Ahhh, sweet motherhood. We see the commercials that portray glowing mothers handed a clean baby in a quiet hospital room. There are shows that never reveal the mountains of laundry that must come with “x” number of children. My monthly magazine certainly never gives me recipes that are from a can or *gasp,* a drive-thru. Somehow, all the mommies I see online are without chaffing thighs and have coifed hair that makes me envious.
I am a rookie mom. I believed the glossy images and lullaby-driven commercials. Call me gullible, but I thought I would get “there” as a mom rather quickly. Well, six months in to this gig, and I am throwing out a bold statement:
IT’S ALL A LIE.
I don’t have it together. I’ve yet to meet a mom that does have it all together. Since I became a mom, I realized I have become a spectacular liar. I don’t think I’ve lied to those around me, though there is always that chance . . . . But, let me tell you who I lie to the most: MYSELF. I giggle as I type those words because we all do it. It’s a trick to keep the peace, maintain the sanity, and charge into another day of mothering.
Here are some of my most frequent and favorite lies I tell myself to get through the long days and late night feedings:
1. Tonight is the night he’ll finally sleep through the night! Um, I said this to myself every night for two days short of five months. As I laid my little sleep-fighter down into his darling crib, I whispered softly, “This is it. I just know he’s going to make it all night tonight.” And
four, two, one hour later, when my sweet baby was screaming through the monitor, I would sigh deeply and release my mantra for the next day. This somehow made my nights more manageable, believing I would get a decent night of sleep.
2. That stain isn’t too noticeable. I hate to admit this to a group of strangers, but I wore the same shirt with spit-up on it three days last week. I didn’t even care. I told myself the small circle of smelly milk on my shoulder was probably not that noticeable and definitely not “smell-able.” Ahem. We live in Texas and this season has been particularly warm, just baking that spit-up right into my shirt. Alas, I wore it proudly anyway. That’s what perfume is for. Every day, I meant to do some laundry, but the pile was already so big, so I just picked it up off the floor (when did I vacuum last?!), and pranced out the door. So, if you saw a bedraggled woman with her baby wearing a HEAVY SCARF in the August heat of Texas recently, know that it was me, pretending not to be covered in sour milk.
3. I will wake up before the baby and exercise. Ha. This one is just bold. Wake up before I have to? To sweat? Puh-lease. This momma hits snooze more times than a smartphone should allow. Somehow, I always find myself snuggled up in my jammies sipping coffee like my life depends on it when that moment comes. “There’s always tomorrow,” I lie to myself again. “I will work out in the living room!” More lies. I pull up a YouTube workout video and get distracted by the late night shows’ funny clips, and, well, there went my 30 minutes to get a bikini booty.
4. This ponytail is fashionable. There are people who exist in this world, who dominate Pinterest and can make a ponytail or messy bun look good. I am not one of those people. My ponytails somehow never quite give off that high fashion look. I have a grabby baby who has pulled out one too many chunks of hair, so nine out of 10 days, the hair goes up. Is it greasy? You betcha. Do I care? No way. I am all about ease, comfort, and saving what’s left of my postpartum head of hair. I tell myself it looks good. Grease is good for the hair anyway. I actually washed and straightened my hair ONCE recently, and multiple people complimented me on my hair cut.
I share all of this with you to laugh, yes, but also to encourage you to keep on going, momma. These days are hard, and survival is key. If you must lie to yourself, lie it up big time. I assure you, I will keep lying to myself to keep trucking through the tricky days of motherhood. Do what you have to do, dear momma. In the mean time, I will definitely be exercising with a cute little messy bun, in a clean tank top with a well-rested baby.
Come on, ladies. Let me hear the lies you tell yourself to make it through the week/day/hour.