True Confession: I Don't "Enjoy Every Moment"

Nobody expects kids to enjoy every moment!

You know, I often hear people use the phase, “Enjoy every moment” when it comes to motherhood. In theory, I wholeheartedly agree.  Enjoying every moment (aka: treasuring every moment, appreciating these days- they pass so quickly!, etc) sounds like a really fabulous idea.  It might even be possible if I were either wildly drunk or simply delusional or just was one of those folks who loves a puzzle like, “How do I remove poop from my ceiling?” or “What is that strange odor coming from?”.  

Alas, I don’t like foul odors or messes and I don’t drink nor am I remotely delusional enough to enjoy every moment of motherhood.  

In fact, as time has passed I have come to somewhat resent the often uttered (and can I just say- a little condescending) phrase “enjoy every moment”.  Why?  Well, quite frankly, it makes me feel kind of guilty.  

Here they are, people telling me to treasure every booger and scream and whine, and here I am...well- not enjoying all of it.  And when I hear somebody tell me that I should and I decidedly DON’T then I get an added little dose of mom guilt.

It’s OK folks- I always need more of that.  I mean, doesn’t everybody?  As if being female, Mormon, slightly chubby, and a mom wasn’t enough.  No, no- it isn’t like I awake every day feeling like at least a 5% failure.  

Please- somebody tell me that there is something broken in my heart because I didn’t just swoon with love and joy when somebody threw a bag of unpopped popcorn kernels on the floor just because it sounded fun.  (Yes, somebody did that today.  And my some miracle, the bag didn’t totally bust open and only lost a few kernels.  Yeah baby- I enjoyed it.)

So my true confession for the day is this:  NO- I DO NOT ENJOY EVERY MOMENT.  I dare you or anybody else to actually do that.  

Seriously- do we say this to people because they sell cars for a living or have a pecker?  Absolutely not.  The phrase, “Enjoy every moment” is reserved for one type of person and one type only- MOTHERS.  Perhaps the absolute most guilt ridden species ON THE PLANET.  

Nobody else has to enjoy every moment.  We even understand if freaking Brad Pitt and his perfect hair have a bad day.  But if you are a mom and and you are not in a constant state of bliss then, THANK YOU VERY MUCH you are a bad person and you better go try harder to enjoy the freak out of your every drop of life.

I am standing up for myself today.  People will hate me.  They will call me angry and bitter.  I frankly don’t consider myself angry or bitter.  I do however consider myself human and as such I think I have an innate right to sometimes not enjoy things even though they are happening to me.  

And- I would like to point out that I think a pervasive prejudice against mothers exists and perpetuates the “enjoy every moment” aspect of mothering/parenthood/self-help.  

In fact, I am starting to wonder if the phrase, “Enjoy every moment” was not created and/or patented by some pharmaceutical company that also sells anti-depressants or street drugs.  Hey Merck!  Hey cheap wine in a box manufacturers!  Hey plastic surgeons!  (Yeah- I hate them too.)  DOWN WITH YOU!!  And down with all your constant “enjoyment” crap.  I bet you almost never enjoy life and yet-  and yet- I have held warm vomit (among other things) in MY HANDS and not even gagged.

So don’t go telling me to enjoy every moment.  

I reserve the right to be sarcastic/bitter/overtired/underappreciated instead!

(PS- please don't get offended and tell me you hate me. It will make my day far less enjoyable. And if you do happen to enjoy every moment, please tell me where I can get what you are taking. And if it is legal. Who am I kidding- I live in Northern California- it is probably legal here.)


momto5 said…
dang woman take a pill. seriously. people say that to ALL parents even the one's with "peckers".
being a mom of teens (one who is out of the house and living on her own and going to college and having a life that i am not in very much) i can say... time flies, enjoy those moments. maybe not the poop on the ceiling, busted bags of popcorn, crabfests... but there are sure a hell of a lot of amazing moments even in the shittiest of days, if we just pay attention. i have had my share of crappy days (being the mom of 6, pregnant with #7) but i tell you i would take one of those craptatstic days with my almost 20 year old, those days we fought, or she drove my nuts, or we were just not connecting, i would take one of those days one more time just to spend the whole damn day with her. because she is amazing, even on a cruddy day. i miss her, her laugh, her sass, her messes, her irritating habits, her amazingness, her humor, her... just all of her, the good the bad and the ugly.
so yes, enjoy it, the poop, the puke, the tears (theirs and yours), the yelling and whining and yuck. because one day, before you know it they move out and maybe you get a phone call a couple times a week, maybe they come over for dinner, maybe. maybe they remember that you birthed them, fed them, cleaned up their millions of messes. but i promise a lot of the crappy stuff you are up to your elbows in right now... you won't remember so much of that. you will remember the books, the laughs, the... whatever it is that makes you feel like you rock the mom world. because one day they grow up, one day they are gone. and it goes so freakin' fast. and i still have a house full. i still have 15,12,9,6,2 at home, so i still have poop, smells, tantrums, fights, dumbness.... every single day, and i am busy as heck... and yet i miss my baby girl (or not so baby girl) every. single. day.
Mama Runner said…
I completely agree! I once ran into an older lady from church during a stressful grocery run with my four kids. She told me, "These are the best days of your life." And I looked at the toddler screaming in the cart while her twin tried to climb out of the mei tai on my back, the preschooler ran through the aisles and the school ager snuck yet another unapproved snack into the cart, and I thought, "Really? *This* is the best? I have no hope of anything better? How depressing." Retirement must really suck.
Chloe grice said…
I love you. Really. momto5 is obviously happy with whatever she's on - good for you! - but RARRRRRGGGGHHHHHHH we ALL have those days when I, for one, have wished myself on a small island somewhere quite remote with perhaps a nice book to read and a hot choc and NO-ONE ELSE AROUND - even just for half a day (and I can't even swim).

Trust me, it's not healthy to try to convince yourself you're having fun holding that warm vomit. Of course you're going to miss the majority of these child-rearing days when they're gone, but heck, some days just are crappy and that's all there is to it. Doesn't mean you love your kids any less than the next mum, but it does mean you're honest and human - and crikey, that helps the rest of us through our normal, human days.... xxxx
Trbobitch said…
You've gotta love the "take a pill" comment... That's EXACTLY what society wants you to do when you're not 100% grateful for every little thing. Take a pill! It'll fix everything! You might off yourself, but at least no one will have to hear you whine any more!! Yes, other people have it worse. Yes, one day you will miss having babies/toddlers/children. But that in no way means you have to be elated and grateful every single second of every day.

As much as I love my 13 month old, there are times I would give ANYTHING to have a nice glass of wine in the bathtub, uninterrupted, or go to a knitting group or even take a crap by myself!! Because, you see, as I "enjoy every moment" of being a work from home gone stay at home mom, my son has become so attached to me that I can't be away from
him long enough to take a shower without him crying. But I'm sure I should just enough trying to keep a toddler from emptying a bag of maxi pads all over the floor while I try to go pee...

Anyway - I totally feel you. It took about 3 times as long as it should have to type this because said little miracle (for which I am eternally grateful) keeps pushing keys!
Unknown said…
It will go so fast that you will miss those times. You have to go through it and it will all be fine after a while. I know you are having a difficult time, but enjoy the time when they are little,because big children will also cause bigger problems ...