By Sarah Hunter of Diaper Pails & Funny Tales
Mind if I sit next to you on this park bench? I couldn’t help but notice you alone, with your dirty clothes and unwashed hair, clutching that huge Starbucks cup (you know, the one that your kids seem to lose their shit over the color of every year) as if your life depends on it.
I get you.
My kids, too, have let a color of a cup ruin their morning. I am also going on day three (?) without a shampoo, and yes, I pulled these pants off the floor this morning and gave them a sniff-check. But see, I only have two kids to clean up after. With almost 325 million children, parts of your house have to look as though someone scraped the inside of my car, mixed it with our high chair contents, and dumped it on top of twenty thousand diaper pail and laundry loads. Your kids seem to have zero respect for your home, just dumping their fast food and condom wrappers wherever, smoking in your bathrooms and pissing on everything. Their messes must sadden and completely overwhelm you.
I’m only a part-time working mom and often feel exhausted from trying to balance a career and home life. You, however, work nearly 364 days a year, because your children are greedy and have to have the latest material objects now. Holidays and time with family be damned. You are required to return to work only 8-10 weeks after popping out each kid and can’t afford the time off anyway. I thought my money was tight; I can’t even fathom shouldering your debt.
Making other mom friends can be hard. You feel judged and isolated (äiti Finland shakes her head at your so-called maternity leave, while Mummy Australia won’t let her kids near your Nerf gun-toting ones). Now, they all seem to be laughing at which of your offspring was chosen to look after the rest for the next four years.
Then there’s your children, acting like pure animals – screaming, destroying playground equipment, and setting things on fire. Some of them are yelling, “NOT HIM-WE DIDN’T CHOOSE HIM!!” Others are pushing, calling each other vicious names. A lot of your children are afraid. They sit quietly, on the edge of the playground, scared they may get locked out of your house. Your beautiful, diverse babies stand in groups (black vs. white, red against blue) facing each other, with fists clenched, ready for war.
And all you can do is just sit there with tears in your eyes and pray they don’t burn the whole place to the ground.
The thing is, those could be anyone’s kids. They could be mine someday.
So, it is my promise today not to turn my back on you, but to help lift you up. I will do my best to behave and try to unite my brothers and sisters. As a fellow mother, I understand — we as parents all get beaten down by our own fears and guilt. Where did I go wrong? Just remember, there was a time when you felt like the best mother in the world. And there have been times when your kids formed a line, hand in hand, and stood up to anyone trying to take you down.
I want you to feel good again. I want your kids to treat you with the respect you deserve. We’ve taken you for such granted, and for that I am so sorry.
We can do better. I know this because, after all, I was raised by one of the strongest women in this world – you.
A version of this post was originally published on Diaper Pails & Funny Tales.
About the Author
Sarah is Mama to the wild boys, “E” (SNL cast member, 2033-?) and “W” (Destined for Wanderlust). When she’s not busy finding ALL the things for her family, Sarah enjoys writing about the lighter side of Motherhood. Read about her journey through motherhood on her blog: Diaper Pails & Funny Tales | Parenting can stink – Laugh about it. You can also follow her on Twitter or on Facebook.