internet, I don't hear many moms talking about the parts of
motherhood that baffle, irritate or emotionally exhaust us. When you
meet a mom in the wild, the conversation usually only skims the
surface of our lives. Acceptable topics include developmental
milestones, schooling and the occasional self-deprecating remark
about how little sleep we might be getting.
pleasantries of polite conversation start to weigh on me, I go online. Under the veil of anonymity, moms get honest and
irreverent. All over the web, moms air their
dirty laundry. They talk about feeding kids cookies for dinner or what led to their recent divorce. Using pseudonyms, or sometimes writing under their real names, they talk regret, money problems, depression.
letters to the art of being a mother abound—and are just as real as
the rants. But I need the good with the bad because that's what's
real. If you only hear the highlights, you end up feeling like an
"Am I the only one
having such a time?" you might think. The answer's no.
Here's where the
internet shines. What we might not be able to voice to a small group
of moms at library storytime, we're more likely to share with a
great many more online, particularly in places where there's some
degree of anonymity.
I always love seeing
real-mom life being displayed in all its messy glory. Most
recently, I've found that in an R-rated comedy on Amazon called "Catastrophe."
The series follows the story of Rob and Sharon,
two people who meet, fall in lust, and end up pregnant. From the
moment Rob says incredulously, "I don't understand how this
happened?!" and Sharon responds, "Well, we had sex about 25 times in a week and you wore a condom maybe twice," I knew this
show was going in directions we don't see in the typical parenting
Also, why did that nurse just leave us with a baby like we weren't two people who didn't know what to do?!
Mixed in the
awkwardness and the terror of impending parenthood is the sweetness
of two people trying to make family work. That's something to which those who entered parenthood under even the most ideal circumstances can relate.
the second season, Rob and Sharon are still together and they're on
baby No. 2. We all think pregnancy is the hardest thing until
you actually have to be a parent and realize you were wrong. When the nurse placed my daughter in my arms for the first
time, I was blindsided by the fact that this wasn't the end.
It was the beginning.
Also, why did that nurse just leave us
with a baby like we weren't two people who didn't know what to do?!
Life changes when you go from a couple to being parents together.
That's another reason I appreciate that the second season is about
sustaining a marriage against a backdrop of young children,
postpartum depression, dysfunctional friends and crazy relatives.
What strikes me the
most about the show is how this fictionalized account of parenting
under extraordinary circumstances manages to feel so real. Maybe it's
all the swearing. Maybe I'm just tired of shows that resolve
everything in a half hour's time.
When it comes to
motherhood, our feelings are sometimes more unresolved. That's no
catastrophe, that's us coming to terms with reality.