Thankful for the Honest Mamas

by Camille on March 3, 2013

There are some days when she wakes up at 8:30 a.m., well-rested, and singing to her baby doll. Days when she wants to cuddle for half an hour and read Click, Clack Moo three times before breakfast. Days when I place her snack in front of her, and she says “ank ooh!” without prompting. Days when she points to every item in the house, wanting to know its name, and giggling as she practices saying “pan-oh!” Β Days when I flawlessly fit games of chase and “tickle-monster” into the motions of running errands or returning e-mails. Days when she contentedly plays by herself for increasing periods of time while I fold laundry or cook dinner, and when I tell her it’s not time to eat yet, she says “okay” with only a hint of disappointment. Days when I manage to cook real food for my family, and we sit together at the table and share our lives.

On those days, I think, “I’ve got this. I’m an awesome mom. I rock! I can parent a dozen children!”

There are other days when she wakes up in the wee hours, and I stumble through the darkness, trying unsuccessfully to find my robe. Days when after demanding paci, water, ‘ola bah! (granola bar), blanky (the pink one, not the yellow one), baby (never the one already in the room but the one hiding somewhere in the van), and rocking, she won’t go back to sleep.

Those days, she decides a banana and cereal are outrageous indignities and hurls her entire plate to the floor. Days when as I clean her tray, she stomps all the cereal into powder on the floor, and when I pull out the vacuum to clean the cereal, the dogs begin barking incessantly for breakfast. Days when the vacuum breaks and dumps masses of clumped dog hair and cereal crumbs back onto the floor. Days when I turn from this dirty, doggy mess to find her holding an open red Sharpie marker, and discover this:

Ellie scribbles1

 

EllieScribbles2

 

Those days, I make Herculean efforts to speak in calm tones. Days when I refuse to give her Β jelly beans on demand, allow her to run around the house with the toilet brush, climb her closet shelves/the cabinets/the table. Days when we she wants to sit on the pottie three times in thirty minutes only to completely fill her diaper five minutes later. Days when changing that noxious mess induces horrendous screaming and anaconda-like death rolls. Days when every “no ma’am” elicits immediate shrieking and outraged head-banging. Days when she is wholly and perfectly two-years-old. Days when my brain is so fried I can only write in weird, choppy fragments, y’all.

Those days, I contemplate hiding under the covers in a ball. On those days, I think, “I will never have this! I’m a terrible mother. What the heck are we doing?!”

But then I remember, we’re being parents, and sometimes, it’s just not pretty.

And on those days, I’m SO thankful for all the honest Mamas out there. THANK YOU sweet mamas who do NOT have it all together every moment of every day. BLESS YOU for letting your guard down long enough to be real with the rest of us. For on the crap days, I can call aΒ friend and remember that my kid isn’t the only one who throws tantrums. I mention the head-banging, and she says, “Yup. Mine did that too.” I post my Sharpie-woes to Facebook and in moments, I know I’m not the only Mom who has found her house re-decorated on occasion. I read a blog or attend a mom’s night, and I’m reminded that we’re all here in Crazy Town together.

So THANKS to the moms who fight against the notion of perfection in motherhood. The moms who refuse to judge others for the way they feed, sleep, diaper, educate, discipline, etc. The moms who lend a shoulder, a listening ear, and understanding.Β The moms who know there’s no shame in sharing our weaknesses (since we all have them) and realize that together, we find renewed strength.

To those moms, thanks for being awesome. You give me courage that I can do this….one day at a time.

Kelly March 4, 2013 at 10:41 am

Some days are just like that. πŸ™‚

I moved Mea’s dresser the other day and found “MEA” written in nail polish on the wall. Just wait until your sweet girl not only sharpies, but spells her name while doing it.
Kelly recently posted..Pardon me, I Think your Crazy is ShowingMy Profile

Camille March 4, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Hey Kelly! πŸ™‚ Always nice to see you here. I feel like I’ve known you forever after reading your blog and following you on Instagram. Mea never fails to make me smile. My mother was only too happy to remind me of all the times I colored on the walls. She couldn’t stop laughing.

Jen March 4, 2013 at 11:41 am

This is a post that speaks volumes! Yes, I too am thankful for the honest mamas out there who have moments where they want to run, scream and have their own toddler-sized meltdowns because parenting is HARD and yet equally the most wonderful experience in the world. I should invest in Mr. Clean eraser stock because that stuff WORKS wonders on marker, crayon, color pencil, hand slime… I have cleaned it all off of my walls.

Camille March 4, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Jen,
So glad to meet you. Chunk is so darn cute! πŸ™‚ The Mr. Clean eraser did work wonders on the Sharpie, and I plan to keep about a dozen in stock from now own. Best wishes to you and your beautiful family.

Crys Wiltshire March 4, 2013 at 11:45 am

This is amazing. I am right there with you. I also have mixed days – where it starts out fantastic and loving and turns into her ripping transfer decals (which took me HOURS to install) off of her bedroom wall while she’s supposed to be napping… One of the greatest things about parenting in this generation is that there are so many of us that are open about how wonderful, yet trying it can be.
Crys Wiltshire recently posted..Talking With My Toddler #11: Oh the toddler feelings!My Profile

Camille March 4, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Crys,
πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I’ve had some experiences with the wall decals as well. Not awesome. Your blog looks so pretty! Can’t wait to check it out more.

Jessica March 4, 2013 at 12:32 pm

I loved this post, so glad I found it! I wish all moms were more honest with each other. Every day cannot be sunshine and rainbows, but there are moms out there who act like it is. I have talked to so many women who feel like they are failing simply because they feel like they should love every minute of motherhood and if they don’t something is wrong with them.

Thank you for sharing your struggles and joys!
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Camille March 4, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Jessica,
Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind words! πŸ™‚ Yeah, those sunshine and rainbow moms and I don’t have much to talk about.

abc mama March 7, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Hi, I saw this on BlogHer and I can not agree with you more, thank God for honest moms. I am new to the blogging world and I am finding so many happy, perfect mommy blogs out there written by moms that have life 100% together and it makes me wonder WTH I am doing wrong. Honest mamas are awesome. I agree @Jen, Mr. Clean Erasers are a Godsend. Rubbing alcohol works well on sharpie & ink. Thank you for posting this, it makes me feel better about a recent post I wrote: http://myblogalphabetsoup.blogspot.com/2013/02/morning-madness.html
I’ll be following πŸ™‚
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Camille March 7, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Hi. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Glad you found me; I was thrilled to be featured on BlogHer for the first time today. Yay! Yeah, those “together” moms and I don’t have much in common. Mr. Clean totally did the job for me, though my husband had to put some muscle into the door frame. I look forward to checking out your blog. πŸ™‚

Meredith March 7, 2013 at 4:25 pm

I soooo agree!! There is so much comfort in reading when others are being “real”. Something I’m striving for lately on my blog. I appreciate what YOU wrote. I can relate to a lot of it. Especially, “Those days, I make Herculean efforts to speak in calm tones” Oh. Those are hard days!
Meredith recently posted..We’re Set to DefrostMy Profile

Camille March 7, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Hey Meredith! I love the name of your blog. Can’t wait to check it out. Thanks for the kind words, and have a great day! πŸ™‚

Katrice March 7, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Man, I had one of those days with my son yesterday where husband and I just looked at each other like, what happened today?! And then he wakes up today sweet as cupcakes. This afternoon I can even laugh at the most recent ‘those days’ because everyone here has them too… and compared to red sharpie, orange crayon doesn’t seem that bad πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing!
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Camille March 7, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Hey Katrice! You’re welcome. πŸ™‚ Thanks for taking the time to comment. Hope you have a “cupcake” kinda weekend.

Sheila Pack March 8, 2013 at 7:14 am

Crayons and markers on the walls, pointy legos lurking on the floor (how do our bare feet ALWAYS find them?) whoknowswhat getting flushed, refusal to eat (today) what was perfectly acceptable (yesterday), and the piece de resistance: yet another trip to the emergency room, this time with a blue candy up the nose… lots of tissues and persistent blowing of blue ‘boogies’ (thankfully, no surgical removal required!) These are the daily trials of a mother of three between 7 and 2. I don’t think my daughter-in-law has had a full night’s sleep in seven years, yet she stays cheerful and loving to my precious, smart, adorable, beautiful (and perfectly normal) grandchildren, and to my son, who married his very best friend, a woman who couldn’t be more wonderful if she tried. I am thankful to God every day for this woman, this loving and loyal mother and wife, who holds it together through everything life throws at her.

Camille March 14, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Sheila,

You sound like an AMAZING mother-in-law. πŸ™‚ I snort-laughed at the blue boogies. Thanks. Appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment. Have a blessed day!

Dianna March 8, 2013 at 7:35 am

The other day, I was at the mall – my husband took the stroller and let me go into a department store and actually TRY ON CLOTHES (how exciting).

Several women were looking through the racks… one commented to a friend that she had to find something TODAY because it was her only time away without the kids. Other moms chimed in with, “me too!” We all chatted about the joys of the brief freedom from a kids.

A woman my age (40ish) and her mother walked up right as I was saying something to the effect of, “I love my kids, but I give them away (to grandma or auntie) every opportunity I get!!” The 40ish woman laughed… her mom looked horrified. I said, “Oh, come on, every mom feels that way… I just say it out loud!”

I echo your thank you to all the honest moms who make me feel ok about myself… and my honesty.

Camille March 14, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Dianna,

Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. πŸ™‚ I LOVE going shopping by myself. I didn’t fully appreciate that gift until I had Ellie. Now, a trip to Kroger can feel like a spa day if I plan it just right. Is that sad? Wait, don’t answer. πŸ™‚

Jeanene March 30, 2013 at 9:35 pm

LOVE…just love…especially the “Anaconda like death rolls”…yup…except my girly does those even when she is having a “good” day…she is ONE strong little munchkin…and yes, I have both of those kinds of days too…although…I sometimes wonder if my “I’ve got this” days are a bit further apart…of course…I have double the opportunity to experience reality, because I have *two* toddlers four months apart in age, adopted from foster care…she is 16 months and he is 20 months….and oh…do they know how to *do* the hard days…”Divide and conquer!” rings through the halls….and it’s rare for them both to be having a lovely day ON the *same* day. So, thank YOU for being so honest and vulnerable about your days! You made me laugh on a hard day! Blessings!

Camille April 3, 2013 at 11:00 pm

16 and 20 months! You are BRAVE. I know your life right now is probably ruled by poopie diapers, sticky fingers, crushed goldfish, and incessant whining, so I’m happy my mom-fails could bring you a little laughter. πŸ™‚ Let me know if you need more honesty. For instance, she has this weird habit of pulling fuzz and hair off the carpet, putting it on her pacifier, and popping it back in her mouth. I was so tired this morning, I didn’t even try to stop her. My toddler is going to have hairballs. Eh…..

Praying for the “I’ve got this” days to come your way….complete with cupcakes, a little red wine, and a few moments of blessed silence.

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