In her recent post, “Motherhood: The Big Fat Fuck You” on Scary Mommy, Lisa Morguess wrote:
Everyone wants to talk about how great motherhood is, how fulfilling it is. Sometimes it is. And often, it’s not.
One of my new favorite people, nutritionist Stefanie Sacks, sent me a link to Lisa’s article the other day. My first inclination was to not repost it because of the language in the title. Then I reconsidered, because it’s an unexpurgated account of a mother’s frustration after an awful morning with her children and—face it—we’ve all been there. Who hasn’t felt like they’re not being heard, much less appreciated, by their family at some point? Just because we’re expressing our frustration doesn’t mean we don’t love our kids. And besides, who hasn’t dropped the f-bomb in the heat of the moment?
As a working mother of two, I’m right there with Morgeuss. We rarely get the acknowledgement we deserve and even when we recognize that, there’s still an underlying twinge of guilt when we express it. There’s the fear that if we don’t always face our children with a smile and an unconditional willingness to do, we will be seen as “bad” parents, either by others or by ourselves. Being a mother is hard job. As Morguess puts it:
It’s because it’s so fucking emotionally taxing. It’s because it’s so incredibly thankless so much of the time. It’s because I feel like I’ve sacrificed so much of myself for them, and they don’t appreciate it. It’s because I do and do and do for them, constantly, and it often seems like all I get in return is complaining that it’s not enough—or just outright ignored. I’m not looking for accolades or awards or fanfare. I’m not even looking for “thank you.” It would just be nice to get a little cooperation. A little respect for the rules—rules which aren’t onerous or unreasonable for crap’s sake!
The thing I love about her post is that she’s telling the truth about her experience. Even when she’s being an angry, frustrated, and potty-mouthed mother, she’s being a really good mother, because the reality—the rewiring message—is that if we don’t find the outlets to process our own emotions, how can we teach our kids that it’s okay to have (not always wonderful) feelings, work through them, and come back from them?
Like everyone, parents need a way to manage and release our feelings. Morguess found her outlet on her blog. I vent to my friends and mentors—my support team. How do you vent when your kids push you over the brink?
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Name another ‘job” that all will agree is extremely important, and for which we receive so little systematic education.