Anyone who knows me will tell you small talk isn’t one of my specialties.
I’ve found little value in what someone thinks about the weather, where they ate for dinner or what app they’ve just downloaded. The information I can garner from a simple Google search or Weather Bug alert has totally replaced the need for banal conversation.
So I tend to get real quickly. In fact, I’ve been known to rudely interrupt people, begging them to get to the point—but only if they’re spewing falsehoods.
This has grown more frequent since I became a mother. There seemed to be no shortage of people suggesting products (I never used) or social media posts to convince me other parents had a secret team of 10 nannies.
“Serene” just isn’t the word I’d use to describe a trip to the store with three children. For a while, bath time was a process best compared to a game of Twister. And family vacations often left me needing a solo vacation.
But I felt alone in my stress.
After tucking in my children, I’d sometimes curl up (and fall asleep) with a book, or I’d enjoy a glass of wine (OK, vodka) and catch up on Facebook.
My “seriously?” face would say it all: I had stumbled upon a status update from a mother hen that suggested her life was absolutely perfect. This woman woke up with make-up on, her kids never cried, every day was a blessing, her husband was worthy of a Shakespearean sonnet, and she always fit into her skinny jeans.
I’d read it, say a silent two-word phrase and drink my wine (vodka). Then I’d call one of my best friends—my true refuge—and explain the kind of person I never want to be.
Life isn’t like a Norman Rockwell painting. And that’s OK.
Families are complicated. It’s not always going to smell like cinnamon on Christmas morning. Dinner won’t always be eaten in the dining room. Children will always be precious, but they won’t always be sweet. And parents won’t always be at their best.
I’m a mom who succeeds and fails every day. Sometimes those successes and failures are big; sometimes they are small.
But they are real experiences. They are mine, and I own them.
I’ve left the driveway with a diaper bag on the roof of the car. I’ve forgotten when it’s my turn for snack day in school (the local Rite-Aid loved my last-minute stops). And, at times, I’ve been willing to accept evil bargains just to get a little more sleep.
But, the truth is, when I can get sleep, I don’t. And when I’m away from my kids for even an hour, I miss them tremendously.
During my eight years of motherhood, I’ve formed many opinions, found many sources of comfort and discovered many favorite moments during my parenting journey. I’m going to share them here with you on a regular basis, and I hope you’ll share your journey with me.
And, as I continue to be real with you, you’ll soon see my life is, indeed, unlike a Norman Rockwell painting.
It’s more of a Salvador Dali—full of imagination, surrealism, bizarre moments and questionable fashion choices.Read More