I’ve been accused more than once in my life of telling it like it is. So when I say I don’t always love parenting it isn’t meant to be an admission of a deep, dark secret. It just is what it is, and while I wish I loved my job as a mother all the time, I find no shame in not liking it everyday.
I’ve wondered if not loving being a mother much of the time precludes me from being able to keep the promises I’ve made to myself–promises to be patient, playful and engaged.
I’ve decided the two are not mutually exclusive.
I can do my best everyday, just as I would at a paying job away from home, and still not enjoy it all the time. We can pretend to grocery shop with a list that always includes milk, cereal, bread and toast, or we can be pirates (really, M.?) sailing on the ocean. I don’t have to have fun. But I must help facilitate her fun.
I love my daughter, the one whose eyes squint when she smiles in the same way mine do, and my son, whose wide eyes look more like mine with each passing day, every second of every minute of every hour.
But sometimes the best we can do is just make it through those seconds, minutes, and hours. Until dad comes home. Or it’s bedtime. Or she shouts “Dammit!” and you tell her to go outside if she needs to scream, and then in the backyard you hear “Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!” and when you ask where she learned that word, knowing full well you said it two weeks ago and nothing escapes the girl with a mind like a steel trap, she says, “cousin Johanna.” And you laugh harder than you’ve laughed in weeks. Because it’s preposterously hilarious. And you needed to laugh. Just to get through the rest of the day.