Home » randomness » The greatest bit of mothering wisdom you will ever read during your entire life. Really.

The greatest bit of mothering wisdom you will ever read during your entire life. Really.

When I was pregnant with Meghan twelve years ago, a dad of four told us something that set me free from a good chunk of mommy guilt. He first informed me that this was something that no one else would tell us. It was the great secret of parenthood. The key to survival. The profound nugget of wisdom.

Here it is. I’m going to pass it along to you because this little secret has served me well.

He said, There will be times when you will not like your kids. And that’s okay.

We always love them, of course. We would lay down our lives, take a bullet, step in front of a speeding train at any given moment in order to save them. We always take care of them, we always provide for them, we always protect them.

But there are times when we just don’t like them very much. Or at all. There are times when we would rather gouge out our eyeballs with a spoon than be in the same room with them for another second.

And that is okay.

Anne Lamott has a great bit in one of her books (can’t remember which one) where she talks about how even Mary, the Holy Mother, must have gotten irritated with Jesus and not liked him very much. Hello? Wandering off by himself for three days and smarting off when they finally found him? Yeah, I would’ve been slightly hacked. So we, who are certainly not anywhere close to Holy Motherness, shouldn’t feel so bad.

Not naming names, but there is a particular child in our home who is really, really, really, REEEEEEALLY hard to like lately. I mean, would you like to spend an entire day with someone whose every uttered word is either a whine or an argument…or both? Every. Single. Word. And on top of that, defies everything you tell him to do? Disobeys? Yells? Disrespects? Lies? Picks fights? It’s enough to drain a woman of every last ounce of compassion and energy.

Ugh.

Which is precisely why this is so important:
Our second annual “Make Mom A Mess” Day – and it was a BLAST – just like last year. Moms need to step into their sons’ world of dirty and messy and sticky, and sons need to take out some aggression on these wretched women who make their lives completely miserable.

Just kidding.

Moms need to have fun with their sons. Fun is what reminds us how unique and crazy and special our sons are. Fun reminds us that they are, in fact, likeable. Fun reminds us that underneath that horrid, unlikeable exterior, they are pretty darn cute.

We could all use a little fun.

My hope is that my boys will grow up and vividly remember smearing whipped cream all over their mom’s face and pouring water on her head and watching her spin around with her forehead on a bat covered with chocolate syrup.

And I hope they remember their mom laughing hysterically and screaming with delight and having the time of her life with them. I’m also hoping those good memories will drown out the memories of her losing her ever-loving mind and screaming her head off.

It’s amazing what a little fun will do. Aforementioned unlikeable son thanked me several times yesterday afternoon for taking them to Mom-Son Field Day, and later when our family talked about our favorite things from the day (which also included swimming and ice cream and playing with a friend), both boys agreed that smearing their mom with whipped cream was the highlight of their weekend. Aforementioned son was also slightly more agreeable and pleasant for the remainder of the weekend. Slightly more likeable.

(Of course, the come-to-Jesus talk we had with him didn’t hurt, either. Zero-tolerance, we said. Immediate consequences. It all ends now. Or else.)

So there you go. Remember my little nugget of wisdom when you have pulled out every last strand of your rapidly graying hair. It’s okay. You’ll get over it. They’ll get over it.

And if all else fails, bust out the whipped cream.

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3 thoughts on “The greatest bit of mothering wisdom you will ever read during your entire life. Really.

  1. Let's buy cans of whipped cream for vacation and have a whipped cream fight! Let's not tell anybody…we can start it and leave cans nearby for them! Do you think there will be anywhere we can do it? Maybe at the beach? Hmmmm….condos could put a crimp in our craziness. We will have to be civilized around the people there! Just thinkin'…

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