My Parenting Perspectives column from June 29 …
It’s a good thing movie theaters are dark, because I’m not sure the trio of single girls next to me would have understood the tears flowing down my face while watching “Sex and the City 2.”
An afternoon movie with the girls is an odd treat for me, the mother of a toddler, and I hadn’t expected such a swell of emotion during the mediocre escapist flick.
It wasn’t some sappy scene between Carrie and Big that got me crying, either, but an honest conversation between the movie’s two mothers.
Gulping cosmopolitans to get up their courage, Charlotte and Miranda admit to each other those things that all of us mothers think but don’t dare say: That for some women, being a mom isn’t enough; you need a career, too. That no matter how much you love your kids, motherhood is exhausting and frustrating and endlessly guiltproducing.
That sometimes, your kids drive you crazy.
The conversation was so real and refreshing that I was able to quiet the cynic who doubts Charlotte – a stay-at-home mom with a full-time nanny – has it so rough she locks herself in the pantry for tearful reprieves.
The two New Yorkers even toast the women who parent without live-in paid help. It’s a tribute that could be seen as snobbish and condescending, considering it describes all the moms I know. But I choose to look at it as an acknowledgement of every mother’s reality, and perhaps a license for us to admit our own truths.
We all have those thoughts. They don’t mean we don’t love our children with every ounce of our being. They reflect the fact that we’re human, taking on a duty that requires the patience and fortitude of a saint.
Alone in my car the other day, for just a second, I forgot that I was a mother. Then I saw the stash of diapers in my oversized purse.
My breath caught as I wondered, a bit bewildered: How did I get here? How is it that I am someone’s guardian and protector? What happened to the girl I used to be – the one who could go to movies and drink cosmos whenever she wanted?
Apparently, she became the kind of mother who cries into her popcorn during a fictional round of mommy confessions.
And that’s my motherly secret, admitted without a single sip from a martini glass.
Sherri Richards is mother of a 2-year-old daughter and is an employee of The Forum. She’s also “Top Mom” at http://moms.inforum.com.