Rejecting Perfect – Mother’s Day Edition

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Kids are weird and parenthood is hard. There are no two ways about it. These people are loud. They talk through all of the tv shows and movies I want to watch. They expect meals everyday. They shit up my stuff. They think their little, beautiful faces, sweet voices, adorable talking, and general amazingness is enough to make it ok that they eat all of the things I buy for myself – and they are right.

I don’t care about Mother’s Day but I take advantage of it. Why? Because these little fuckers need to learn to appreciate things. On Mother’s Day they make me breakfast and coffee and deliver cards to me that they’ve made by hand. They look at me for a few seconds because their father has told them they have to and then they leave. They kiss me. They hug me. They thank me. They wish me a Happy Mother’s Day. It all seems perfectly sincere and adorable but I know better than to believe them. I know the truth.

They don’t like anything I enjoy. If I want to go to a play – they want to go to the movies. If I want to go to a festival they want to stay home, and not go to a festival. They don’t like big groups of people, or fun things, or things I enjoy, or happiness – unless it includes fighting during things I like, eating my food, or crying because they don’t want to do the things I like. Have I mentioned they are also weird. I can’t say I’m surprised because I gave birth to them but yeah – they’re super weird.

Today, my middle child came into the kitchen with a giant balloon that he wanted to fill with water. I told him that he needed to go to the bathroom sink with it. Next thing I know I walk in to the bathroom and he’s in the tub, with his bathing suit on and the balloon is so huge and filled with water that he can’t event lift the thing. I cleaned the bathroom around his mishegas, ignored the balloon situation except to ask him not to over flow the bathtub, and left. I have no idea what happened to that balloon. All I know is that it didn’t explode inside the house. For all I know it’s still sitting in the bathtub. When I left the bathroom I never thought about the balloon again – until right now.

Long ago I gave up even trying to be a perfect mom. I love them, feed them, clothe them, bathe them, buy stuff for them within reason, give them time with friends, celebrate their accomplishments, hug and kiss them, stick to bed time, don’t beat them, make them eat broccoli on occasion, and expect them to treat people and things with respect. That’s all I got.

They each have a bin in which to put their shoes when they come in the house. The bins are all empty but the area around the bins are littered with shoes. It’s like a tiny collection of shoes that they’ve laid at the altar of “the bin.” The shoes are little offerings. I hope it’s religious because if not it’s just assholeness.

I have tried a handful of times to create specialty, themed baked goods for their birthdays. The first time I baked a beautiful cake and made pink icing for my daughter’s birthday. The cake split down the middle and my brother-in-law pointed out that the cake split down the middle with pink icing made it look like a vagina. I considered that quite a success. So much so that I have done it a few more times creating cakes with faces that looked like they were in the middle of an aneurysm, racetracks that appeared to be in the aftermath of an earthquake and other lopsided and tortured creations. It’s certain that I will be opening a bakery very soon.

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They wear what they want – most of the time it doesn’t match. Other than the Jewish holidays I don’t care what they wear. If their little behinds are covered and the clothes mostly fit I’m good. The little one doesn’t like to change his clothes before he goes to sleep at night,  nor does he like to have sheets or blankets on his bed. He likes only junk food and fruit. I fear the future of a child who never takes no for an answer, can charm his way out of (or in to) any situation and lives like a homeless person sleeping in his clothes on a blank mattress eating only goldfish and plums. This makes me completely nuts but after the fourth night in a row of re-making his bed I just say screw it and let him follow his bliss.

The girl told me yesterday that she prefers dogs to people and plans to live alone in a big house, as a very successful artist and have many dogs, next door to me and her dad, when she grows up. I love that she loves us so much but I did inform her that she can house sit because when she and her brothers grow-up I plan to travel all the time. She said that was fine and made a plan for how she would care for our house. She was born 90 and is far more mature and well adjusted than I am. There was nothing weird, at all, about this conversation or the fact that my kid looks forward to being a dog-lady when she grows up and living next door to her parents. It’s perfectly normal.

Tonight my husband and I tried to watch a movie with the kids. The little one watched Minecraft videos on YouTube for half the movie, the big one jumped on a mini-trampoline the entire time, and the middle one just wandered around the room and occasionally fell on the floor and tried to do the worm. We just kept turning up the volume.

In the rest of my life I am a control freak. I really tried to continue that pattern at home but they broke me. Long ago, they broke me. I didn’t have a lot of sanity to begin with, and I wanted to keep the little bit I did have. I had high hopes that I would be able to be one of those perfect, always gorgeous, always calm, organized, crafty, smiling, happy mommy’s. Hope is for the weak and the stupid. So I stopped trying to make every moment a fucking greeting card and just tried to get through it without lighting my own head on fire.

I love these people. I keep showing up everyday. We are all still alive and I’m only slightly medicated – so…success. Here’s to moms. All of us. None of whom are perfect. And our kids who are also perfectly imperfect. We’re in this together and so far, so good.

Happy Mother’s Day!!

Much love,

Erin xo

17 Comments


  1. This is funny, but seriously none of us our perfect. We just do our best and get the most out of our experiences with the kids. 🙂

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  2. Oh my goodness I spit my coffee out on the line with these little Fuckers! I love your post and it’s honest and real. I don’t think there is a perfect parent but we can all try to do our best. I think being real is better that pretending to be perfect anyways!

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    1. Profile photo of erinmahone

      Yeah!!! That makes me so happy! Hope you didn’t stain anything permanently 🙂

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  3. All still alive and only slightly medicated… love it! You had me laughing the whole way through this. We got this and are doing amazing. I hope you had a wonderful Mothers day!

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  4. I am laughing hysterically over this. Sounds like my house only I have five monsters to cope with (actually two of them are more or less gone so there is a dim light at the end of a long tunnel!). 🙂

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  5. Oh my goodness I spit my coffee out on the line with these little Fuckers! I love your post and it’s honest and real. I don’t think there is a perfect parent but we can all try to do our best. I think being real is better that pretending to be perfect anyways!

    Reply

  6. I love the ‘follow his bliss’ line. I would have stopped remaking the bed 4 days sooner than you! My 9 year-old’s bliss is to wear the same socks for five days in arrow even after bathing! It is not bliss for the rest of us however. I have one kid in underwear, one in half a baseball uniform from yesterday’s game of course with the SOCKS, and one in parts of her school uniform from yesterday. The big ones had school so they redressed themselves. I am looking forward to seeing more from you!

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