Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Imperfect

I like to boast Isaac's accomplishments. I think this is natural, right? Comes with the motherhood territory. I do it because I am proud of him, and the progress he is making. I share these things because I want his family and friends to be able to keep up with his development and I don't have to have awkward conversation on why I didn't let them know Isaac was crawling?

I don't do it to imply my baby is perfect in any way.

He's not.

Oh, he's perfect to me.

But he's a baby boy who doesn't sleep through the night, hates bottles and formula, likes to smack me in the face and eat dirt from the floor. He burps and farts and pees on me and laughs about it. He's got a great set of lungs and isn't afraid to demonstrate their endurance in marathon screaming sessions.

And I am not a perfect parent by any means. I get frustrated. I yell. I plead and beg. I get irritated. I cry. And sometimes I go into my bedroom and close the door and turn the TV up full blast, leaving Isaac and his screams in the other room with his father. I am dealing with PPD, and I am not ashamed of it. Some days I downright hate myself, and I will be the first to say it. I make mistakes every day.

I am not afraid to scream our imperfections as loud as the accomplishments.

Why? Because I know that every single mother out there at some moment feels the same way. And it comforts me to read about it, knowing that I am not alone.

What I don't like to read is endless taunting of "oh my god my little angel is so completely perfect and never cries and has poop that smells like roses and chanel no. 5 and has been sleeping through the night since the day of birth and I have fountains of milk flowing from my skinny body that looks better than before I had a baby and I have never had mastitis and my baby's teeth came in as gentle as kittens lapping up milk and I have no stretch marks and I love my job and I make tons of money and I have no problems and every one loves me and my perfect Norman Rockwell family."

Yeah, I am pretty sure that is a crock of shite.

Don't get me wrong, I love to read about other mother's and their babies' joys and acheivements. When I hear a mother's infant is sleeping through the night or has finally cut that tooth, I want to run to them and high five her and hug her because she shared their struggles and helped me through mine. It makes me feel WORSE when I don't read that something is just not going smoothly. Maybe it is just me, but I feel empowered by the encouragement of a mother who I know has been there and made it through.

No, I don't mean I wish health struggles onto anyone. And I don't laugh gleefully at other people's pain. I don't wish hardship onto anyone.

I understand that maybe some people are not comfortable sharing hard times and frustrations. And that is fine too. The tone of those people's conversations is completely different than those up on their high horses. I respect their privacy and I won't pry into their lives to find problems.

All I am saying is that I am not perfect. And I know you aren't either. So let's be imperfect together.

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