk about instant guilt--seeing your kid look at you with absolute fear. I don't think I've ever gone from angry to sad and apologetic so fast in my life).
that I've intentionally left Aubrey in a dirty diaper because I knew Brad would be home soon and I just couldn't muster the energy to change one more diaper.
that when Aiden was a baby and Brad was in Afghanistan, I shamelessly abused the gym's childcare center. I would drop him off--then completely skip the workout and just sit in the sauna, take a long, leisurely shower, or just sit in the locker room and read. Once, I even snuck out the front door to the coffee shop next door to read a magazine and drink a cup of coffee in peace.
So there are my confessions. I'm sure there are many more Mom mishaps I am forgetting or that I've intentionally blocked out. No, I'm not proud of these moments, but I've learned that this is what REAL motherhood is all about--screw ups and mishaps and a few shortcuts to maintain your sanity, but all with the best intentions and love for your children.