Tonawanda News


May 9, 2013

KEPPELER: Ugly, exhausted, furious motherhood


Tonawanda News — It’s missing the extended family’s Mother’s Day brunch to cuddle, entertain and clean up vomit from a sick toddler who insisted he only needed Mommy. (At least until everyone else leaves. Then he only wants Daddy.)

It’s having to pick up and leave an event to which you’d looked forward for months just to prove a point — “We will leave if you won’t knock that off” — to a recalcitrant preschooler.

It’s sitting up all night holding a sick child upright so they can sleep with a congested head ... when not batting an eyelash the next day when they tearfully exclaim “You don’t love me!” when you won’t allow them a second cookie.

It’s biting back cuss words when you see what happened to your new jacket. (Thank heavens those markers were washable.) It’s not saying something you’ll regret when accidents happen. (Like that cup of juice knocked all over your new book.)

It’s being so angry you could scream and biting it back with a long, shaky, deep breath.

It’s not crawling up into a tiny ball and dying when you realize what the brown goop was that your toddler used to fingerpaint on the walls of his room. (And here you thought he was playing nicely with his toy trains.)

It’s visiting the inside of every bathroom in Disney World when you’re on vacation while potty-training. It’s trotting back to the nearest one when you’re told, “I hafta use the potty!” for the third time in 15 minutes ... because that just might be the time they really do it.

It’s biting your tongue when you realize what the smirk on your own mother’s face means, the first time you utter the words “Just ignore him!” to one child in regard to the other in her presence. (I have a younger brother myself. Enough said.)

It’s, somehow, somewhere, knowing that it’s all worth it.

So, here’s to motherhood. It’s disgusting. It’s exhausting. It’s difficult and it’s frustrating and often, it’s downright ugly.

And I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Jill Keppeler is a writer for the Tonawanda News. She can be reached at

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