Tag Archives: Mother’s Day

Hey mom, I get it now

Hey mom, you should know…I get it now.

No, I mean, I GET IT NOW. I know. And you probably already know I know (you’re a mom afterall) but I’m still going to say it.

You are not perfect. You never were (contrary to what the dozens of cards featuring obscene amounts of glitter that I gave to you over the years said). You have flaws. Lots of them.

I know, I know. Gee, Happy Mother’s Day to you. But I can say that now because I’m finally a mother myself. So, yes, you are far from perfect.

And that’s what makes all the things you did all the more extraordinary.

See, it would be super easy to be a mom if you were a saint. If you had endless reserves of patience. But you weren’t and you didn’t. You were just a person. A human with regular reserves of patience. And yet, you were able to calmly tell me for the 16th time that, no, we weren’t there yet, honey, despite the fact that your brain was silently screaming at me to SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP!

I know this because I have calmly told my son no less than 19 times today to leave the computer cable alone, please. And all the while my brain was silently screaming STOPITSTOPITSTOPITSTOPIT!

I now know how much you wanted that last piece of pie. That you had, in fact, been thinking about that damn piece of pie all day. That the thought of eating that pie was the only thing that got you through that incredibly crappy day you were having. And yet, you kindly and nonchalantly gave it to me and watched me shove it into my unappreciative mouth hole simply because I asked for it before you had a chance to grab it and eat it in the safety of the bathroom.

I know because I truly, deeply wanted that last cupcake and yet handed it over to my grunting, frantic toddler with a smile.

I know that you dreaded waking up at the butt crack of dawn just to take me to my stupid volleyball practice. DREADED it. All you wanted was more sleep, or just 15 minutes to enjoy your coffee and the newspaper, or any other activity that didn’t require wearing pants. And yet, every morning, there you sat in the cold, dark car, acting like there was no other place you’d rather be.

I know this because I dragged myself out of bed this morning at 6 a.m. even though I would have traded some pretty vital organs for five more minutes of sleep. And yet I opened that nursery door with a big grin and cheerfully sang the “Good Morning” song to my bright-eyed, bushy-tailed child.

I know that even though you were always 100 percent supportive of all my dreams, even the stupid ones (“I want to be a supermodel and then work as a vet on the weekends!”), you secretly agonized over my future.

I know that when I was being bullied and you told me that violence was never the answer, it took every ounce of strength you had not to punch that tiny brat in the face.

I know that your heart stopped every time I climbed to the top of that tree and that it melted every time I gave you a hug and that it broke every time mine did.

I know that those vaccine shots, that punishment, that alcohol poured over that skinned knee did, in fact, hurt you worse than it hurt me.

I know that every single day you felt that terrible push-pull feeling of wanting to protect me from everything and wanting me to experience everything life had to offer.

I know that you lied when you said everything would be OK. Because you didn’t actually know if everything would be OK. But you would be damned if you were going to let me worry about it.

And I know that the one thing you never lied about was how beautiful I am. And how smart. And how funny. And oh, so brave. I never believed you but you were telling the truth.

Because I am. To you.

I know because I too gave birth to the most beautiful, smartest, funniest, bravest child that ever lived.

Oh, and mom, that goes both ways. I never noticed the muffin tops and cellulite. The crow’s feet and laugh lines. The slightly crooked teeth. All the things I saw you agonize over. I just saw the most beautiful woman in the world who was always willing to let me crawl into her bed every time I had a nightmare. And would probably even let me crawl in today.

I get it now, mom. I get it.

Is motherhood really the toughest job?

I’ll never forget the moment I became a mother.

Unlike many women, it wasn’t when I realized I was pregnant; in fact, I’m pretty sure I didn’t have one single maternal feeling during my entire pregnancy. I hated being pregnant.

Sure, it had its perks. Eating cheeseburgers in bed, for example. Or eating fried chicken in bed, for another. Or just having my husband bring the entire contents of our fridge into bed, laid out buffet-style.

But even when I felt my baby kick for the first time, or saw him on the ultrasound, I still didn’t feel like a mom. I didn’t know this kid. We may have been sharing the same body, but he was more like the weird roommate I never saw but knew hadn’t moved out yet because of the mess he left behind in our “apartment.” Our bloated, sweaty, gigantic “apartment” that was permanently carpeted in sweatpants and my husband’s old T-shirts.

It also wasn’t, like it is for many women, the first time I held him. By that point, I had already been a mom for a good hour. So finally getting to gaze upon his beautiful (and very red and angry) face didn’t magically transform me into some sort of Earth Mother Goddess. It just transformed me into a manically laughing/sobbing madwoman for the next 20 minutes.

No, the moment I became a mother was when the doctor left it up to me how to proceed after 33 hours of labor. Putting it plainly and without getting too deep into my lady-part details, the doctor explained that I had to decide either to keep going with labor even though I was still barely dilated (better for me but more dangerous for the baby, since his heart rate was beginning to drop), or to have a C-section (better for him but more dangerous for me since I’d be ripped open from my pelvis to my boobs while they poked at my intestines with sharp sticks…or whatever they do during a C-section…I don’t know, I’m not a doctor).

I told them I wanted to discuss it with my husband first but I already knew my answer. Or course I knew. If you’re a mom, you already know too.

“Let’s go with the C-section. I’d rather be the one in any kind of danger.”

And that’s when the nurse confirmed it.

“Spoken like a true mother.”

That’s when I became a mom.

Now, let me be clear, I don’t write this to try and make myself sound like some kind of selfless hero over here. My decision, in the halls of the maternity ward, was common, if not downright mundane. I was only ever in danger theoretically. Like, in worst case scenario terms. I mean, come on. “Woman Chooses To Have C-Section. Film at 11.” It was something the medical staff did not only every day, but multiple times every day, safely and efficiently.

(Not to mention, my other choice was to push a giant watermelon out of my hooha, so…yeah. No big damn heroes here, sir).

And it was the same decision millions of other moms have made given similar circumstances.

And that’s the point.

Being a mom, at least in my limited experience so far, means that it’s no longer about you. It means that every decision you will make from here on out will answer the question “what is best for my child?” And it means that from here on out you will make those decisions a thousand times a day without even noticing it because it becomes second nature to put their needs first.

So while everyone on the Internet is currently debating whether motherhood is the toughest job there is (a debate ignited by the video posted below that went viral), I can easily end it by definitively saying no, being a mom is not the toughest job there is.

And that’s because the question is wrong.

Being a mom isn’t a job. It’s who you are. And who you will always be.

It can’t be quantified.

So, sure, you can list all the things moms do on a daily basis and how much a mom would get paid if she collected wages for being a chef, a chauffeur, a coach, a teacher, an accountant, a boo-boo kisser, etc, etc.

But being a mom isn’t about keeping score.

It’s about being willing to have your body ripped open and all your insides exposed to the outside world, both literally and figuratively.

So to all my fellow moms out there, and especially to my own mom, Happy Mother’s Day.

P.S. Your heart is showing.

10 Reasons Why Whatever You Got Your Mom For Mother’s Day Isn’t Good Enough

1. You puked on her. Repeatedly. And I guarantee that at least once, she managed to catch your vomit in her bare hands when you got sick in public.

2. That gerbil/bunny/kitty/puppy/fish/hamster/bird/ferret you just couldn’t LIVE without? She’s the reason it didn’t die within three days.

3. No matter how hard Dad or anybody else tried, they could never make your favorite meal quite like she did (and probably still does every time you come home).

4. She gave up cigarettes, booze and caffeine for nine months (OK, fine, 7 and 1/2 months) for your ass.

5. You were a teenager at one point. ‘Nuff said.

6. She went to every single one of your extracurricular activities. Every. Single. One. Even when you were the third carrot on the right and had no lines.

7. You made trying to take a decent family photo sheer hell. Which is why she had to send out the same photo every Christmas for SEVEN years.

8. On average, you have almost accidentally killed yourself approximately five times a day ever since you first learned to crawl (remember the Great Firework Disaster of ’87?). You’re the reason why people say “your mom used to be so pretty.”

9. When she said “this will hurt me more than it hurts you” in regards to shots, vaccines, and pouring alcohol over boo-boo knees, she was telling the truth.

10. After hours of agonizing pain, she PUSHED you and your giant HEAD out of her vagina.

Now cancel that stupid-ass basket made of fruit shaped to look like flowers and go get her something better.

Something MUCH better.

I’d like to apologize to my mom for the following…

So, it was Mother’s Day this past weekend. Which means that all of us (minus the majority of reality TV stars, whom I’m praying were the result of some government cloning experiment gone terribly wrong and thus don’t have mothers) spent the day sucking up to our moms and giving her useless gifts like cards covered in three tons of glitter and stuffed bears that sing annoying songs.

But considering everything my mom had to put up with (and all the toxic fumes from the constant hairspray cloud hanging around my teenage head she had to breath in), I’d like to take this holiday a step farther and give my own mother something she really wants:

Validation that she was pretty much always right and overdue apologies for a wide variety of infractions.

And so, Mom, first and foremost I’d like to apologize for my birth. Because I am a mom now. And I now know you weren’t exaggerating when you compared the pain to pulling your lower lip over your entire head.

Then there was the Great Tomato Standoff of 1986. That’s three hours of waiting for me to eat a vegetable you’ll never get back.

Oh, remember when you signed me up for that second year of ballet and it was only after you had paid for the entire year and bought me three new tutus that I announced I no longer wanted to do ballet? That was fun, huh? Oof. Again. So sorry.

Let us also not forget The Great Brownie Lie of 1990, when I blamed the missing brownie piece (of the pan of brownies you SPECIFICALLY told me NOT to eat) on the dog. Oh, and that time when I was 14 and called you a very bad word under my breath (which didn’t stop you from hearing it) on the phone because you wouldn’t let me pierce my eyeball and tattoo my tongue.

Actually, now that I think about it, I apologize in general for 1996.

For every time I made you listen to the New Kids on the Block “Hangin’ Tough” album over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, I am deeply, deeply sorry. For every track meet you had to sit through in the volatile Ohio spring weather, but specifically that time it hailed and you toughed it out only to watch me get seventh place in the 300 hurdles, I apologize even more.

All those times I told my brother he was actually an alien baby from Uranus (heh) that was dropped off on our doorstep and they would be coming back for him any day now, I…well, I’m not exactly sorry for that because I still find it HILARIOUS, but I do own my part for his current crippling phobia of UFO’s.

That time I got busted for drinking a Zima when I was 17? So dumb. And again, so sorry. And yes, you were right. If I was going to get busted for underage drinking, it should have been for a less embarrassing drink.

And lastly, for all those birthdays I got you a “coupon book” (Good for one free hug!) because I was too cheap to buy you an actual gift. Which is why you are getting a semi-fancy retirement home that is only occasionally accused of elderly abuse.

There’s so many more I could add (but let’s leave the majority of my juvenile record out of this now that most of it has been expunged).

I love you, Mom. Thanks for letting me be me (even when being me included talking on the phone with my BFF for, like, three full hours about how amazing Brad Pitt’s hair was “Legends of the Fall”).