Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The (not-so) Little Momma That Could

Some days I feel on top of Motherhood Mountain... My kids are dressed in clean, almost-ironed-looking clothing, hair is brushed, and even I have on something other than one of Bert's old t-shirts and sweats.  My dishwasher is filled with clean dishes, my sink is empty, and my dog has food in his dish before he even has to scratch the back door.  My van has no cheerios and old crusty fries in the floor board and the gas tank is full.  Most of the laundry pile is washed and folded, and some of the clean clothes are actually in the dresser drawers where they belong.  My floors are swept, and I actually pulled the mop and package of swiffer wet wipes from the closet, planning to mop after the kids go to bed.  I remember to speak softly and use words of praise to correct the children throughout the day, and find that they are almost disciplined, and someday may actually contribute positively to our society. 

Unfortunately, those kind of days are few and far between.

Most days, I feel intimidated and disappointed with myself and my parenting tactics.  My kids dress themselves, pulling mismatched clothing from the bottom of the pile that's been ignored for the last three (okay, six) months.  Their hair is poking up from all sides, because I'm not in the mood to chase them around with a brush and bottle of detangling spray.  I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and laugh, but only to keep from crying, at the sight.  I think about all the people I passed in the grocery store and wonder why none of them laughed out loud at the spit-up stained "Springville Tiger Football 1996" t-shirt with baggy sweat pants, that have a hole in the knee.  And wonder why none of them called Child Protective Services after noting my appearance, and the lack of nutrition in my buggy, along with the threats being made to the children climbing all over and jumping from the end of the buggy filled to the brim with frozen fish sticks and pop tarts.

Most days, my husband rolls his eyes as he pours his cereal into a giant mixing bowl, since that's the only clean dish available, and eats his cereal with a fork.  My kitchen smells of soured sippy cups.  I'm quite sure my sink is located down there.... somewhere... under all those dishes.  I scribble "paper plates" on my grocery list, to buy another day of not doing the dishes. 

Most days, my poor doggie scratches to door so much that the paint is peeling from the door frame.  I finally throw out some food, without ever petting his sweet head.  I grumble as I notice his water has a dead beetle floating at the top. 

Most days, I hurriedly yank the batteries out of the tv remote, and replace the ones in the wii remote, forgetting to put batteries on my grocery list.  We switch the batteries from all the remotes in our house for the next month and a half before finally remembering to buy new ones.

Most days, my van floor is covered in dirt, clothes, unidentifiable foods, and fast food wrappers.  And of course, the gas light is on.

Most days, my kids run around the house pretending to be cowboys, using the broom and swiffer mop as their horses. Walking from one room to the next, it's impossible not to have Fruit Loops and various crunchy snacks stick to your feet.  And in some places, it's impossible to walk without sticking to the floor due to some sort of spill that no one remembered to clean, or even mention. 

Most days, I screech at the children each time they interrupt my blogging attempts, or while I'm trying to text my sister.  I holler at them to quit hollering.  I scream at them for screaming, and while fussing that they may wake the baby, I wake the baby.  I worry that they will all end up in juvenile detention centers, or worse, living in our basement and playing video games, refusing to go to college.  I beat myself up for being a slacker mom, and in the process, feel defeated before I even begin the climb back to the top of the Motherhood Mountain.  I reach for the ice-cream and sit on the couch, staring out the window.  The day passes by.  The week passes by.  And before I know it, we're celebrating another birthday, holiday, etc.  And I think back to the previous one and again, berate myself for not "having it all together" like I swore I would by the next year. 

I have this dream, where I remember to brush my children's' teeth every night, before they go to bed at a reasonable hour.  My house is always drop-in ready.  My kids are always dressed in freshly ironed coordinating clothing.  And we all sit around and sing "Kumbaya" as we embrace in a family group hug.  Our dinners are planned weeks in advance and the only time anyone cries is because he/she fell down and scraped their knee. 

I tell myself that it's impossible.  I'm just not that kind of Momma.  I give up.  I wake up another day, ready to climb again.  I get half-way up and start to feel good about it all. 

It's a crazy cycle. 

Motherhood Mountain:  It's a never ending climb.  One where you get knocked down repeatedly, and the person usually knocking you down to the bottom is yourself.  You are your worst supporter.  And your biggest problem is that you aren't cheering for yourself.  Climbing Motherhood Mountain doesn't have to be as lonely as you make it.  It's so much more fun when you let others help give you a boost.  You just need to chant to yourself, the way the little engine does from that book you've been forced to read 84,000 times in the last six years, "I think I can... I think I can..." 

You can do this.......


Shekinah Glory said...

That swiffer mop horse should take care of those Fruit Loops for you.

Trace Car Driver said...

seriously holly... you need to put some ads on your page and become a professional blogger like mckmama! (you do know who she is, right?!? i am for real, you are so talented, funny, honest, and encouraging all at the same time!

tarheelmom said...

Three cheers for that post! I think of it as a roller coaster. Wow, I've really got it all together today and things are going great...and then the next is shot to hexx by breakfast! ha

Anonymous said...

Holly you sound like me and I only have two. I know after reading this I'm so proud of you. You're a great MOM!

April (Roll) Andrews

Lindy said...

I can truly say you are one of the least complainingist (is that a word?), put your big girl panties on and go kind of women I know. If I had such a big mountain to conquer I just don't think I could do as good of a job as you!

Love, L

Anonymous said...

Holly, you are the best mom. I berate myself for stepping on sticky pop-tarts on the floor, and I only have 2 children! We love ya'll. Tasha & Brandon

Voice of Reason said...

Motherhood Mountain is NOTHING! You should try Fatherhood Forest.

PS. I think something died in your van.

The Hills said...

You are so good at explaining how every Mom out there feels no matter our differences! Thanks for making me feel like it is ok not to have everything perfectly together, all of the time!

The Mom-tage said...

I'm telling you, nudist colony!!! Think how many hours that would add to our days!


Mr. Knowitall said...

Voice of Reason,

You are correct. Fatherhood Forest lies just over motherhood hill....errr...mountian. I once climbed motherhood mountain in a little over half an hour...all while cutting the grass, sweeping the floor & putting bread on the table.

Jill Aston said...

Well you should at least put one of the wet wipes on the swiffer mop so that something might have a chance at getting clean...that's what I do. Mia loves it!

Holly-- The Storm Chaser said...

Mr. Knowitall, if you are who I think you are... You need to remember who butters that bread!!!

brooke said...

Holly, I think everyone appreciates the honesty in this post. I can totally relate to everything you have said. Whenever you get it figured out how to be that "perfect" mom let me know. I'm so far from it that it's pitiful. I could write an entire book on this one topic. I do know this, if there is anyone out there that seems to have it all together ( and they might be good at cleaning, being dressed perfectly, etc) then they are probably struggling in some other area of their life that you don't know about. Maybe its not motherhood, but it's something else. Loved reading this.