It’s May and it’s official: I’ve finally given up.  I’ve thrown in the towel.  I am waving the white flag of surrender (Well, if I had any clean whites to wave instead of the dirty ones at the bottom of my laundry bin, that is). 

You see, I have an embarrassing confession to make.  I can’t do it anymore and, at this point, I’m no longer afraid to admit it.  In fact, I’m ready to shout it out, like Julie Andrews, on every mountain top.  Let me explain.  I’m a mom and it’s the near end of the school year and I’m just too tired to care.

I can still remember myself at the start of September. I can picture her in my mind. She was confident, enthusiastic, idealistic, filled with fresh ideas of how to make the school year special for her children.  She was ready to take on the world.  She was going to be the best mom that she could be.  She had it all planned out too, this perfect version of a mom.  She was going to patiently help with nightly homework.  She was going to be a crafting whiz with school projects, armed with a supply of gun glue ribbons and scissors.  She was going to participate in every school function, including holiday concerts, bake sales and class trips.  It would be so easy too because she would be organized.  She even bought a new planner (pretty purple one with pink flowers), mapping out every single task on it and noting it on her phone calendar so it would ping gentle reminders to her.  She went shopping, determined to be the best dressed at pick up, so chic and put together that all of the other mothers would be green with envy.

I laugh at her now.  If only I could go back to September, I would shake her, shouting: “What do you think you’re doing!  Are you mad?”  Because you see, no one tells you (and I keep forgetting) is that it’s hard work to be the perfect mom.  It tires you out.  It beats the optimism right out of you. 

So now I’m in May, longing for June and I’m but the shell of that person I was in September. In fact, I do not even recognize her. I am not enthusiastic.  I am not idealistic. I am not ready to take on the world.  Instead, I am barely dragging my feet, limping along.  In fact, I am begging for a break. All I want is to lay on my back, eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling. But until then, I’m going to try to muddle through nightly homework doing my best not to shout, resigning myself to the fact that I will never learn how to use a glue gun correctly.  I will try not to be late to school functions as I lug around my planner, a mess of papers jammed into it, now with pencil crossings and red ink circles littering each page.  I will ignore the ping of my phone annoyingly reminding me how I am utterly failing at all of this and, finally, I will wear my mismatched t-shirt, sweatpants and Ugg shoes (even if it’s 70 degrees) with little or no pride left at school pick up.

Because, you see, at the end of the day, the only thing that truly matters about being a mom is what your kids think of you.  And the fact that my children’s faces light up every time they see me is all the proof I need to know I’m not doing such a bad job.  They think I am the best mom in the world! But they don’t really have a choice, do they?

Maybe there’s hope for me after all.  Happy Mother’s Day to all moms out there.  I tip my hat to you (that is, if I can find it underneath the pile of clothes accumulating on the floor of my bedroom)


8 thoughts on “Motherhood

  • There’s tons and tons of hope, Erin. You love your kids and that matters most. I’ve raised three and although it’s not all a bed of roses being a mom is the absolute best relationship/occupation/ life work with more reward than negative issues. I wouldn’t trade my experience as a mother for anything on this earth. Never give up. You will see one day that it’s worth so much more than anything money can buy. I’m not saying money isn’t helpful but it doesn’t take the place of family or friends – ever.

      • You should have included a before and after photo of yourself. Before the school year began wearing your chic new Mom clothes and an after the school year photo. Or at least a drawing of each.

        I wish my kids’ eyes lit up when they see me. Now they just give me the “I’m outta here!” look even though they’ve been home a few minutes. That’s a slight exaggeration but mostly not.

      • I can’t do it anymore and, at this point, I’m no longer afraid to admit it. In fact, I’m ready to shout it out, like Julie Andrews, on every mountain top. Let me explain. I’m a mom and it’s the near end of the school year and I’m just too tired to care.

        Since there are no mountain tops (or bottoms) in NYC, would you be shouting from the Empire State Building? Would there be a musical score in the background?

        The musical score for my life with kids would be “Tears of a Clown” and “I Will Survive” – music from the soul.

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