Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A New Focus?

Why is it that when a celebrity has a baby suddenly the world remembers motherhood? I saw the cover of Vogue, graced, of course, by Halle's beautiful, ageless face. She says she has a new purpose or focus; motherhood.

News flash for ya; motherhood was not invented when Angelina decided to adopt fifteen times and squeeze a few kids out in between. Cleaning up puke and tears and blood is not a new concept. It wasn't even new when, nearly ten years ago, I was sitting in the ICU with a baby the size of a first grader cradled in the crook of my exhausted arm.

Get over it, Halle. You're cute, sure, but you're just a milk machine like the rest of us. Except that the rest of us don't have a personal trainer to bring our bodies back from the wreckage of pregnancy. And the rest of us don't have a dishwasher, personal chef, or a nanny to coax us away from the edge of insanity when all we can think is "What have I done? What have I f*cking done?!"

There's no turning back. There's no handing over when you're exhausted and you have to peel yourself out of bed to make some semblance of a healthy lunch while chugging your 47th cup of black coffee knowing that the second the bus rolls up is the second you need to be out the door to work.

I have a new focus, too, Halle. It's called keeping it real. While you're basking in the light of your $100k window treatments hoping you're in the running for the Mother of the Year award, I'll be sitting at my 900 year old farm table fighting the urge to smoke an entire pack of cigarettes while chowing down on a store-bought Whoopie Pie for breakfast. What award? Most of us gave up trying years ago when we know that it was either us or them.

I was sitting on my friend's porch yesterday and we were reminiscing about when our babies were little, when we gave a sh*t about how the house looked and how the food looked and how clean the kids were.

"Remember when we tried to have a starch, a meat and a veggie at every meal," she asked, flipping a pre-made turkey burger on the grill.
"Oh yeah," I said, taking a long blessed swig on my Corona. "You mean when we bathed them every night and hated every minute of it."
"Glad those days are over," I said, breaking mangled pieces of bread in half to substitute them for hamburger buns. "I don't need a f*cking medal anymore. I know what I've got to do."

And we do it every single goddamn day. We do it when we are delirious with fever, when our relationships are sinking into misery, when we have no money, when we are released from the hospital with strict orders to rest. We do it. There's no refocusing or sudden realization that, "Oh my god, my kid comes first."

It must be nice to pretend that an option actually exists. "Gee, I wonder who's going to sponge down the kid when he's burning up with swine flu?" or "You know what, nanny, I think I'll change the baby's diaper this time" or "You take a break, Jeeves, I'm going to teach Johnny how to drive."

The prize, the real prize, is going to bed at night knowing that you made it another day, and no one was harmed beyond recognition and no one went hungry and you get to do it again tomorrow. There's your medal, wear it with pride even though it's covered with chocolate and riddled with dents.

1 comment:

  1. Love love love, true, true, true!!! But, I still wish I could have the nanny, trainer, and cook. Pipe dream, I know.