Today I felt like a horrible mom.
And this is not because I let my one and a half year old pick pop-corns from the floor and eat – which I have done. Albendazole is only fifty shillings, why should I lose my sanity and ear drums because of fifty shillings? Eat away, Miss. T, we will de-worm later.
This is also not because I dozed off in the middle of Miss. Z’s incessant interrogation.
Mom, why is this dress short now?
Mom: Because you grew taller.
Mom, why can’t I go to school now?
Mom: Because it’s on Sunday?
Mom, can I go swimming?
No, Miss. Z, it’s 10 pm.
Mom, why was your daddy put in a box like a present? (My dad died in October)
Mom: (insert an emoji with eyes popping out)
Mom, I have a boyfriend in Block 3:
Mom: (Insert an emoji smoking from the ears.)
Mom, why is … hsthkntr….zzzzzzzz…snore
Mom, wake up!
Yeah, you get the drift.
The boyfriend though, I’ve gathered is part-time. He’s only her boyfriend when they are at the swings. And she doesn’t know his name. I hope you all know that I had a gun, a shovel and an alibi. But I changed my mind and got me a parenting book and the bible. Wisdom for Mothers by Denise Glenn has been an invaluable study for me. The title can be deceiving though, it’s not just for mothers. Any woman who plans to be a wife and a mother, or is already one needs to do this study.
I started the study at a time when I was losing my mind. I was irritable and fatigued. I was dealing with unbelievable anger issues. I didn’t know how bad they were until I smashed a glass coffee table into pieces in anger. In the presence of Miss. Z. It was then that I realize that I needed to check myself into either a psychiatric hospital or a study group with other women. Thankfully, I ended up in the latter.
But even this incident wasn’t as bad as what I did today.
As moms, we make different choices in how we want to parent our children. I have chosen to be a stay-at-home mom. I work from the house, my office is at a corner in the guest bedroom. It’s thoroughly fulfilling, and also thoroughly exhausting. See, I’m writing this article at 0018 hours. It’s my 3rd article today. I’ve been dealing with writers block so this is particularly harder to write.
I’ve also emailed my Executive Editor in the US of A tens of times, and also drafted a very long email for a colleague in Botswana.
I’ve also made breakfast for two children; taken and picked one from school; I’ve made lunch and fed two small human beings who are interested in anything but the food I’m giving them. I have washed the tiny bodies of two small girls who keep kicking me out of the bathroom, because apparently they are too grown up to be washed but too young to feed themselves. I’d like to see the chart they use to determine when to be babies and when to be grown up babies.
I have made dinner, fed, and put to sleep the said little human beings. I have changed diapers and wiped mouths and put rubber bands on a little head that has cotton wool for hair. In short, I’m exhausted. But thoroughly fulfilled. (I already said that.)
I’m sure there is another mother out there who has not done all these things, not today at least. But she does them anyway when she can. And she does other wonderful super human things like gathering the courage to leave her crying babies every morning, babies tagging at her feet and soiling her power suit with their tears and snort. That’s the hardest thing we have to do as moms.
She goes out every day and crushes the corporate world and brings the big bucks home. And she also answers to “Mom” 117 times per minute like the rest of us. Both of us are killing this mom thing like Bolt on the tracks.
That’s why I feel bad about what happened today. I made another mom feel less of a mom.
It was unintentional, and very innocent, but it struck a nerve anyway. All it took was three words, “You are here!” Interpretation: Because I’m never here!
From the surface, those words may mean no harm. But when you realize that she’s the mom who has to go on work trips and who misses several days of school, you realize that it means a lot. It killed her to be reminded that she’s not always there. But she makes good every opportunity she gets.
I apologized immediately when I realized that it may have come out somewhat judgmental. I know there is no better mom. We are all trying to hack this thing and come out sane; with kids who will not need therapy when they are teenagers. We are all trying. And I was very sorry. I still am.
A mom who puts down another mom is the worst mom ever.