Thursday, February 5, 2009

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program

Okay, back to the Oprah list. Today's quote is an age old fact:

being a mother is the hardest job on earth. women everywhere must declare it so.

So this isn't news, right? We (all us Mothers) know this. People who aren't or don't have kids yet so don't get it. They have no idea. No idea that from the moment that child decides to join us in the world, a day doesn't go by that there is not worry or guilt or the overwhelming need to protect them from all the ugliness of the world. And when we realize we can't, there is more worry and more guilt. Toss in there physical exhaustion when they are little and mental exhaustion as they grow. It's amazingly rewarding and something I wouldn't trade for the world, but God damn, it's not easy.

There are a million lovely, easy moments. Moments where you look at them and you can't believe these little people are yours. At least I feel that way. I look at my kids, who are both gaining on me in height and I wonder, how'd they get here? They are almost ten and eleven. Their baby hood seems a life time away. Is baby hood a word? What's that called? The other day I was trying to describe something to my friend Sue, I was talking about people in prison, "What are they called, jail people, you know, the ones in prison.?" "Prisoners?" she said. Sometimes I forget words. Sometimes I forget the date, sometimes I forget appointments, sometimes I forget things people told me, sometimes I forget to make dinner. I blame it on kids. I don't really thing it's their fault, but it seems fair.

Okay, my kids were at a relatively easy stage not to long ago, I think that's passed. My daughter is 11 and is always on the phone, always has a friend over or is with a friend, she wears my clothes, puts on make-up, has boys calling our house and is only about two inches shorter than I am. She will not take no for an answer. She will push me until she gets me to cave. If I somehow stand my ground, (which I have been doing better at lately) she will hound me through all that technology can offer. She will txt me, e mail me and leave my messages on my phone. She will do great in life. At times, I wish she'd just let up on me a little.

Then my son. He has always been the easiest, most polite, kindest little angel I have ever known. This year he has turned a corner. He doesn't do his homework, he tries to make people laugh and gets in trouble, he can be extremely lazy, he doesn't care for the word no either. Tonight he did make ME laugh though. It went like this: (you must first know his tv privlidges have been REVOKED, that stemmed from me having to spend 45 minutes on the phone with his teacher telling me he doesn't do his work.) So now he gets to read himself to sleep. He has been doing awesome. He doesn't really complain. Tonight though, very nonchalantley he says to me, "Hey Mom, am I allowed to watch the weather channel?"
Seriously, The Weather Channel.
It's come to that for him.
I said, "No."
Score one for me. Three hundred and twenty three thousand THEM, one for me.
Small victories.

Thanks Mom and Dad. I love you.


Mark said...

You think people who don't have kids don't understand all of the worry and guilt, but we do. That's why we don't have kids. Actually, that's baloney. We're just not lucky enough to have kids yet. I know that it takes a lot, but of course, you can't really KNOW what it takes until you live through it. I know enough to know that parents take a lot more blame that they actually deserve. It's not that they don't make mistakes, but children often hold their parents accountable for not being perfect, which is just so unfair, sometimes bordering on cruel. I suppose every generation does it... blames their parents unfairly, and in turn is blamed unfairly by their children. That's just life, but no matter how difficult parenthood can sometimes be, it must be the most fulfilling thing a person can do. Thankless, but fulfilling nonetheless.

The Family Julz said...

Awesome post.

I get it!

I have spent 2009 thus far in my 6 yr old son's classroom, almost every single school day. While he may be in the Gifted program, he's still not mature enough to keep his hands to himself and keep his effing mouth shut. (whoops, 'scuse me!) So Mommy has to come babysit him while the teacher teaches so the other students are not disrupted.

Guilt! I was like that too, so talkative. Guilt! His dad was also the class clown. Guilt! I shouldn't have drank that glass of wine the night before I had him. Guilt! I should have never let that PS2 in my house. Guilt! We shouldn't have let him play on the PS2 for 12 hours last weekend.

My guilt, I believe, stems more from what a monster I've created to offer up into the world more so than feeling guilty about how the world is going to abuse him. I'm sure that will change as soon as the harsh reality of the world crashes down on him the second Mommy can't be there to hold his hand. Guilt!

I so get it.

Amy w/ a tween said...

My oldest will be 11 in a couple months. The rate at which she has gone from a carefree little girl to a boy crazy "tween" is nuts. A boy called our house at 9 pm the other night and I thought Chris was never going to let it go.
The Weather Channel!? LOL!

Anonymous said...

i love this post, amy (all of 'em, actually). i often tell people i haven't slept properly in 8 years, and it is completely true. they beat you down on a daily basis, and i absolutely love mine with all i've got, but it's true. i had a co-worker that used to laugh at my inability to keep the house spotless and the dark circles under my eyes. she just recently had her 1st and is expecting again. she now apologizes for a messy house and lack of good humor due to no sleep. HAHAHAHA. now she "gets it".

they are 2 of the best things ever. and it is damn hard. and i love it. and it's still hard :) love you


Lula! said...

I love a child that's crafty enough to ask for The Weather Channel as a last resort. He is awesome.

And Oprah grates on my nerves--she has for years. But I will say she is a champion for mothers. I love how she's always saying, "Being a mother is the hardest job on earth." Amen. And AMEN!

Lora said...

You're right, mother's have to start declaring this as a hard job! There are too many moms running around saying things about how easy it is and how great their kids are and how this and that and how everything in their house is just so magical and it's taking a toll on mothers everywhere.

Motherhood has become a competition, and it sucks. We need to start being there for each other, not against. We have to stop judging other mothers and start helping each other.

Grr. A month or so ago I mentioned on my blog that this isn't a pissing contest. She with the best car, biggest ring, cutest kids doesn't win. We have to start pissing with each other rather than on each other.

Great post!

Simple Answer said...

See, I look at that quote and who I want to say it to, is not all those mom's out there that are like you who can laugh, cry, get frustrated and still experience great joy being a mom. I think it is aimed at those moms who try to sabatage the rest of us by making us feel inadequate because they are/their children are/ their whole life is perfect. Have you ever been around someone like that? Someone who looks down their nose at you all in the name of motherhood and being the perfect parent? Man, I wish they would just lighten up, agree that at times it is so hard it just plain old sucks, and quit trying to appear perfect at all times.

twist said...

You know what I think the hardest job in the world is? Making shit up to to create an image that impresses your viewers - mostly moms who somehow find time to watch crap like Oprah. Before mothers everywhere adopt Oprah's battle cry, we might do well to consider this: calling what we do a "job" is ignorant. Motherhood's a job like becoming a monk is just saying a few prayers. Motherhood is a profound life choice; and like any life choice, I find "hard" an unfitting label. Yes, there are challenges, but they're balanced with reward more deeply satisfying than anything I can imagine. So there! If you don't agree, fire me. Oh wait, you can't. See...not a job!

Christy said...

I love that he was so desperate for tv that he asked to watch the weather channel...and that you said no.

Being a parent is hard...every time you think you're about to get over a hump, there's a new hump waiting for you. And the worry and the guilt? That can be paralyzing. But there is absolutely nothing like loving someone so much you feel like you couldn't breathe without them...or how much happiness it brings to hear them laugh out loud. There's lots of blessings mixed in with the tough stuff--it's a good thing too, or nobody would procreate.

Christy said...

Whoa, I'm just now reading all the comments...I think 'twist' needs to settle down a little bit.

kathy s. said...

As far a memory goes... It is a well known fact that there if a finite amount of "grey matter" in the Universe. When in the womb, each child sucks away part of its mother's brain cells for its own. Therefore, when we mom's are forgetful, it's not that we have lost our minds, it's that those "little angels" have stolen them, never to give them back. :)

Meredith said...

The Weather Channel - I LOVE it! AND - love the new blog very YOU:) Miss you mycyberfriendamy.

Sue Jacquette said...

I love this post. Yes!