by Jill Smokler
My new book, Motherhood Comes Naturally (And Other Vicious Lies), comes out tomorrow. Eeeeeeeeeekkkkkkk!! (Sorry for that. I'm freaking out a bit.)
Anyway, the book is all about dispelling the myths and lies surrounding motherhood that we've all either been told or continue to perpetrate ourselves. Does motherhood really get easier than those early newborn days? NO! Does parenting really strengthen a marriage? Hardly. Will you bounce back to your old self? Never!
Yet we hear these things so often that we don't question whether or not they're actually true. And I get it: The lies are a lot more pleasant and hopeful than the dirty truth. But I am hardly perfect, and despite striving for the truth, I've told a number of lies lately myself. Lies like these ...
1. "I'm good, thanks" to the checkout clerk who asked how I was last week during day 11 of spring break. What I meant: "I'm barely surviving, we may not make it out alive, and I can't believe I birthed these wild animals."
2. "The kids have plans, sorry to miss it!" to my friend throwing a party at a Chuck E. Cheese's 45 minutes away. The kids' plans? Complaining of boredom most likely.
3. "They REALLY want YOU to put them to bed tonight" to my husband so I could take a shower instead of dealing with the whole bedtime routine for a change.
4. "We don't have any more syrup" to my kids who wanted French toast but the notion of one more pan in the sink could have set me off the edge.
5. "I really want to take you kids to see a movie!" Translation: I really need a two-hour and ten-dollar nap.
6. "I don't have a single babysitter" to the neighbor who wanted my sitter's number for summer help. I'll share just about anything ... but I won't share that.
7. "I have no idea where your favorite book went!" (It must have flown into the trash can magically, honey! Let's pick something less annoying tonight!)
8. "It must have gotten lost in the mail!!!" to the person I completely intended on sending a party invitation to, but totally forgot she existed.
9. "It's a really bad time, can you call back?" to whoever
called at 5 p.m. Really, 6, 7, 8, or 9 is no better. You're better off just not
calling my house.
10. "You'll be fine!" to the class parent expecting her fifth child. What I really wanted to say? Good luck. You're sure as hell going to need it. And better you than me.