Saturday afternoon I decided it was time to deep clean the house, beginning with the bathroom. After pulling the toilet seat off, and bleaching every disgusting inch, I reached underneath the back of the toilet–in the area where only little boy pee contaminates. Of course, right then, before bleach hit any of the surface, I gouged my thumb on a rusted, bacteria-laden bolt.
I sat back, staring at my offended digit, but surprisingly only one thought came to mind: thank goodness I had my Tetanus shot.
Because, I’m the mother of a boy, and let’s face it, that was the easy part of my day.
As I scrubbed my hand in boiling hot water and antibacterial soap, then covered it in antiseptic cream, I started thinking about the worst aspects of being a mom. The parts that we, as moms, don’t voice, because the cuteness in our world overcomes all hardships. These daily occurrences are proof of our loving steadfastness to our tiny humans, because with everything we face in parenthood, some situations just plain suck.
Reading News Articles about Children
Every day I’m reminded of how horrible the world is, and how lucky my tiny human is to be alive and healthy, through the news. Before I was a mom, these reports were shocking, appalling, and sometimes sickening. Now that I’m a mom, I burst into tears with each and every horrific story. And they are always bad: teachers molesting children; parents keeping children in closets, or tying them in the front lawn to starve; vaccine-preventable diseases picking off otherwise healthy children left and right; babies dying strapped in their car seats during the summer; children drowning in pools; furniture trapping toddlers and suffocating them to death; school shootings; a boy holding a lighter to a bullet to see “what would happen.” These articles are awful. They are horrifying. They make me wish for a time when it was an easier world to raise children in–but I’m not really sure those days existed the way we’re told they did.
Not only do articles make me burst into tears, but I hug Tiny Tot a bit closer, knowing how hard it is to face the world as a parent.
Getting Unsolicited Parenting Advice and Rude Looks
Perhaps the hardest part of the unsolicited advice comes from the unspoken sneers. For the past few months I let my health slip, along with the food health of my tiny human. I planned nice, healthy meals in my head, and then I would get depressed, or feel bad, or have an “off” day, or deal with something I didn’t want to have to do (like get blood drawn for the 400th time … I may be slightly exaggerating–it was only 30.). I would pick up my tiny human and try to happily chirp, “Let’s go make taco salad!” only to hear, “Ew, gross Mommy. I don’t want to eat taco salad.”
By that point, I wasn’t in the mood to cook, and I wasn’t in the mood to argue. So we would settle for something fast, like PB&J or mac and cheese. … I know, my desire and will had flown the coop, as had my will to fight Tiny on healthy food choices.
One day we went into Target, and as we checked out with a box of mac and cheese with a side of apples, Tiny turned to me and said, “Thanks for letting me get mac and cheese, instead of that yucky taco salad. Now my tummy will be so happy!”
Of course, five mothers overhead that comment, all of whom turned to stare at the woman who had let her child make the food decisions for the night. Still, their silent, mutinous glares were better than hearing, “If I were in your shoes,” or “Had I been faced with that problem,” or “In my house, …” when I hadn’t asked.
There should be a silent rule as parents: unless a dead tired, frazzled mom walks up and says, “What would you do if …” don’t give ugly glares and unhelpful advice. Because it’s just annoying. Unhelpful, rude, and aggravatingly annoying.
Dealing with Vomit, Poop, and Boogers
This will always be the worst part of being a mom. As I have stated before, tiny human bodily excretions never happen at a convenient time. They occur at two in the morning, exorcist-syle.
Vomit has the ability to cover ten square feet, including every inch of the tiny human. Down the hall, down the stairs, trapping the only route to the linen closet, across the comforter. The worst part is that vomit cannot be “left until morning.” It’s two in the morning, and yes, the sheets have to be stripped off the bed, the screaming child has to be scrubbed down and put in new clothes, the carpets have to be cleaned, the hallway has to be mopped, and the mother will be the last person awake, and the first person to rise.
Poop isn’t as bad, right? Hmm. The only problem with poop is that it never happens at home. It happens on the road, in a seedy gas station, with no running water. Or in the back seat of the car in the middle of a cell phone upgrade. Or walking home from the park. There are never washcloths, towels, water, or a change of clothes available when poop happens. It’s only Mom, and her MacGyver-like skill sets available.
And then, you hear, “Mommy, hold this,” and find yourself staring at a booger smeared across the palm of your hand.
Having to Discipline Tired
There are days when mom needs a break. She’s run down, she’s tired, she cannot handle one more crisis situation–at all–and then the tiny humans rebel. They talk back, they throw a tantrum, they pick fights, draw on the walls, color themselves in permanent marker, eat a glue stick, try to strangle the pet, or steal and eat an entire bag of Mommy’s Special Cookies.
All mom wants to do at that point is either send them to bed, or bribe them into behaving. Disciplining requires attention, dedication, and energy. Lots and lots of energy. The bad part? You can’t run for the bed and dive in, head first.
I know; I’ve tried. Tiny Tot followed me, and he still needed to be punished.
And the only parent available to discipline is me.
Bandwagon Parenting Styles
How many times can this ideology make me want to bash my head into a wall and long for the easy pre-kiddo days? This may fall under the unsolicited advice, except that parents believe every parent should feed into this bandwagon parenting, or they suck as parents
Thanks, other parents.
And by parents, I mostly mean mothers.
Don’t praise your children; don’t tell your children you’re proud of them. Don’t pick up your child if he/she falls off the ladder, because you’ll inhibit their independence. Don’t tell them the word no. Don’t give them blanket statements that “make no sense.” Don’t spank your child. Don’t call it “time out.”
Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t.
All I hear are parenting styles that miss one, all-encompassing, prevalent point: be your child’s parent.
Yes, there are great aspects of being a parent. Unfortunately, there are also hard, difficult, bash a head into a wall moments. Thankfully, because a tiny, snuggling, beautiful little human is at the end of the hard times, it makes the gross, the bad, and the annoying completely worth the headache.