Guest post by Beth Navarro of Mother-naked. She is a mom, an author and a hula-hoop champion! Check out all of her awesome sites all linked at the bottom of the post.
By Beth Navarro
I don’t know what I thought parenting would be like. I don't remember that pre-baby brain of mine. I do know I could not have possibly imagined all that has happened these last six years since becoming a mom. No amount of parenting books will prepare you. Not really. And every parent you know will tell you some version of: “It’s hard. It’s amazing. There is no love like it.” Which is true, but until you experience it, they are just words. So I had no idea what to expect, but I did find a life preserver, writing about it.
A big reason why I write my raw and sometimes silly blog, Mother-naked, is because sometimes I have to see it in writing to believe that the shit that happened, happened. Yes, Beth, you really did worry for a good week that your six-year-old, Love Monster, would become a stripper because she dug poles so much and loved to be naked. And I made peace with it dammit. If I had to pay twenty bucks for a lap dance to spend quality time with my girl, I’d do it.
You have to laugh at your worries. And being a parent is naturally ridiculous. The shit you have to do. The shit you say. You can’t make it up. Running out of material is impossible. It’s REDICULOUS. Here you are barely hanging on to what you’ve figured out life is to be so far and you’re expected to raise this new human who looks up to you like you know everything. It’s a crazy situation. You go from rule enforcer to chef to butt wiper to their pet pony in a matter of minutes. You better know how to roll with that.
I stuck with writing the more comedic side for a while until last year. I decided to follow my gut and write whatever felt true. If it came out serious, well damn, my readers would deal. I wrote about going through a silent internal war thinking I’m a bad mom and found I was not the only one. Though my next blogs on the docket are about how Love Monster huffs her teddy bear so hard it rivals an addict and their Scotch Guard static cling spray and how I’ve realized I’m letting myself get bullied by my three-year-old, Smirker, for candy. Anything goes on my blog.
My other life preserver is all the amazing mom and dad bloggers out there. Being a parent really is like being in a club. The common ground is comforting. “Holy shit, your kid got kicked out of preschool once??? Mine too!” That rush of maybe-I’m-not-totally-fucking-this-up is addictive.
One of the first times I purused The Crumb Diaries on facebook, I was looking at a picture of Logan. I wish I could remember which one, not that it would matter, because all have the quality Love Monster noticed.
“I love his smile,” Love Monster said looking over my shoulder.
That is what she saw. No differences. Just love and happiness.
Well that just made my sarcastic, sometimes-cynical self all warm and fuzzy. Though this didn’t surprise me concerning her. She’s always been so open. She herself is in a special ed class. She has ADHD and some sensory issues, but she is doing well. She just finished her first year of Kindergarten after a very rough start. I’ll never forget looking at her one day with worry in my eyes: Is she going to be okay? Will she catch up? Will she make friends? The look she gave me was startling. It said volumes, “Mama, It’s all good. I’m going to do it all. At my own pace. I’m doing just fine. You’re doing just fine.” I learn a lot from my girls. That is what parenting is. Learning. All of us. Learning.
What have I learned from Logan? To not judge. I thought I did this already, but I don’t think I really did. I look for his smile in everyone now.
What have I learned from Ally? To write and share with complete honesty. She feels like a soul sister. Thanks for the inspiration, Honeynugget. You are the real deal.
I must also add my girls and Logan would have a seriously good time playing ponies. The girl’s collection is getting out of control. And I’ve seen all 60 episodes of My Little Pony. More then once. Oy.
I will press on trying to figure out this Rubik’s cube parenting puzzle I’ve been given. Maybe one day all the colors will align. Or maybe I’ll realize that the mixed-up colors are just as beautiful.