It’s something that well-meaning strangers and relatives say to make you feel better about the fact that motherhood just stinks sometimes. It has never, ever made me feel better. I will even go out on a limb and say that it might be an amnesia-induced lie. I’ve noticed that when people grow older, they sometimes forget about the more painful experiences in life, and reminisce about the joyful, positive ones. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, and I look forward to it in my own life. I’m just not drinking that kind of Kool-Aid yet.
Please don’t misunderstand me: I love my children, and I love being their mother. We have wonderful, loving, and tender moments often, and I do my best to relish the joy in all of that. It’s just that it’s not lollipops, butterfly kisses, and homemade valentines all of the time. I give myself permission to admit that to myself and anyone who reads this post.
Once upon a life, I enjoyed an identity that was not preceded by a possessive noun or pronoun (so-and-so’s mom). I hope to return to that version of me after the tornado passes, without regret that the time I spent over the last three-and-a-half decades of my life raising six other humans is over. While I am SURE I will have tender memories of these times, there are many, many things about motherhood that I am certain I will NOT miss. I’ve listed a few below:
I will not miss having an audience when I use the toilet. It’s been nearly 18 years since I have enjoyed the solitude of the lieux d’ aisances, and I have several left to go. And don’t suggest that I lock the door. Anyone with kids knows they will just beat on it, yell through it, wiggle the handle until it unlocks, and shove things under it until you come out.
I will not miss several crises or immediate demands for my attention the second I get on the phone. It’s like a universal signal, a quietly and secretly transmitted frequency among offspring, to raise hell.
I will not miss smooshed lipstick tips and chapstick all up in the lid. I might even buy really nice ones again someday.
I will not miss Cheetos. Or Cheeto fingers, and the orange anthrax they leave behind.
I will not miss missing jewelry or items of clothing or make-up that somehow migrate to my daughters’ rooms/backpacks/car/friend’s house/outer space.
I will not miss being kicked in the head all night by a toddler, because I am too old and tired to return him to the bed we bought him, which was, apparently, a waste of money.
I will not miss 2 a.m. vomit clean up. (no disrespect to Trace Adkins, but I will not want this back. Ever.)
I will not miss parent teacher conferences, or open-house night. I’ve been to roughly 38 of each so far, and I’ve heard the spiel enough to know it never changes. I will send Kleenex and hand sanitizer regardless of my attendance, and I promise I love and support my children in their quest for knowledge and extra credit.
I will not miss the twilight zone experience of arguing with 3 teenagers while simultaneously begging a 2-year-old to poo in the potty. I just won’t.
And lastly, in honor of the movie Groundhog Day, I will not miss doing all of this over and over and over for a combined 108 years of getting 6 kids to adulthood, with the hopes that if I just get it right I can move on. We all know I will never get it right, because there is no such thing as “right.”
good GREAT mother all the same.
This happened in one afternoon. Enjoy: