One of the reasons I started this blog is because I felt that I was regularly failing as a mother.
As I went to playdates or baby music classes or preschool drop off, I would observe other mothers to see if they were failing too.
More often than not, they were the picture of perfection. They were all smiles, hugging and breastfeeding their children with looks of pure bliss on their faces. This made me feel even worse about my failings. I felt bad about my failures, but even more so I felt bad about my indifference towards it. I didn’t want to be a perfect mom. I didn’t want to be that mom that was breastfeeding a toddler in the library with a big grin on her face.
I felt so alone in this horrible world of modern motherhood.
What was wrong with me?
So, I started to send out little stories about my trials and tribulations as a mother into the world wide web and lo and behold!! Across the world!! people started reading my posts and commenting. Some said I was a horrible person and mother.
But most – admitted that they too, felt alone. That they too, often felt that they failed as a mother. And that they too did not want to be a cookie-cutter “Stepford wife” picture of perfection.
Since then, I have grown as a person. I have learned to accept that I am not perfect and never will be. Also now, armed with the knowledge that millions of readers check in to hear what I have to say, that you are all not perfect either.
I continue to fail. Every
few hours day week?
This week I let Michael go to school looking homeless in a ratty basketball jersey and undone hair. I was tired and didn’t feel like arguing.
Surprise! It was picture day!!
The next day, off my kids went to school with t-shirts and shorts on and Surprise! it was 50 degrees that day.
Sometimes I start driving the car when the kids haven’t fastened their seatbelts yet because I am in a rush….but I definitely go slow and don’t make any sharp turns!!
Just yesterday I had people over and was drinking wine – so I let the kids each drink two Dr. Peppers because I just didn’t care anymore.
Sometimes, I count swimming in a pool as a bath.
Last week I took Sam to the doctor because he had a strange rash on his leg for
2 months 2 weeks I just noticed it!! The pediatrician told me to apply ointment to Sam’s rash twice a day for a week….
I did it once.
And then the worst failure of the week had to do with dinner.
After years of making gourmet Italian meals for my children, they beg me to make “normal food” like meatloaf. They learned about this disgusting delight from their grandmother in NY. Mr. Gaga’s mother makes comfort foods for him and my children when they visit, because she feels bad for them since they only get Penne a la Vodka, and Clam linguine and Veal Marsala at home. They live a sad life.
They learn from her about finer delicacies of the American palate and they are enthralled by it.
Finally, trying to be a good mother, I decided last week to treat them to a very “normal” dinner. I made the most “basic” meatloaf I could manage with no spices or fancy dressings. Just beef and eggs and breadcrumbs and some ketchup like a real American.
It looked disgusting as I unveiled it to the children. They looked at it questionably and without excitement.
“That’s not what Granny’s looks like,” they said poking at it with their forks.
“Just eat it! It’s meatloaf!” I demanded.
They took a couple bites. And then…they said …..”We aren’t hungry.”
The nerve of these little limited taste bud monsters.
I looked over to see if Mr. Gaga was enjoying my delicious meal.
“What is the problem?” I screeched.
“I think my mom just uses a lot more ketchup,” he said diplomatically, as I cleared all the plates and scraped the uneaten meatloaf pieces into the garbage.
I sent the kids upstairs and vowed to never compromise my culinary skills again.
However, I couldn’t help but feel an unpleasant twinge of rejection and failure.
“If I can’t even make a good meatloaf, then why do I even bother trying to be a good mother?” I cried to my best friend the next morning. “I am a failure.”
“Well, I think you are being too hard on yourself,” she said nicely, “And also – you need to use a whole can of Hunt’s tomato sauce, did you do that?”
I didn’t. I squirted like one squirt of ketchup in the bowl and half-heartedly mixed it with the beef and eggs.
Like everything else that I don’t want to really do as a mother, whether it’s math homework or watching a 3 hour baseball game or matching my family’s socks…..
If I don’t really want to do it….I inevitably don’t put my best foot forward and fail.
But my friend is right. I am being too hard on myself. I am too hard on myself most days, as are we all.
This week, I finally forced myself to do something that I have been putting off for 4 years!!
My “ABOUT ME” page on this blog.
Why have I put it off? I am not quite sure. I think mostly because I will have to put myself out there a little bit. I have to admit my failures and admit that the reason I started writing this blog was partially for you all to have some laughter therapy – but partially for me to feel like it’s ok that I am bombing this whole motherhood thing. To wake up on Monday morning and read messages from mothers across the land agreeing with me and telling me that I am normal.
After you all read on my ABOUT ME page and congratulate me for ending a 4 year procrastination that was clearly insane …
I am hoping you will also tell me that it’s ok if I don’t make a good meatloaf, and that you don’t either. If we just stick together – maybe this whole failure thing can really work out!
THANKS FOR LISTENING AND FOR FAILING AND ADMITTING IT…
XO, LADY GOO GOO GAGA