I raise my hand and admit that I have done it.
‘I will never let my kid talk back to me!”
‘I would never let my child go out of the house looking like that!”
“Oh no, you’ll never see me feeding my child Cheetos for dinner!”
All said with justifiable defiance and an air of superiority loudly enough for everyone to hear. And I meant well. I did. When I said these things I passionately believed I would never do any of them.
And then I became a mother.
Writes the woman who allows her daughter to go to school carrying a frozen waffle, with her shoes on the wrong feet, a hot pink shirt with black polka dotted pants and one sock that covers her knee and one that does not.
I pick my battles.
Now that I have three children that can walk, talk, talk back and form a sentence faster than I can come up with a clever retort to their logic, I find myself apologizing A LOT to the people who knew me before kids. You know, the ones that were already knee deep in motherhood who probably had a pretty good idea at the time that I had NO FLIPPING CLUE what I was talking about? Yes, those that cursed me at the time to bear the weight of their pressures?
Yea, those women whose wishes came true?
I apologize to them a lot now.
I have come to the realization that as grand and fantastic as motherhood can be – and it really can – it is also the one job that reminds me on a daily basis that I am a true hypocrite. Not because I want to be. There are other titles I would rather wear actually.
The Biggest Loser.
Mirror Ball Trophy Winner.
But hypocrite seems to scream at me the loudest.
Every time I catch a clip of a reality star feeding her child food she has chewed and have a quick, snapping opinion about it, I bite a piece of cheese off and take it from my mouth and hand it to my daughter. Not exactly the same thing but then it kinda is.
Or when one of my friends tells me that her preteen daughter kissed a boy at school and I think ‘NO WAY JOSE, MY daughters would never be allowed to let that happen!’ and then my 5 year old comes home and tells me that she let a boy kiss her on the cheek. My face reddens and the phone is dialed and the gushing apology is issued. Shamefully.
And now, as if turnabout is fair play, I have to stand, flat footed, knowing that it is my true punishment and listen to the up and comers tell me what I am doing wrong and how I should do it differently.
I deserve it, I know. But it still sucks.
Because now I see why the moms I used to chastise were always trying to get away from me.
They needed to find a hard object to pelt me with.
And so I find that though motherhood has giving me many labels – mom, caregiver, chef, maid, teacher, student, tutor, entertainer, lawyer and boxing ring referee – the one that seems to stick the most and humble me the most is hypocrite.
Because for all that I stand on my soap box and think I know, the hypocrisy of motherhood kicks it out from under me and leaves me picking up the pieces of not knowing anything at all.
Somehow, I kind of prefer it that way.