Tonawanda News

Opinion

May 9, 2013

KEPPELER: Ugly, exhausted, furious motherhood

Tonawanda News — I’m writing this column through a slight haze, the sort of oddly-awake-but-weary mood that comes from far too little sleep and probably far too much coffee.

It only seems appropriate, given the topic. I’ve been in this state often before, but in the past nine years, I owe it to parenthood more than anything else. And while I was pondering the news of the day and hoping the column fairy would bestow some sort of inspiration upon this tired mind, I started thinking about Mother’s Day.

You see lots of odes to the maternal nature this time of year, for obvious reasons. There are ads full of expensive roses and pearls and perfume and chocolate and shoes, all things moms supposedly love. There are images of smiling children and sparkling houses and beautifully set tables. There are commercials with moms who smile gently and clean up in their family’s wake.

I laugh at them. 

Sometimes it’s good-naturedly. Sometimes it’s with an edge of hysteria. 

That’s not motherhood. OK, I suppose it might be, rarely, for a certain type of mom, but I can’t see it for anyone who’s really down in the trenches. 

Motherhood is hard work. It’s really hard work. (I should, of course, say that parenthood is hard work. But we’re talking about Mother’s Day here, guys, so you’ll have to accept that I believe it’s an equal opportunity endeavor ... or should be.) It’s not posies and pearls. And it’s not easy.

It’s having to block the bathroom door with your foot (of course, the lock has been disabled so little hands can’t lock themselves in) so that you can get a mere 10 seconds of privacy before some sort of crisis erupts. (”Mommy! Help! Help! The Wii controller needs new batteries!”)

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