By Lisa Cucinotta
I love having this blog as an outlet for my thoughts. I am so glad that my friends and even some strangers are reading it, and that maybe my posts are connecting with them. But today I’m grateful for the fact that I am not a famous blogger, because I want to write about something that I know I’ll be judged for.
Now here’s the thing – my co-blogger Cristina and I started this blog to acknowledge that parenting is hard and we don’t always love it. Part of that means admitting things that might not be so flattering to us. But so far, our readers are mostly limited to people who know us, or know someone who does. As far as those few strangers, my guess is that they are reading because they need to hear this kind of honesty. My point is that we haven’t gotten any hate comments yet, much to my relief.
If you read any major blog, parenting related or no, there are always the trolls. People who will write things, heinous things, that they would never ever say to a person’s face. On the mom blogs, mom shamers come out in force. And pretty much every mom’s secret fear is that they are shitty moms. The amount of mom guilt that abounds in our culture is astounding and nobody needs that shit validated, even if the validater (I don’t think that’s a word) is probably a far shittier human being than you. That’s the point of this blog. To say hey, I’m afraid sometimes I’m a shitty mom, but you know what? Maybe you’re like me too, and if a lot of us feel like this, maybe it cancels out the shittiness and it turns out this is just the reality of how parenting is today for a lot of people.
Which brings me to my shitty mom admission. I recently got a new job, which I start Monday (yay). That’s not the shitty part. The job is awesome and exciting and different and I’m stoked. My True Mom Confession is that I managed to work it out so that I had two weeks of time off in between jobs … and I didn’t give my nanny a single full day off.
This is not to say I didn’t spend any additional time with my children those two weeks. I put them to bed every night, something I NEVER get to do when I’m working. I spent parts of various days with them. I stopped by Julia’s dance class to check in with the owner on how she was doing. I arranged multiple playdates and I attended a few. I had some meals with them.
But I also did a lot of stuff for me. I went to see not one, but two movies in the theater. I went on a shopping spree….ok, I went on multiple shopping trips (although to be fair, I was shopping for a dress for my niece’s batmitzvah, full spring/summer wardrobes for the kids, summer clothes for my husband and getting clothes for my new job). I had networking breakfasts in the city and lunches with friends in the ‘burbs. I took a nap one day. I read a few books. I had a couple of manicures and a pedicure. I got a chair massage.
These are not extraordinary things, but as a working mom of small children, these are luxuries. These are things that maybe you could do one per month if you’re lucky. And even if you get to do one, maybe you have to take the abridged version – like on a weekend when I can convince Julia to get a manicure with me. Its fun and cute, but also means I have to bring her snacks and activities, I’m not complaining about that because even that feels like a luxury – getting girl time with my daughter, relaxing, etc. But my point is that this was truly an extended period of indulging what I wanted to do. Putting Lisa first.
I’ve always believed that I am capable of being a good mom because I prioritize myself when I am able, but even I wonder, did I take it too far? Couldn’t I have shuttled Julia to gymnastics and sat with Luca in the waiting room? Or maybe let the nanny go home early every day? And more so, is there something wrong with me that it isn’t what I wanted to do?
I find that piece the most confusing to me in terms of trying to understand my role as a mother. As a mom, am I supposed to look at a two week vacation and think, I am so excited to spend all the time I can with my kids? Because I don’t, even though I don’t normally get to spend a lot of time with them. When we went to Disney I was super excited to be with them every minute, but that was because we were all doing something wonderful as a family and they were super adorable and well behaved the whole time. But real life in the role of a stay at home mom, even for two weeks, it just doesn’t…. it doesn’t do it for me. I think you can guess now why I would worry about judgment for this post. What I’m admitting here is that while I really love and truly adore my children, I don’t want to be with them all the time.
There, I said it. Let the judging begin.