A friend of mine told me recently that she likes my blog postings because I’m a “REAL mom.” This really surprised me, because I’m no more real than any of the rest of you. But what she meant was that I don’t pretend motherhood is all butterflies and rainbows. What’s unfortunate is that that reality, that raw emoting about the ups and downs of motherhood, is not the norm.
Too many moms, and probably dads as well, do pretend that they love every day with their kids and that they are never struggling as mothers. But it doesn’t help any of us to do that. So if a Real mom acknowledges that sometimes having children is really hard and really stressful, or if a Real mom doesn’t play on the floor, hands-on with her children every second they’re awake, or if a Real mom is open about the fact that she definitely fails at something motherly on a daily basis, then I am definitely a Real mom.
There are a lot of blogs and stories about “mommy wars,” the alleged wars between stay-at-home-moms and working moms. But sometimes I wonder if the real “mommy wars” are not those that happen between mothers who keep up the façade of perfection in their family lives and the mothers who drop it in favor of honesty. It is hard for me to believe that in this day of confessional reality obsessions there are still mothers who don’t acknowledge the realities of parenting, but clearly there are.
Maybe I’m just too exhausted from raising two very real boys to smile every minute and pretend we’re all living in perfect harmony. Maybe I’m too brutally honest at times about how difficult it is to have one child whose love bucket is never full no matter how much time I spend with him and another whose neurological differences have rocked our world since the day he was born. Then again, if even one woman has found something relatable and Real in what I write, I must be filling a need that someone else’s façade created. So I’ll keep living in my real life. The sometimes-crappy, always-interesting, love-filled one I’m happy to be stuck with.