One afternoon in mid-September, my 5-year-old son, who has the most innocent face you ever did see, turned to his father and asked for “some fucking apple juice.”
“Excuse me?” his dad responded, struck near-speechless by the tiny potty mouth in front of him.
“Sorry, please can I have some fucking apple juice?”
When my husband relayed this conversation to me, I tried to look appropriately appalled. I tried to explain that since I only speak the language of angels and unicorns, our sweet son could not possibly have learned such atrocious language from me, but since my husband has known me for about 13 years, he wasn’t buying my hard sell. Oh, well. At least I tried. On the inside, though, I laughed — because I am definitely a “bad mom.”
Not a bad mom like I neglect my kids. I love my children desperately; I love the smell of their necks and the sound of their wild giggles and their incredibly insightful questions and the way their tiny round tummies fit into my hand. But I’m indeed a “bad mom” in that, sort of like whats-her-face (was it Kristen Bell?) in the Bad Moms movie, I have three kids under age 5 — and there is only so much one woman can take.
If the kids don’t like what I made for dinner? That’s unfortunate because there is no short-order cook in my house to make mac and cheese at a moment’s notice. They get to eat what I cooked or starve (they never choose the starve option). Did the cat scratch them? I’ll definitely kiss the boo-boo and give them a Band-Aid, but I’ll do it while reminding them it is 100 percent their own fault for harassing the cat for the past half-hour. After bedtime, I eat their Halloween candy — steadily and stealthily.
I mean to go to PTA meetings, I really do, but school started in August, and I just haven’t made it to one quite yet. Maybe next month. And it’s possible that when my son somehow got himself stuck between my mattress and headboard, I took photos and a video to post on Facebook before I helped him out. (He was fine!)
I do manage to change out of my PJs and into yoga pants for school drop-off, but there’s about a 50-50 chance I’ll actually get my own teeth brushed by then. “Hair and makeup” is a long-ago dream. My children, however, always show up looking impeccable. Because there’s only enough time for them or me, not both. And anyway, this morning when I brushed my hair, it was falling out in giant clumps because of all the stress, so messy bun it is.
The inside of my car looks like hobos live there. This actually comes in handy because our house is on the market, so half our belongings are in storage and the only place I have to hide the few Christmas gifts I’ve purchased so far is under the crap in the car’s cargo area.
I’ll admit I yell at my kids more than I’d like. But I try to make up for it with a million I love yous and I’m proud of yous and hugs and kisses. And I’m trying so, so hard, you guys. I’m trying so hard to raise kids who are secure in how loved they are, who are kind and thoughtful and courteous, who will grow up to want to fly to the four corners of the Earth and make the world a better place and then also come back to me for dinner every Sunday night.
If that makes me a bad mom, so be it. As long as they keep those F-bombs away from their teachers, we’ll be in the clear.