I was at the gym this morning when I saw an up-coming Today story – What’s your deepest, darkest secret? Moms confess… Today.com and Parenting.com surveyed 26,000 moms. Mental note – go look that up online later…
So I read the article.
Uh…..nothing surprising. Really – any mom out there look at that and feel surprised by anything they said? Shocked at how many admitted to certain actions like medicating a child or using them as an excuse to get out of stuff? Haven’t done the former, have done the latter. So what? I’ve sent a sick kid to daycare and I often want to be left alone. Are you judging me now? How about that I ponder the “Do Over” question?
So why am I writing about this? Besides shaking my head at the honest reality of it all? Yes! It is so freeing to be able to say these kinds of things to my closest girlfriends (and I guess now the internets). Blogs like dooce or All & Sundry have helped in laughing, crying or figuring out tips of my own in the whole parenting scheme. Or the ah yes I remember that moment… Like at my 2-week post partum sobbing to my doctor that I didn’t want to be a mommy that day.
But those blogs didn’t exist when I was considering pregnancy – OK, they might have, but I wasn’t reading them. There was not a Loud Voice out there of Mommy Bloggers talking about the challenges and joys of parenthood. No one being totally honest and raw about what it meant to be a parent.
I remember coming back from maternity leave, Fall of 2003 and running into a pregnant co-worker in the cafeteria. She was in the happy pregnancy stage, no morning sickness, not physically uncomfortable, she was just joyous and bubbly. I was operating on about 4 hours of sleep. She asked me how wonderful it was to be a parent and how excited I was to have a daughter. I looked at her straight in the eye and say “No one tells you how hard it is”, she smiles, “No really, there are not words to describe how HARD it is!” She gave a nervous laugh and walked away. Months later after her maternity leave, she walks up to me with that wild-eyed new parent look, takes my hand and says something to the effect of, “You were SO right and I had no idea…there truly aren’t words…”
If you aren’t a parent – that may not have made sense to you.
I love my child. She is sharp, creative, caring, pretty and cunning. She is a force to be reckoned with now and will be until she leaves the nest for her own place. I love that she takes care of me when I’m ill, brings me art for my office, eager to share a dessert, read a book together and wants to cuddle from time to time. But sometimes….
I just wish I could do it over.