Jesus, Diapers and Chardonnay

Welcome to Moms’ Month on Dr. Stephanie! This month I will be featuring guest posts from some awesome moms around the country.  They will be sharing tips, tricks, and funny stories about motherhood.  This will be a fun celebration – thanks for joining us!  Today’s author is Chara Ramer.  Welcome, Chara!

Photo: Lancia Smith

Hi! I’m Chara and I am the mama of two fabulous boys, ages 3 and almost 6.  I work as a bookkeeper, but my passion is being with my kids as well as writing.  I hope to write in such a way that opens dialogue where it is most needed but seldom happens.  I hope to create a safe space for Moms to support each other in this journey.
To that end, I am getting my blog up and running:

So I gotta be honest…sometimes I really don’t like my kids.  Take this moment to judge me all you want, but please keep reading.  I love my kids. They are brilliant, adorable, fabulous, inspiring…and often exhausting.  Don’t get me wrong, I really do usually like them, and I always love them.   But being a mom is hard, and being nice to my kiddos day in day out is even harder.
I think the problem is that our society doesn’t give us space, or license to talk in such terms.  We are all walking around pretending that we feel that raising children is this continuously fabulous and joyous experience that we are privileged to be a part of.  And that is very true, some of the time.  But the rest of the time, Mothering is hard work.  Mothering requires great effort, endless sacrifice, and constant innovation.  We are always on call, we never really have a day off, and our job description changes by the hour.
As moms we spend a lot of time feeling guilty, and this guilt keeps us from expressing what is really going on inside.  But as with any difficult situation (and ladies, let’s face it, raising children is difficult), we can find comfort in knowing we are not alone.  We can find refreshment in ideas from other like minded equally honest “colleagues.”  We can find rest for our weary spirits sometimes if we just pause long enough to admit that this is really a struggle, and its okay not to love it every minute of every day.
So if you are reading this, and you do not struggle, then I applaud you, and even envy you.  If you are struggling, but feel too scared to tell anyone, then think about taking a risk.  Chances are, moms around you are feeling the same way.
Just go for total disclosure, and trust that other Mamas will feel relieved and empowered by your honesty.  I mean don’t we all wonder who we can talk to when all you want to say is “I can’t stand being around my kid right now, I feel like I am a crappy mom, and all I really want to do is take a nap for 3 days.”  If only each of us had another mom to call when we feel such things…
For instance, lately my 3 year old has been making me totally nuts.  Literally “Bouncing off the walls” is an understatement of his behavior the past few weeks.  Last week at my older son’s kindergarten graduation party, I had to run out to the car to grab something.  I found a couple of my “Mommy friends” and said to them:  “Could you keep an eye on him real quick?  Because if I have to take him all the way out to the car and back, I might just give him away to someone.”  They laughed, a bit awkwardly in that way we moms do when we don’t know how to respond to another mom.  Then I smiled a big smile saying:  “Of course I wouldn’t give him away, that would be crazy…I would sell him for money.”  Their awkward smiles just got bigger.  But beneath the somewhat strained smiles, was an element of relief that they weren’t the only ones having a tough time with their kids.  As I walked out of the room I said with a big smile, “Clearly I’m just kidding…well, mostly kidding.”
Of course I would never actually put my 3 year old up for sale (does EBay even have a category for that?).  But sometimes, just in joking about it (when the kids are clearly out of earshot and can’t be emotionally damaged by what I’m saying!), I find I can breathe a little easier.
Bottom line; let’s be a little more honest about the tough stuff.  Let’s support each other a bit more by admitting that we all have our moments of extreme joy, and also extreme anguish when it comes to this journey called motherhood.  And if all else fails, pour yourself a glass of wine or sparkling water with lime, sit down for a minute no matter how crazy the kids are, and remind yourself that you are fabulous, and your kids are so fortunate to have you as their Mama.