I’ve been doing this mom-thing for over 5 years now, and one thing has become loud and clear:
Motherhood doesn’t give a crap about what I want.
Now I mean this in the most laced-with-love way (kind of), but it’s true. Every day brings a new battle of what I WANT to do versus what I actually NEED to do. It’s me wanting no one to talk to me in the morning until I’ve had two cups of coffee (everyone who has littles is now spitting out their cold coffee because that is the funniest joke ever). Sometimes, though, it’s fun to think about what I would actually like to do, because being a mom is hard and absurd, and sometimes we have to laugh instead of snap, right? So without further ado:
What I WANT to do vs. What I ACTUALLY do
Baby has major blowout.
Like an out-the-neck-and-sleeves-of-the-onesie, A+, total mayhem blowout.
What I want to do: Locate husband. Hand poop-dripping baby to him. Jump in car, yell “GOOD LUCK!! DON’T FORGET TO PRE-SOAK IN A BUCKET FULL OF SHOUT!!” out the window as I screech around the corner and drive far, far away to a place with no poop and decorated with white things that stay white with no effort from me.
What I actually do: Run a bath, remind myself for the 10,000th time that hands are washable, and just get it over with. Try to not get poop on the baby’s face. If the onesie is beyond all help, just throw it away. Some things are not worth saving!
Baby wakes up for the tenth time in one night due to cold/teething/desire to torture me.
What I want to do: First, smother soundly-sleeping husband with his own pillow. Beg, cry, and plead with ANYONE to take this baby for a few hours, starting right now (2:30am). Drive to nearest motel without telling anyone where I’m going, and just sleep for 4 days straight.
What I actually do: Force myself out of bed again. More rocking, walking, feeding, cuddling, changing. Probably cry along with him. Endure conflicting feelings of feeling sorry for myself while guiltily acknowledging that tons of people would do anything to have a baby who wakes them up ten times a night. Sing random parts of random songs. Lay baby back down. Pray that he sleeps for at least three hours. Drink copious amounts of coffee the next day…. and all the days after that.
Child turns into a grabby little monster at the store.
What I want to do: Bust out a roll of duct tape and apply to said grabby hands and obnoxious mouth. Finish my shopping trip in peace and quiet, maybe even swinging by Starbucks for some frothy caffeinated treat!
What I actually do: Speak in a fake-calm voice while warp-speeding through the aisles for the essentials only. Slip in the scary mom-whisper, as necessary. Ok, fine. It is always necessary. Explain that bad behavior means long timeouts at home. Ignore wailing. Ignore any annoyed glances by other shoppers– like a BOSS. Lock eyes with that other mom of littles. Silently acknowledge that these monsters will not break us. #solidarity
It’s potty training time!
The delightful dance of one step forward, two steps backwards for what feels like forever.
What I want to do: Keep him in diapers until he’s 5, and forget the entire potty-training thing. School and peer pressure will magically potty train him instead, right?
What I actually do: Cheer exuberantly like I’ve just won the mega-millions jackpot when he takes a giant man-sized poo in his froggy potty….which I get to clean out. Encourage accuracy and precision when he pees, while ignoring the spray that I know has already hit the floor. Resign myself to the boys’ bathroom smelling vaguely of pee, in spite of me cleaning it constantly. Find mystery puddles. Consider throwing away all rugs in the bathroom. Throw them in the washing machine instead. Again.
Toys. They’re everywhere.
Legos underfoot (OWWW!), tripping over random crap at every turn. How?? The living room was clean 30 minutes ago! Any asking for help cleaning up is met with whining and “It’s tooo haaard Mooommmmm…..I caaaaaannnn’t….”
What I want to do: Grab a giant trash bag and throw everything away (and by “throw,” I mean donate!). These ungrateful kids can play with 3 toys from now until Christmas!!
What I actually do: Gather the kids and just go outside. Out of sight, out of mind, right?…. Till we come back in. Then through some combination of “let’s make cleanup a fun game!”, threats (when game fails), and doing it myself after they go to bed, the toys get picked up eventually. If not that day, then someday…usually right before guests arrive.
The boys are naked, again.
They stripped in record time and are dancing around, screaming “We’re nak-ee! We’re nak-ee!!“– in case we weren’t sure — shaking what their mama gave them. I’m sure my husband is secretly teaching them this to test me. They are laughing like crazy and are completely ignoring all mandates such as, “No bare butts on the carpet!!”, and “At least put underwear on!!” One of them escapes to the front yard because he wants to go in the sprinkler.
What I want to do: Let him run around the neighborhood naked. I’m too tired to chase him. Tell all the neighbors that they learned it from their dad.
What I actually do: LAUGH. Laugh at the absurdity of it all. Chase him down. Wave at the neighbors while maintaining a vice-grip on the slippery naked kid. Wrestle him into the house and into a diaper.
2-year old is in the habit of saying, “Mom! What you doooin’?” on repeat, all day long. 18 times in a 5 minute car ride.
What I want to do: Respond with “Questioning ALL of my life choices.”
What I actually do: Respond with “Questioning ALL of my life choices,” because honesty is the best policy. Plus, it made me laugh to myself, which is the key to not breaking. While I’m laughing, I also feel a tiny bit guilty. When he says “Mom! What you doooin’?” again 5 seconds later, I give him what he probably wanted all along: I make him giggle by answering “Flying a rocket ship to the moon!”
What about you? Tell me in the comments some of your “What I want to do” scenarios!