You know what’s the one thing that I’m terrified of the most? Besides my extensive list of completely rational fears like being attacked by lizards, buried alive (because there is no way in a million years that I can punch my way out like Uma Thurman) and having my kids abducted by a kidnapping syndicate in Mumbai.
I’m talking about top of the list here, numero uno. It’s being redundant.
In the days of my youthful idealism, I was exactly like you. I wanted to change the world. I was planning to end world hunger or become obscenely rich selling a ton of useless stuff to people who probably wouldn’t need them just because I was that brilliant. Either one would have worked for me – I wasn’t picky about the details.
The truth is, being a mom doesn’t make it into the list of glamorous professions. I don’t care what they say on those overly-priced Hallmark cards on Mothers’ Day, nobody’s dream job is to be a poop-cleaning, booger-digging, frazzled, batshitcrazy chick up to her elbows in human excretions. Make no mistake, motherhood is noble and to sacrifice your own dreams for the kids is all great but it kind of sucks that 30 years down the road, all you get is “Congrats, none of your 3 kids turned out to be Hitler. Good for you!”
And really, that terrifies me.
Knowing that I spent my best years cooking vegetables (that nobody wants to touch with a ten-foot pole), washing tiny onesies and cleaning up spilt cereal for the fifth time in a day. Alright, the kids will have a decent shot at a happy childhood and they may grow up to be Nobel prize-winning physicists, rockstars and Supreme Court judges, but then again, they may just as well end up as a struggling artist or a troubled delinquent.
So I’ll come out and say it. I don’t just want gratitude, it’s overrated. I want the kids to grow up knowing that their mom was brilliant, and not at folding laundry. I want them to be proud of me, to go to school and brag about how their mom wrote the new vampire series that outsold Stephenie Meyer. Something like that. I want them to know that there is no excuse for not going after their dreams, no matter how tough life gets.
I’m starting to think that being a mom doesn’t have to make you redundant. Its easy to get swamped by the responsibilities of having to care for tiny human beings and lose yourself in the process but come on, there’s got to be more than getting a pat on the back and a fugly Mothers’ Day card. (except yours, kids, they’re lovely)
Maybe we can still change the world. And even if I don’t, I will sure as hell try.