Motherhood can drive you nuts sometimes. I used to be a pretty stylish lady. I could put together complete sentences, read books, and then have intellectual conversations about said books. I could shower, fix my hair, and put on make-up every day instead of just picking one of the three and calling it good.
I didn’t have drips of milk running down my walls, orange cheetos-smudges on my windowsills, or a package of wipes within reach no matter where you sit in any of my rooms. I didn’t come across random bowls of cereal in the bathroom (that really happened, and not too long ago).
All of this chaos leads to mommy moments where you question, “what did I do to my neat, organized life?” Well, in my case, my life was never that neat. But it was my mess, dang it, and I liked it. All of these feelings are normal and temporary. Temporary because your little kiddos are growing every minute, right before your bleary, sleep-deprived eyes. It may seem like the days are dragging as you wash the bottles, tie the shoes, change the diapers, remind of the manners, bake the cupcakes. But these days won’t last forever.
One of the mentor moms in a MOPS group I attended shared the following poem and it has stuck with me years later. It’s called Wet Oatmeal Kisses and it’s by Erma Bombeck:
The baby is teething. The children are fighting. Your husband just called and said, “Eat dinner without me.” One of these days you’ll explode and shout to the kids, “Why don’t you grow up and act your age?” And they will.
Or, “You guys get outside and find yourselves something to do. And don’t slam the door!” And they don’t. You’ll straighten their bedrooms all neat and tidy, toys displayed on the shelf, hangers in the closet, animals caged. You’ll yell, “Now I want it to stay this way!” And it will.
You will prepare a perfect dinner with a salad that hasn’t had all the olives picked out and a cake with no finger traces in the icing and you’ll say, “Now THIS is a meal for company.” And you will eat it alone.
You’ll say, “I want complete privacy on the phone. No dancing around, no pantomines, no demolition crews. Silence! Do you hear?” and you’ll have it. No more plastic tablecloths stained with spaghetti, no more anxious nights under a vaporizer tent, no more dandelion bouquets, no more iron-on patches, wet, knotted shoestrings, tight boots, missing mittens, or ponytails falling out.
Imagine, a lipstick with a point, no babysitter, washing clothes only once a week, no parent meetings, carpools, Christmas presents out of toothpicks and paste.
No more wet oatmeal kisses.
No more toothfairy, giggles in the dark, or knees to heal.
Only a voice crying, “Why don’t you grow up?” and the silence echoing,
Brings me to tears every time. When I am in the midst of all the craziness I try to remember this poem, hoping it will give me some perspective. Then, if that doesn’t work, maybe I’ll eat a bowl of cereal in my bathroom and cry. 🙂