But with all good things come a dose of bad, right? You know, like how good can't exist without evil or something like that. Which brings me to The Veil. Not to be confused with Sancti-mommies (I mean, they couldn't be more obvious, right?) or the mommy wars (lower case intended), The Veil is sneakier. There is no one person at fault. It's the constant barrage of what looks like perfection. On blogs. On Pinterest. In parenting magazines. The Veil can wrap itself around you unexpectedly. And The Veil is stifling. I was under it for a spell. It depressed me. It whispered like Wormtongue in my ear that I wasn't really good at this. That I didn't work hard enough. That I was lazy. That I should do more crafts! More from scratch cooking! Learn how to sew! Clean more! More! More! More! The Veil made me think that if I just tried hard enough I could be the best mom as long as I didn't speak of my failures. It convinced me that I should hide them.
It gets hot under that Veil. But don't get discouraged.
If you are lucky, your veil will be lifted. But you have to lift it yourself. And if that happens you will feel 7000 lbs lighter. Because suddenly you realize that raising kids isn't easy (not news). It's been hard for hundreds of years. It's always been hard. It turns out that my self-centered belief that I was the first person to ever experience the hardness of mothering is bunk. So yeah....perfectness...it's never gonna happen. Nor should it.
Some moms might wilt from that realization. Some moms might find it a challenge to up their perfection game. Me? I exhaled a few years of stress and laughed my ass off. I am no perfect mother. I've already explained that. But this exhale? It is for the bliss I feel in understanding that I don't want to be a perfect mother. Not by the standards that are presented to me across the internet on a daily basis.
I don't wear aprons (but I might PIN one!). I can't tell you the last time my house was scrubbed. If you asked me for my favorite recipe right now, I'd be hard pressed to give it to you (No wait, does a veggie tray count?). But I have come to believe that my perceived flaws are not flaws at all. I'm not perfect by anyone's stretch of the imagination but I am way more than just enough.
A bit past bedtime one night, I was joking with the husband saying I should write a post based on all the ways I've failed our children.
Me: "The kids probably should have had a bath tonight but eh."
Him: "They aren't oozing, right?"
Me: "Nope. Just ridiculously dirty"
Him: " Dirt? Who cares about dirt?
Me: "Welllllll, you might change your tune when you see their feet in your blankets."
Him: " Eh. Stop it."
Me: "Plum's hair is caked with dried applesauce."
Him: " Shit, dude. Really?"
We giggled. And then, thinking like a blogger, I realized it was a damn fine idea. Because, dudes? I "fail" all the time. My guess is that you do too. But our failures are no where near actual failures. Even if I did put my 2 year-old to bed with applesauce hair. I refuse to judge myself for it or accept anyone else's judgment of it. They are not failures. Not to me. To others they could be the cardinal sins of parenting. But I don't care about that kind of shiz. To me these failures qualify as superficial. Silly. Normal. To me, they land squarely in the the "Who gives a rat's big toe?" category of failures.
But I didn't always feel that way. You know, because of The Veil. So I say, "Pft!" I burned my Veil. And to prove it, here is a short list of the 10 failures I can think of off the top of my head from last week...
2. My kids went to bed dirty a few times. But I do a baby wipe the feet first. Usually.
3. I still haven't changed sheets. From like April. Pft.
4. I let them do things, like climb play equipment, without me up their butts. They get hurt.
5. I let them fight (Not physically). Because I want them to figure out how to not fight. I want them to work some shiz out on their own. That's not gonna happen if I'm policing toys and forcing sharing. I'm there to help, of course. But I try and stay back and see if they can work it out first.
6. Do I even need to tell you how not clean my house is?
7. I cuss. Not angry mean cussing. Just a few bombs sprinkled in for good measure. Like, "What the shit? For real, dudes? Which one of you sharpied the couch again?" or "Oh, shit. That didn't exactly make it into the toilet, kid" I'm not a yeller. I'm a casual cusser.
8. I took my kids to a bar. And while it was weird walking into a bar with 2 kids at 3 in the afternoon, they had a blast playing on the patio for our friend's going away party. Blowing bubbles and using sidewalk chalk on the very concrete I stumbled around on in my twenties. And yes, we left before the shenanigans began.
9. We still have ants. My kids talk to them like they are pets. "Hey buddy? Where you goin'?" I've tried everything. So I just bought traps. And now I feel like I am killing my kids' friends. They need a dog.
10. I can think of 2 times, off the top of my head, when I forgot to feed them. Thank Zeus they eventually tell me with words now. Words that come out very loud and hysterical. But words, all the same.
I have more. I just can't think of them right now. But I have to go because I've been ignoring them for almost an hour trying to write this and they are starting to get up in my grill about that. So how about you tell me yours?
Lift The Veil and tell me, my friends, how do you fail your children?