have I mentioned I love you people?

by Janelle Hanchett

Okay. So I was going to respond to each of the comments on my last post, but I’m so smitten with you readers that I have to devote an entire post to singing your praises.

You people are fucking rad. Period.

I started this blog in January because I wanted to know if there were other mothers out there who were like me…experiencing motherhood like I always have. You know, just a little off…a little different…the black sheep at the mother’s group…well intentioned, in love with the offspring, trying hard but clueless, and seeming to do it all wrong, most of the time – not feeling the Hallmark card Lifetime movie Babycenter What-to-Expect-When-You’re-Expecting, ain’t this grand mainstream mothering vibe. I needn’t go on. You get me.

Because for so long I just thought there was something really wrong with me. (And there is. Duh. But not in the way I once suspected.) But eventually, after growing up a bit (translation: not being 22, which is how old I was when my first kid was born), and having three kids (which gave me a little confidence), I realized the following: I am not a bad person or a psycho (and there’s no way I’m dumber than the general population), and YET, most of this mainstream motherhood crap DRIVES ME BATSHIT INSANE and has NO RESEMBLANCE to my daily experience of motherhood.

Therefore, perhaps there are other mothers out there who feel the same way.

Let’s check it out.

So I started writing. And I started telling the truth. The real deal, as I saw it.

And though I started like some brave renegade pioneer, there have been times when I was so full of fear writing this stuff I almost didn’t publish it. Because posting something means “owning” it – there’s no denying it then. I can’t deny it to you, but more importantly, I can’t deny it to ME. And that’s the harder part. It makes it so real. It’s one thing to live something. It’s another thing to squarely face – openly admit – that which I’m living – the person I ACTUALLY am as opposed to the person I THINK I am – or the person I want YOU to think I am. That kind of honesty just lays me out. Bare. It’s not really that easy for me, though I do it with startling regularity. Maybe it’s simpler for other people.

And the last one I wrote was a tough one – I mean shit, admitting you can’t stand playing with your kids is not exactly a winning moment. (Charlie Sheen, who is obviously over-flowing with winning moments, would not be impressed.)

But I hit “publish” anyway. I throw myself out there and hope for the best.

And every damn time I do, I am amazed, straight SHOCKED by the incredible responses I get. The truth and the bravery I get RIGHT BACK, by you. Now, I’m sure there are women out there who come across this blog and say to themselves “This woman should lose her parental rights (and so should those crazy commenters!). Good God who admits this stuff? What an awful specimen of a mother!” and then they journey on to the happy flowers scrap-booking blog…and I send them my blessing. Lucky you, lady, you got it dialed. Maybe in my next life, I’ll have it dialed too.

But enough about them.

Let’s talk about you. Who knew there were so many badass women out there, perfectly willing to lay it on the line and tell it like it is…? Giving a beautiful, raging middle finger to that stereotypical motherhood bullshit …

And helping me. So much.

I just want to thank you. At the risk of sounding horribly clichéd, I must say, your comments help me see things in a new way, encourage me to write, help me feel okay about myself. As a mother. As a person.

I didn’t expect that.

Particularly with this last post…your comments floored me. I’ve reread each one and been thinking about each of them (because this inability-to-play thing has been bothering me for a long time – like years). But on the way home from work today, as I was reflecting on the things you all wrote, I suddenly realized that I don’t have to play board games or dolls or whatever with my kids to demonstrate my love, devotion and concern. I can stop feeling guilty about it, I can abandon the whole futile effort and just do it in other ways – ways that I’m good at. Ways that I enjoy.

And it’ll be alright. And they’ll be alright. And even I will be alright.

Ain’t it fucking grand?

Why yes. It is.

And I’m not the only one. People, even non-mothers, have asked me where I ‘found’ you badass women…how I got to ‘know’ so many smart, honest, strong females…how they simply LOVE the comments on my blog, and actually subscribe to the comment RSS feeds (which is weird, given the depth of stupidity usually found among humans on the internet). And I don’t know what to say, because I’m just as smitten and amazed as they are.

So here’s to you, ladies.

 

And now, in your honor, I shall share with you the MOST PERFECT IMAGE OF MOTHERHOOD I have ever, ever, ever come across. I’ve been waiting for just the right moment. This is obviously it.

[For some reason it’s showing up blurry, but if you click on it, it’s not. Whatever. Fucking technology.]

This is us.

  • Shan

    :+)

  • Christina

    So of course you know I had to revisit the comments. They are pretty good! I have a feeling more people feel like this than are willing to admit.

    I myself find it liberating to embrace motherhood guilt free. (most of the time) Although I often think the word motherhood goes hand in hand with the word guilt. It is inevitable.

    • Nick

      I think the whole playing with your children is overdone. I don’t remember my parents playing with me as a kid. My father for sure. And I remember being irritated when grownups tried to join us in play. They don’t know the real rules and try to be fair and so on. I will play with my kids, but I refuse to buy any toy that requires adult help, you know, the grown up playing with the toy while the child watches. Kids need to play with themselves and each other. Adults, just stay out of it.

      • babz covington

        yea, i didn’t play games. everyone survived and learned dungeons and dragons(or whatever ) on their own.

  • Sara

    I think Dilbert and I most definitely have the same mother.

    PS I also think you and my mom have a lot in common and I heart you both. 🙂

  • Her from @6degreeslove

    God I love you. You make me feel SO NORMAL. I thought truly that I was the only mommy out there feeling, as you so eloquently put it: “not feeling the Hallmark card Lifetime movie Babycenter What-to-Expect-When-You’re-Expecting, ain’t this grand mainstream mothering vibe.”

    You are good stuffs. Thanks for writing.

    http://www.6degreeslove.com

  • Melissa M.

    We love you too. That’s why we are here. I love your posts and can relate so much to so many of them. I decided a long time ago that I will never be the perfect mom, but I AM the perfect mom for my kids. And if you don’t like my way of parenting, well then, go fuck yourself, cause my kids are pretty damn awesome because of me.

    Keep up the great work! 🙂

  • Melanee Warren

    you’re the one that rocks cuz you’re the only one brave enough to say what we are all feeling.

  • Rina

    I loved the part you wrote….”well intentioned, in love with the offspring, trying hard but clueless, and seeming to do it all wrong, most of the time.” I’m pretty sure everyone feels this way; some are just better at hiding it than others. If people weren’t desperate for help and answers there wouldn’t be babycenter and hundreds of other websites and books telling us when our baby should be pooping, smiling, walking, talking. Being a mom is on-the-job training, we’re all completely clueless!
    Love reading your blog, love reading the comments, love knowing I’m not the only black sheep out there.

  • Jess

    Back atcha. 🙂

    We are human. Flawed, fucked up, crazy hot messes of estrogen and too much to juggle. To think that we have kids, and then suddenly have it all together, figured out? Fairy tale.

    Any mom who says otherwise is: drunk, heavily medicated, delusional, or has dogs instead of kids.

    So. Cheers right back at you. I had my first kid at 25, when I knew everything. And have, with each successive kid, as my boobs dropped farther down my chest, become more and more clueless. I figure by the time the teen years hit, I’ll be reduced to a sniveling mass of wine-soaked pathetic memories, and won’t care anymore anyway.

  • Jamey

    Yahoo!! Guilt-less mothering here we come! I had to go to therapy a few years ago to finally let go of all my mother crap (from my mother passed down to me) to finally embrace myself and all my faults. I have since learned to look at myself as a whole human who does some really stupid crappy stuff some times (or lots…whatevs). I just hope that I can show my love to my kids in the ways that reflect my own personal strengths and in the end they’ll be ok. I am hoping. Results won’t blossom for a few more years.

    Thanks again for giving voice to us real mothers just struggling to make it through every day without causing long term serious trauma on our children.

  • dani

    We non-fluffy clouds with unicorns dancing amongst the stars moms have to stick together.

    *fist bump*

  • Janine

    You are so funny! I totally think you are the most confident, brave mother… Someone to look up to and strive to be like 🙂 Mothering from the gut is my favorite type of mothering and you are giving your kiddos a gift by caring about their whole person and not just teaching them to put up a pretty facade. Face it! You’re awesome and you have a knack for writing 😉 I’m so glad you are getting so much from the blogging experience… This is a tough job and it’s nice to know you’re not alone 🙂

  • Vanessa

    Ok I randomly came across your blog today and have literally read everything you have written to date. There are actual moments where I had to stop reading and pass on your wisdom to every person I know. Thank you for telling it like it is. Your honesty is hilariously humbling and uplifting in a way that I haven’t found (despite paying for the wisdom of a therapist for years). My kids are the best and worst things I have ever done. I am constantly wondering if I am irrevocably fucking them up for life and if there is nothing I can do to change that. I consistently wallow in a guilt spiral (that was created by a bunch of people that have no children of their own, but plenty of judgmental unsolicited “advice” about how to effectively raise MY children) that I am not doing enough. I appreciate you and your honesty and all that soul bearing, gut wrenching nightmare entails. You are awesome and your family is rocking it. Keep up the good work my friend.

  • Rita

    This is sickening. If this is what America has come to, I feel sorry for my grandchildren

  • Rita

    Get a life!