Motherhood is messy
Let’s be honest. Motherhood is messy.
You know those images of perfectly dressed families, not a hair out of place, smiling their pearly whites? I often stare at those images while in my oversized sweatshirt, stretchy pants, (Jeans? What are those?) and hair thrown into a ponytail.
Motherhood is often those moments where you look around in disbelief and wonder WTF?! Those times happen so much more than the magazine worthy moments. They are hectic and test your sanity. These moments are unfiltered, may involve some sort of bodily fluid, and are REAL. Those are the moments where I think back and snicker (sometimes). Those series of moments define what it is to be a parent. Indeed, motherhood is messy.
So here are some of the cringeworthy moments I’ve experienced during the messiness of motherhood. Some will make you laugh, some will make you shake your head, and some may make you turn green. I know you’ve had some of these moments too.
MOTHERHOOD IS MESSY, ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE A POOP SMEARING TODDLER
When Brielle was 20 months old, I put her inside of her crib to take a nap. She was on a regular naptime schedule, so I had a good idea of when she would wake up. About an hour and a half later, I expected her to be awake. To my surprise, she was silent. I normally check the monitor when I hear her, but I felt there was no need to in this case. I was being given a gift of alone time, and I was going to take it.
A half hour later, I started to worry. I decided to take a peek at the monitor. Brielle was quietly playing in her crib. Her back was to me, but she seemed content. She wasn’t a baby who kept herself occupied, so again I decided to seize the opportunity and let her be.
Another half hour later I started to get a feeling in the pit of my stomach. An hour of sitting in the crib without a peep? Who had taken my child and replaced her with this imposter baby?
I slowly tiptoed into the room, opened the door, and saw a sight that will forever be etched into the deep recesses of my mind.
My daughter had taken off her soiled diaper, and she was using her feces as finger paint.
THERE WAS POOP. SO MUCH POOP.
It was all over her frontside (so with her back facing me I had no idea the horror show that was going on), all over her hands, all over the backside of the crib, and all over the wall where the crib lay. Additionally, it was on the sheets, on her legs, in-between her toes, it was on her nose. It was like an Edger Allen Poe scene, baby edition.
Let’s not even discuss the smell. Oh, the smell.
I wasn’t sure whether to gag, faint, cover my eyes, or run out of the room and pretend I hadn’t just seen what I’d saw. How could I possibly clean this up? Was there a haz-mat company that could take care of this for me?
I don’t know how I cleaned it all up, cleaned her up, and managed to stay sane. I honestly think I blacked out during the cleanup process, as I can’t actually recall cleaning. My husband was at work during the time, and I’m sure it was one of the many times he thanked his lucky stars that he didn’t work from home.
My husband came home to a clean room, a clean child, and a completely frazzled wife. I learned a very valuable lesson that day. Always check on my child. Always.
the messiness of motherhood: my daughter’s drug DEAL encounter
I mentioned this story during my discussion about Tricky People, but it was too cringeworthy not to share again.
I took my daughter to a nearby park with my husband and in-laws one Saturday afternoon. My 3-year-old daughter was running around the park and enjoying herself. In the distance, there were a few nicely dressed men having a conversation. It seemed a bit odd to me that they were so well dressed at a park, but I wasn’t going to judge them for being fashion friendly.
I turned my back for a moment (it’s always during those moments when something happens, unfortunately), and turned back to see my daughter standing in-between the men. Although I couldn’t hear what she was saying, they seemed to find her comical as they were laughing and smiling. I quickly came over, ushered her away, and apologized for the interruption.
My husband later told me that he witnessed those men doing a drug deal. It was bad enough that my daughter didn’t understand the importance of not going over to strangers. Apparently, she was also now interacting with our friendly neighborhood drug dealers.
why road rage is bad
I hate driving. Therefore, I avoid highways. For some reason drivers on the highway look down upon cars that stop in the middle to figure out where they need to go. I have anxiety towards driving in general, so I will follow the same route and not veer from it even if there is traffic.
I encountered some major traffic one evening when I was taking Brielle home from dance. There was some sort of construction taking place, and a crane was occupying part of the lane. My car was slightly over the double yellow line due to the lineup of cars and the interfering crane. Cars were going by in the opposite direction without a problem, while my car wasn’t budging.
All of a sudden, a woman driving a very nice SUV stopped her car. I don’t know why my car upset her so much. Maybe she had a bad day. Perhaps her nice SUV had a smudge on it. Maybe she had to use the bathroom. Whatever the reason, she stopped her car, looked at me and yelled, “F*** YOU!”
She was LOUD. Do you realize how loud was for me to hear her with her windows and mine rolled up? We’re talking levels of loudness that I didn’t think were humanly possible.
Normally I don’t curse. However, this woman made me see red. Who did she think she was to stop her car and scream at me like that? I wasn’t in her way, and even if I was, what kind of crazy person reacts like that?
Therefore, I did what any classy woman would do in response. I screamed right back at her, “No, F*** You!” She glared at me and drove off.
That was when I remembered I had my daughter in the backseat of the car. Not only had she heard that woman curse me out, worse, she heard me talk like that too.
I wanted to crawl inside a hole and never come out. I was about to turn around and explain how I shouldn’t have reacted like that when my daughter burst into hysterical laughter. That’s right, folks. My daughter thought me screaming like a crazy person was the funniest thing she’d ever seen.
She never asked me what those words meant, and she never used them. We did later talk about anger and healthy vs. unhealthy ways of expressing anger, but that was the extent of it. My foul language escaped her, and I considered taking a course in road rage.
Running Errands with my daughter threatened my sanity
You cannot take Brielle on any errands. Due to her ADHD and SPD, she likes to touch every item in the store, possibly throw items in the cart, sit on items that are not chairs (my favorite is when she tried to sit on a stack of boxes of La Croix, and she knocked one of the boxes over). She also likes to run up and down the aisles and play hide and seek (meaning she runs away and I panic and find her). Truthfully, I have considered using a tether, but it seems people frown upon using those with an 8-year-old. Motherhood is messy business sometimes, but you do what you need to survive.
One time I took Brielle with me to CVS. I only had to pick up a few items. I would never dream of taking her somewhere that involved a lengthy trip. The plan was simple- I was going to grab the three items, let Brielle hand the cashier the CVS club card, and get back into the car. Easy, right?
Not so much. I always go over the rules with Brielle in advance, but she seemed to forget them as soon as we got inside. She tried to pull away my hand as I held it. I reminded her we had to hold hands, and I asked her to help me find the vitamin pills.
Brielle did not want any part of this. She instead started screaming, “Mommy, you’re hurting me!”
Other customers started staring. I knelt down to her level and told her that could not say stuff like that in the store, as people would think I was actually trying to hurt her.
I asked her to please cooperate and we could play a game to see who can spot the vitamins first. As soon as we started walking, she again started screaming. This time, she yelled that I was breaking her hand.
It was at this point that I realized that no vitamins were worth me having to explain to security or possibly Child Protective Services that I was not injuring my daughter. I immediately walked out of the store with her. We had a long talk when we got home about why she couldn’t say things like that.
Remember how I said I look back at these stories and often chuckle? This is the exception to the rule. I will always turn a shade whiter whenever I think back to that experience.
my daughter has no filter
Brielle likes to talk. She will talk to anyone who will listen. Truthfully, she’ll talk even if they aren’t listening. She is not a person that would ever be able to take a vow of silence.
It is a challenge to have a child that talks from the moment she wakes up. I try explaining that Mommy needs her cup of coffee first, but she doesn’t comply.
This especially becomes a problem when we have work done on the house. People come to give a quote or to fix something, and they also have the bonus of having my daughter go over to them to chat. By chat, I mean say completely inappropriate things that force me to hire them and/or recommend them out of sheer embarrassment.
Some of the most embarrassing moments have included:
- My daughter telling the plumber that his pants were falling off.
- Asking one of the construction workers why his skin was wrinkly.
- Telling the realtor that she looked like a woman, yet sounded like a man.
What I now tend to do is play with Brielle in a separate area of the house when workers come over. They get their work done more efficiently, and I don’t have any more nightmares.
Zoom meetings are boring, unless I’m crashing them!
My husband has several zoom meetings a day, and my daughter also attends zoom meetings for religious learning. She was told that remote learning is the same as in-person learning, except you are at home. She understands she has a teacher, and teachers are to be respected. At least I thought she understood.
Brielle has issues focusing, so I knew that it would be a challenge to get her to pay attention via online learning. I had a talk with her about the importance of listening, and I told the teacher to let me know if there were any problems.
I put Brielle in her room where there were no distractions, and I could keep an ear out. No other parents were present during the class, and I wanted to afford her the same privacy. For the first few weeks everything went well. That is, until Brielle discovered the camera button on zoom.
I got an email from her teacher notifying me that Brielle was turning off her camera during class. She was also using the chat box to start conversations with kids during learning.
I put a stop to that, but my daughter found something more exciting. She started leaving the room during her online class. She would sneak into my husband’s office when he was having his own zoom meetings. On more than one occasion, a co-worker would start waving, and my husband would turn to see my daughter standing behind him smiling.
Since then, I have moved my daughter downstairs where I can keep a close eye on her at all times. She knows I’ve got my eyes on her, and more importantly, my husband knows my daughter’s eyes are not on his co-workers.
motherhood is messy: uh oh, my daughter found the condoms
Brielle doesn’t know the meaning of privacy. Just as every person who enters our home is a new friend. Every item in our house is an item that she must examine.
One day I left Brielle in my bedroom when I went to use the bathroom. When I came out, I saw Brielle was rummaging through my husband’s nightstand. She then held up a box of condoms and asked me what it was, while trying to read the information on the back of the box. I understand that motherhood is messy, but this was just downright embarrassing.
I grabbed the box from her, closed the nightstand, and told her that those were for grownups. We had one of our infamous talks (do you see a theme?) and I learned to never, ever leave her alone in my bedroom. I also reconsidered baby-proofing again.
motherhood is messy, but i wouldn’t have it any other way
Life with my daughter is never dull. It requires patience that I never knew I had, and it tests me daily. Motherhood is messy, chaotic, and unpredictable. There are many, many times when I am frazzled, overwhelmed, and possibly on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Motherhood is a great representation of life. It is challenging, frustrating, and full of hurdles and roadblocks. It also is filled with beauty, humor, and countless memories. As a result, I try to embrace the chaos, find the humor in the moment, and cherish the little things that bring me joy. I now brace myself for the bumps, enjoy the peaks, and remember that motherhood is messy, but it is the ride of my life. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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