I'm not, in case you were wondering.
(Right about now there are at least a dozen friends and family members snorting their assorted beverages through their noses at that idea.)
I debated even posting this, again because of the whole ack what if they know how screwed up i really am?!?!? thing, but since this is the last day to enter the contest, decided maybe I'd take the chance. So in advance, I'd like to make the disclaimer that I really do love my children and am not (I think) an unfit mother, so please forgive me for being so very, very Scary.
Ways in Which I Am a Scary Mommy:
- I really, really, really do NOT enjoy children's games. That whole sitting around playing with trains and simple board games and blocks and all that bores me to tears after about ten minutes. There's a reason I made sure I got out of the house and met up with people over the summer. I'm much better at supervising the fun while chatting with a friend or reading a book.
- I let the TV babysit for me way more than I "should." Especially on a Saturday morning when I can barely open my eyes longer than it takes to shove cereal bars in the kidlets' hands and turn on Nick Jr. or the Disney channel. Or at the end of a long day when they have an hour or so before I can realistically put them to bed and all I want to do is collapse on the couch.
- When I pick the kidlets up from daycare at the end of the day, we are far more likely to swing through the drive-through of the closest Old MacDonald's or Burger King than head home for a nice home-cooked meal. Last night I went all out and went through the drive-through at KFC. Where I bought the kidlets mac-n-cheese because making my own at home would just be too much trouble. Oh, and I was also hoping the genuine non-altered lactose-containing milk products might help The (lactose-intolerant) Widget with his *ahem* bowel issues. As in, you know, moving them.
- Bath time is NOT my favorite time. It's all fine until I have to actually wash them, upon which I have to contort my body into the proper positions for manipulating slippery little bodies in a low-lying tub. Yes, I know a little stool helps. But consider my back and knee issues (Lordy, I sound ancient, don't I?) and you'll realize a little stool only goes so far. I can hardly wait until my children get over the whole AHHHH! there's water running over my FACE and it might HURT me give me a TOWEL before I DIE! phase and can take showers. They might get fully clean a little more often then. I have been known to look at the latest deposit of paint/syrup/dairy product/who the heck knows in their hair, soak a washcloth, and scrub it out to the sound of vociferous complaints rather than go through the whole bathing rigamarole.
- If the kidlets get too whiny and annoying while in the car, I have been known to crank up the music enough to drown them out and sing along at the top of my voice and pretend their noise is just part of the backup singing. And the adverb "too" is very subjective here.
- I am constantly being caught off guard by events and fundraisers and whatnot at their school. Just this morning I saw the children had a special optional lunch for a $5 donation toward the Make A Wish Foundation. I had no clue. You think I actually LOOK at all the papers they send home? It's a good thing the teachers are willing to let me pay after the fact.
- I have never made a Halloween costume from scratch for my boys and am not sure I ever will. Unless they want to dress up in drag, in which case they can raid my closet for fabulous shoes.
- I lose my temper very easily. Even more easily with the boys, who somehow manage to not just push all my buttons, but jump up and down on them and smash them into pieces. I have had to apologize to them on more than one occasion for Completely Losing It.
- Sometimes when I've been in a major hurry to get the boys to bed, I have "forgotten" to have them brush their teeth.
- I have pinned The Widget on the floor with my legs and forced medication down his throat on multiple occasions because he's worse than a cat about taking meds. I only do this with urgent meds like antibiotics, however. And I never have to force him to eat his gummy vitamins, for some reason. (I do, however, have to keep them out of reach. I don't trust that childproof cap, because my children are far too intelligent for my peace of mind.)
- And maybe the hardest and scariest thing to admit? Here goes. I'll preface this by saying I LOVE MY CHILDREN and I love their hugs and cuddles and kisses and whatnot after I haven't seen them for a while (well, any time, but especially then.) However. While I do miss them when I don't have them and think about them and carry pictures of them around in my purse, I don't ache the entire time we're apart and feel like I cannot wait until I see them next. I think this would be different if I didn't know they're with their father who loves them dearly and is a good father and that they're having a great time with him (and at school, where they have a blast as well). If I was forced to share custody with a man whom I could not trust with my children, I would be a mess. But honestly? I value my Me time. It's the silver lining in all this separation/divorce Stuff. I can have a guilt-free social life with a built-in babysitting service.
And maybe that will mean some of you will judge me harshly, but the reality is I've never been the type of mother who needs or wants to spend every waking hour with her children. Perhaps part of this is due to having had PPD for so long. I think it's possible that I never achieved the same level of bonding with my children that other mothers do. I think it's also possible that they are caught up in my abandonment issues. A part of me knows that one day they will leave me, and so I never quite allow myself to connect fully. There's always a small distance between us, a piece of my heart I cannot seem to hand to them.
And part of it is that I am the person I am, The Cat Who Walks Alone (Part of the Time).
I spent three years pretending I was perfect, being told I was Super Mom. The reality is that I'm more Scary than Super.
The reality is this: motherhood is HARD. Scratch that. PARENTHOOD IS HARD. And true, there are some for whom it comes quite naturally and it really is more butterflies and buttercups for them than anything else, but some of us...Well, some of us struggle to look past the poopy Diapers and the terrifying Dragons that face us in our parenting journeys.
I have to content myself with the reminder that my children adore me. They truly love me, and while they may know that I am Scary when I've been pushed too far, they do not fear me.
(Sometimes I wish they feared me a little more, truth be told.)
And so while I may be a Scary Mommy, even a Bad Mommy, I am not a scary mother. Or a bad one.
That just might have to be enough.