I write this as my 1 year old son sleeps peacefully across my chest. That’s a lie; he’s stretched all the way from my chin to my knees (I’m 5’1 and married a 6’3 man — I should have seen this coming) and he’s still gulping bits of air because I let him tip just beyond the point of crib crying I can handle for one nap attempt. I swore I’d never let him “cry it out,” which is probably why it took him almost 11 months to sleep through the night (who knew sleep consultants existed!? Best $500 spent. Ever. And I have a nice collection of shoes). Then I swore I’d never reinforce “bad” habits like letting him nap on me. But here I am.
A perpetual planner, a relentless ruminator; I recall my sister’s wise (and eloquent) words. “This kid is going to slap the type A right out you.” Ain’t that the truth. While pregnant, visions of ladies’ lunches and quiet manicures danced in my head. I anticipated shopping trips and errands with my little angel cooperatively in tow, like so many of my peers advertised through their Facebook chronicles. And I don’t begrudge those moms their afternoons of coffee and soap operas while their little one naps like a pro. But I don’t have that kind of baby. I just don’t. My kid is the one I need to corral at music class while the others sit in a circle and clap. He’s pulling books from a shelf and clothes from a drawer just as I finish tidying up the last one. He’s pulling down my pants and clinging to my leg as I side-shimmy to the sink, pants around my ankles, to wash the raw chicken off my hands. He’s boisterous and energetic and bursting with personality. He’s mischievous and exhausting and full of love. He’s demanding and hysterical and my perfect little prince.
I’ve read that lists work quite well in published posts. “Top 5 tried and true nap routines.” “15 steps to maintain your sanity in motherhood.” “How to look party ready when you haven’t had time to sleep…or shower.” My sisters, this is not that kind of list. This is a small list of my own truths in an effort to help my fellow moms — imperfectly perfect in each’s own right — to give themselves a break and embrace their own truths.
I hope my list has served as an invitation into camaraderie to those who candidly accept motherhood for the beautiful mess that it is. It isn’t a craft party and it isn’t wearing stilettos to the park while waving from a distance, and it isn’t a show you work so hard to produce.
It’s getting down and dirty (and enjoying it). It’s watching your plans crumble at the mercy of this beautiful being who is a product of your love. It’s allowing yourself the freedom to part ways with those type A roots…ok, well maybe holding on to just a tiny morsel for dear life.
Originally published at medium.com