Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Ugly Truth about Motherhood

No, this isn't a post about a picture of me in sweatpants, a stained shirt, and unkempt hair (although I'm sure you could get a picture like this from me about once a week... or every morning).  It isn't even anything ugly about bodily fluids even though you will come in skin-to-skin contact with most of them (remember this post).  This is a post about a motherhood truth that most moms know but it isn't often talked about (probably because we are too buys dealing with the truth... I don't think this is a secret or anything).

And here it is... you will not always like your children.  In fact, for me, I'd say on a weekly basis the split is 50/50 on like/dislike.  But I think I've figured out why and they "why" might just be one of the fundamental problems of motherhood (and I'm assuming the same rings true for fatherhood on this... so let's just call it parenthood from here on out).

So, these small creatures come in to your life.  At first they are totally dependent on you (and I'll let you know when that stage ends) and then little by little they gain independence.  All sounds like a good plan... right?  Well, here is the problem.  From the very beginning, even when they are fully dependent on you to do almost anything (except poop, pee, and cry because they got that down from the get-go) they are their own people... with their own likes and dislikes and their own opinions.  And to make matters worse, before they are verbal you have to figure out their likes and dislikes and then once they are verbal (or once they can get their opinion across without being verbal like Chloe) their likes and dislikes will rarely coincide with your needs at the time. 

So, for instance, you need to go to the store.  Chances are your children don't want to.  Now, I'm not saying you give in to your child but be forewarned that your child will use every bit of control he/she has to let you know the store is a no-go.  They will throw fits, "lose" their shoes, take off their coat when you turn your back to put on the sister's coat, and various other temper tantrums.  You can punish all you want but at some point you need milk, eggs, and bread because even prisons carry at least those rations in the kitchen so your family should get the same treatment.  Of course, once you get to the store, everyone will tell you how adorable your son is as he walks around the store singing to everyone and how adorable your daughter is when she smiles and shows her dimple.  And you will say "thank you" but you will think "I will gladly leave them with you for a week so you can enjoy their cuteness for even longer."

Oh, and I know there are mothers/fathers out there reading this post who turn their nose up at me and believe their children are not like this.  These parents will claim their superior parenting skills have so worked that their children obey them immediately and the likes/dislikes of the child coincide with that of the parents'... and that this was the parent's doing.  I'm hear to tell you that is a crock.  That in fact these are the reasons your children "obey" at the moment:
  1. You may have one of those children (I've heard these exist) who just aren't very strong-willed.  Your child might just not have as many opinions as my children do.  Guess what, these children are born this way, you can not take credit for this (just like I can't take credit for the fact that my kids don't cry when they get their haircut... to quote Lady Gaga, "they were born that way"... I can't believe I just quoted Lady Gaga).
  2. Your parenting might indeed have worked to the fact that your children are afraid of the punishment (I'm no talking beating... could be as easy as time-out) and therefore immediately obey.  But you know they are plotting right?  They are sitting there right now thinking of all the disobedient things they will do when they are teenagers just to get back at you. Go ahead, look at them right now sitting there quietly... plotting.  And don't worry if you think they won't be able to come up with any "bad" things to do, I'm sure my kids will be able to help them out.
Now, I'm not talking about huge things your children will do to make you not like them... I'm just talking about every day things.  Like:
  • Evan deciding he didn't need to listen to me at The Little Gym and instead he chooses to run out the front door while I'm trying to get Chloe in her jacket so I have to take off after him with Chloe.
  • Chloe deciding she will eat any and all processed foods EXCEPT the one I put in front of her for lunch.
  • Chloe telling me she is done with her dinner by throwing her remaining food on the floor.
  • Evan deciding that screaming is an appropriate form of expression... anytime and anywhere.
  • Chloe thinking that at 18 months she no longer needs a nap.
You know, when I write these things they don't really sound bad.  But I swear, when you are in the middle of corralling two children and one of them decides they want to be doing something different with or without your permission, at that moment, you just don't like your kid. 

But it's all okay, because just as fast they will make it better by doing something cute (something that also comes from them having their own likes and dislikes, see how this can make you crazy) like needing to pick out their own clothes for the day and ending up looking like this:

(Sunglasses, winter coat, pajama pants, and fireman rain boots... too cute)

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