I follow some pretty amazing women on Instagram who are mommy bloggers. These women–all of them–have their crap together. Yes, I know people typically only post the positive aspect of their lives on social media. I mean, I wouldn’t be sitting here typing these words on my husband’s brand new Mac while eating an ice cream sandwich if I was reading about women like myself. But really, do they even exist?
Today, as I carried my four year-old (upside down–to prevent further urine spillage) to my bathroom and put her in the shower, clothes and all, visions of the IG mamas danced in my head. Okay, they didn’t really dance; they kind of looped through my head, mocking me. Like Mother Teresa taunting Dr. Ruth. And as I positioned myself on all fours on the kitchen floor with paper towels and bleach to scrub away pee for the twenty-seventh time this week, I recalled photos of a chubby, laughing toddler splashing about in a flooded bathroom because oops, mom turned her back for a second and the tub overflowed. Chubby Toddler’s mom then wrote this eloquent piece about patience and children being innocent babes for such a short time and sitting in the floor splashing with that perfect cherub child born of her loins, until their fingers were wrinkled like parched grapes left to whither away on the ground at the local vineyard . Gag.
Then I suddenly snapped out of that IG mama’s photo and heard laughter coming from my own offspring. This time, though, it was the boy, and he wasn’t laughing because I was fun mom with bubbles and water paints and homemade baked cookies, but instead because I had slipped on my yoga mat that had also been saturated by Miss I’m too busy for that long trip to the toilet so I’ll just relieve myself here. I grabbed a Clorox wipe and scrubbed myself with its pleasant smelling chemicals, while yelling how nice it must be for my husband to talk to adults all day while I cleaned bodily fluids and brushed out hair knots and washed god knows what out of the underwear of these short humans I live with. And then it happened again. Those photos of white walls and floor boards, and beautiful british babies frolicking in their backyard picking and eating fresh blueberries. Without one stain on their crisp, linen rompers. Not one!
And then it occurred to me, as the thirteen year-old huffed some (I’m positive) profanity under her breath and rolled her eyes at me because she had to take overflowing bladder baby out of the shower, that I will never be that kind of mom. Ha! You thought I was going to say something philosophical about how we are all perfect moms in our own way, and how I suddenly had an epiphany and now appreciate all the trials and tribulations of motherhood. Well, you’re wrong. I will never be that kind of mom. Sure, I love my kids. They are all pretty cool in their own Children of the Corn Malachi mixed-up sort of way.
But I will never let them wear shoes in the house or crawl into my bed with cute dirty little summer feet or leave their toys strewn all over the house because that is the sign of a home. I don’t want the outside tracked in on my freshly Swiffered floor, I like my sheets clean (minus the Prozac drool), and Barbie shoes and Legos hurt like hell when you step on them. I will never laugh when my bathroom gets flooded because dammit water is scarce. And expensive! I will never grow fruit in my backyard. I mean, I did once, but the dog pooped in the garden so I pulled everything up in a blind rage. I will never be the mom who doesn’t need the assistance of every filter Instagram has to offer. And you know, I’m okay with that.
And I say that I’m okay with that, not because I’m a terrific mom who is suddenly secure in her parenting skills, but because my husband took the kids to the movie theatre, I’m on my second ice cream sandwich, and we bought a lot of wine in the Hill Country last week. Now, where is that cork screw?