As 2015 is already in full swing and as I start to ponder all the resolutions, things I want to accomplish, or just downright trying to get my “eight hours a day sitting” butt to the gym, I realized the biggest goal for myself this year is the ability to be vulnerable. One would think being a mom would automatically catapult you into being an example for your kids by being honest with others or at least try. I find it to be the opposite. Over the holidays, I went to quite a few parties and while I was chatting away I always ask, “Hey, how’s your kid?” I get a standard answer, “Jimmy is great, he placed 2nd in soccer, his school is ranked # # in all of Los Angeles and we are hoping he gets accepted into his first choice in middle school, he poops gold, things are great!” Usually, when they get around to asking me the same question, I seem to find myself blathering the same bullshit back and walkaway feeling as if something false just transpired and I sigh in loneliness. What I yearn for and sometimes accomplish is telling the truth. What I really want to say is “Well, I had a tough week because I have been with my kid 24/7 non-stop and we are pretty much sick of each other and she yells at me and slams the door and puts the volume to 10 on her boombox and says she wishes I wasn’t her mom.” Whew. I feel better already writing it down.
Living in LA is one big fantasy, people drive cars they can’t afford, live in houses they can’t afford, and raise kids like they walked the moon at 2 yrs. old. I find when I speak to other mom’s there is an underlying level of shame when their kids are not doing well in school or not athletic. There is a level of judgment that goes along with parenting, with all of us, myself included. If we all kept it real it would be a bonding experience and we could have a deep level of friendship and not feel so alone in the parenting maze. I beat myself up when I make parenting mistakes fearing that my daughter is destined to years of therapy analyzing her neurotic, helicopter pilot mom who ruined her life. It would be helpful if I have more courage to share that fear and talk to other moms who have the same concerns as I do. Parenting is tough shit. It ain’t for the faint of heart. Just when you think you have it down, something else pops up and I am knocked for a loop. Sometimes, when I feel I handled a situation badly that I want to go into the fetal position and call for my mommy.
When my daughter was smaller, she cut her long beautiful hair with a pair of scissors and I did not take it well. I went to a party later in the day and my friend asked me what was wrong. I told her the story and she laughed and said, “Who doesn’t go through that. I think my kid did that and cut his sister’s hair too, I hit the roof.” I looked at her and said “Wow, really. cool! Well, not cool that he cut her hair but that your hit the roof, well not that, never mind. Thanks, it’s what I needed to hear.” The ability to feel vulnerable is my bottom line with friendships as I ascend into the middle part of my forties. I find as women and especially mothers, my closest relationships are with people who I can relate to. I don’t want to give you the wrong impression, I want to hear how great your kids are doing all their accomplishments and wonderful experience that will take them on a path of a long fulfilling life and trust me I want to talk about mine too, but for me I am keeping it honest, it helps me be a better mom and human being. At least my therapist agrees with me.