(Originally posted on my first attempt at blogging. 2 YEARS AGO. Here’s to being a little more consistent.)
I’m somewhat of an expert on faking my way through this insanity called parenting, simply because I have yet to find a form of birth control that works for me. Actually, the four years of abstinence between my third and fourth did not produce an offspring, though I assure you it is not a fun way to limit the population of your family.
Something or someone out there keeps throwing babies into my uterus and I have somewhat begrudgingly kept them alive. I attribute that fact to the strength of my genes. As a human, there is a deep, innate narcissism that makes it difficult to deny the basic needs of any tiny humans who look like you. Trust me. My kids all look like me. I may as well have spontaneously conceived them without any outside assistance, and at times it might have been easier if I had. Now they are here: a thirteen year old boy, seven and five year old girls, and the IUD baby boy hopefully pulling in the anchor leg at eight months. I have four kids and I lie to each of them a little or a lot every day.
I’m pretty sure I’m mostly screwing up, most of the time. I have heard other mothers say things like that, but I think it’s mostly in a fishing expedition. I do not say that with the expectation of compliments, as I would find it more helpful for someone to say, “Hey, I’m a therapist, I’ll give them a group rate in twenty years when they need to work out all of the issues you’ve created.” Sometimes I don’t screw up, though, and hopefully those times can be useful to those of you who are also hoping to minimize the possibility that your children will invite you a roundtable healing session to hash out all of the ways they are psychologically wounded as a result of your parenting.
I swear, I yell, I show favoritism, I say things in anger that I don’t mean, but at the end of the day I always tell them I love them. That’s what I’m supposed to say, right? The lie, however, is sometimes I really don’t feel it. Sometimes I dislike these little humans so much I don’t want to say it and it’s a struggle to make the words exit my mouth. It is when they are sleeping that I remember that I do love them. Their little eyes flutter behind the lashes I wish I still had, their breaths are slow and deep, their plump little bodies are soft and warm, and they are quiet.
Jesus H. Christ, they are quiet.
And when they are sleeping, I’m not screwing them up, so I’m actually a really good mom. I figure as long as I don’t throw a pillow and my bodyweight over those perfect little mouths, I have a few hours a day that I can count as great parenting.
So here’s to the nocturnal good parenting and the rest of the time that I fuck it up.