"I guess everyone has her own idealistic view of how life will be with children: There's Mom in her apron, humming happily as she cooks yet another delicious, lovely, gourmet meal for her model family in a spotless, shiny kitchen! Her older children are playing cheerily in the next room like the best of friends and the baby has been sleeping peacefully upstairs for three hours. Her toddler gurgles contentedly as she hands him a wholesome cracker and her husband comes to the door of their meticulously neat home, with a bouquet of roses in his arms. His darling wife looks pretty as a pin in her wrinkle-free cotton dress, stockings, pumps and makeup that was just touched up. She smells of perfume and rosemary. She winks as she giggles and accepts the roses with a peck on her husband's cheek - a promise of passionate romance after the kids are in bed smelling of baby shampoo and powder. Their dog wags his tail, protects the family valiantly and never once whimpers to be let out to poop! Birds are singing in the flower garden that was planted by the industrious, energetic woman of the house. She bakes pies for friends when they have babies, visits and shops for the elderly woman next door on a weekly basis and is president of the PTA in all of her spare time!
Ah! Life as it should be? Could be?"
Okay...life as it really is: Let's try this on for size- it has been pouring all day which means the kids have been underfoot ALL DAY! A frazzled mom puts water on to boil for macaroni and cheese and opens a can of green beans as she tries desperately to prevent her two year old from sticking his fingers up the dog's nose. The pet howls and wakes the baby as the older two siblings scream, running through the kitchen chasing each other with light sabers.
The doorbell rings and it's the FedEx man needing a signature for a final notice bill from the electric company. She glances toward her neighbor's house, sees the old man mowing the lawn yet again and he gives her the finger!
Back inside, the pasta is boiling over and the phone is ringing. It's her mother, reprimanding her for not calling that morning and the toddler has found the dog dish and is eating ALPO. Her husband calls to say he has been delayed at work with another unexpected sales meeting and just as she's about to set the table, her toddler throws up the dog food he ingested onto her old sneakers. She sighs on the verge of tears, then cuts her finger on the green bean can lid and starts to cry in earnest!
Well-- a little extreme, but definitely more realistic than the first scenario. Sorry! Alas, such is life as a mom. It's hectic, it can be depressing at times, and it's exhilarating! It is one adventure after another. None of us can escape the ups and downs, the bumps and bruises...you can count on them. There are the memories that make your heart sing and the moments that shatter your heart into a million aching pieces. It's a journey with many turns and twists. Just remember to be nice to your children along the way; they will be the ones who will someday choose your nursing home!
As in gardening, there will be days of sun and days of rain. Hopefully, there will only be a little manure, if you catch my drift! But the harvest will be abundant if we tend it daily. Our job is to give our children roots that go deep into the soil of a rich heritage. It won't be easy!
More from my book MOMMY MEMOIRS as I dip into the vault from months ago on the weekends coming up!