Back in my “sex and the city” days (and I use that term very loosely; just picture childless 20-somethings sitting at a table in a restaurant talking about life), my girlfriends and I liked to make fun of what we called Crazy Moms.
There are lots of ways to tell a Crazy Mom. Look for any or all of these symptoms: Her behavior changes radically after she has kids. She takes her job as a mommy entirely too seriously. She exhibits helicopter-parenting tendencies (i.e. she hovers). She acts like a mama bear when threatened or irritated by others’ cubs. She seems to be on the edge of nervous breakdown in public settings. She holds her baby’s bottom up to her nose to discern if there is a problem with the diaper. She suddenly has no time to do anything fun because the kids have taken over her life.
As I don’t have much time to hang out with my single girlfriends anymore, I often wonder if I’ve turned into a Crazy Mom. I think I might have. I hope I have someone in my life brave enough to tell me the truth.
But I guess it doesn’t matter anyhow. Because one thing I’m learning about life is that those of us suffering from the human condition often turn into something we swore we’d never be… without even realizing we’re doing it. I’ve decided you just sort of… become… because you can’t help it. It’s the natural way of things. You’re an intelligent person, and you know better than doing that thing you’ve always made fun of other people for doing, but then life happens.
Do you ever fear you’re turning into something you swore you’d never be? For instance, I used to make fun of those people who tell the same stories over and over. Now I think I am becoming one of those people. For one thing, my kids want me to tell the same story over and over, so it’s becoming habit. For another, if I get out into the real world and see other grown-ups and I haven’t slept for almost five years, it’s very hard to tell what might spill out of my mouth. I honestly don’t have the brain power to remember if I’ve told you that story before, and even if I DID already tell you, I’m gonna tell you again, because telling it makes me happy, and happiness is a precious thing.
Is it okay to be happy at the cost of seeming a little insane to others?
What about the people who appear in public seeming a little unkempt? I used to judge them and wonder, Who doesn’t look in the full-length mirror before leaving the house? Now that I’m a mom, though, I appear often in public with my shirt rumpled from nursing and with what I like to call “the butt crack” exposed for all the world to see (“the butt crack” is a very unfortunate cowlick that inexplicably parts the hair running down the back of my head and is made worse by hours spent sitting in a rocking chair). Oh, and my jeans don’t fit right anymore. That’s a problem too.
I am aging like everyone else, and in recent years I have done many things that defy explanation and good taste. I have left a freshly-laundered bra drying openly in view of guests at our house, not realizing it was there until much too late. On many occasions I have fed cowboys at my house without even thinking of offering napkins, salt and pepper, even coffee. Not because I’m trying to make anyone uncomfortable or because I don’t know better, but because I’m trying as hard as I can and this crap still happens. Because I am a human living in a fallen world.
If you come to my house and something seems imperfect to you, please help a sister out. Don’t be embarrassed. I’m not embarrassed. I’m just a mess, and I am so over trying to be perfect, and I need all the help I can get these days presenting myself as halfway civilized. So if you’re looking for someone to laugh at your humanness with, I’m your gal. Signed,
Crazy Mom & Proud Of It