Jill Smoker (a.k.a. Scary Mommy) has a fabulous new book out: Motherhood Comes Naturally (and Other Vicious Lies), and it got me to thinking...What was my biggest misconception about motherhood?
It was definitely discipline, which I was certain would be a breeze for me. As a no-nonsense dance teacher, surely I'd have no problem keeping my own children in line. Mothers who let their children get the best of them were overindulgent pushovers, so concerned with being liked by their children that they were just asking for a kid who was lazy and obnoxioius, if not rocking a government-issue orange jumpsuit someday.
I would use nonverbal cues and carefully chosen, yet firm words. I would impose time outs and other appropriate consequences-- things that respected my own dignity as a parent, as well as my children's need to be understood and navigate clearly delineated boundaries.
Unfortunately once my kids were old enough to commit ACTS -- naughty or dangerous or otherwise unacceptable ACTS -- of their own free will, I realized I had been looking at things through rose colored wine glasses.
Discipline is fricking difficult, and it does not come naturally.
All moms have a look, right? The look that means not only stop doing what you're doing, but stop thinking what you're thinking. Apparently my look made me look hilarious, like Grimace wearing a Farrah Fawcett wig. Even at 18 months of age, my kids giggled mockingly at my stern warning face and resumed their mischief making. Time outs, and all the resultant chasing and hauling the kicking and screaming offender back to his room resulted in my getting the equivalent of 45 minutes on a treadmill set at incline = Himalayas. And my calmly reasoned words morphed from measured calm to sarcasm, then from desperate threats (that had little chance of being enforced) to prison-riot style shouting.
Somehow I thought that good moms had discipline in their bones. Maybe they'd gotten an injection for it with the epidural. Or maybe in the 70s and 80s we kids just feared our parents more. My mom's "look" was an automatic cease and desist signal, unlike my hilarious expression that made my toddlers think, "Bitch, you must be joking." Where I got the idea that discipline was easy, I'll never know, and I wish someone had smacked that idea right out of my head at regular intervals beginning with my 8-week ultrasound.
For another vicious lie, head over to Anna’s awesome blog, Random Handprints, where THEY told her putting a baby and a toddler to sleep in the same room was a cinch. I'll side with Anna -- that's one of the greatest myths in motherhood ever.
Motherhood Comes Naturally (and Other Vicious Lies) is a must read in the Mommy canon, and you have to get yourself a copy! It is therapy, like a conversation with a witty and wise friend. You definitely want to be the first mom at the playground/at soccer practice/at the dance studio waiting room to be reading this book.
So, because, as we all know, motherhood is about winning, Anna, the rockstar blogger at Random Handprints, and I are giving you the opportunity to win one of two copies of Motherhood Comes Naturally (and Other Vicious Lies).
To enter, let us know in the Rafflecopter form below what was the most vicious lie you were told about motherhood?a Rafflecopter giveaway
You can also earn extra entries by following Mom's New Stage, Random Handprints and Scary Mommy on Facebook and Twitter!
And don’t forget to visit Scary Mommy for regular doses of Jill as well guest posts from some of the hottest mommy bloggers around. Hilarious lists such as 10 Reasons Newborns are Evil and 7 Ways to Keep the Mystery in Your Marriage explore the good, bad and the "what the @$%& happened to my life?!!!" of motherhood. And psst, don't forget to check the comments...
Good luck! And if you don't win, remember, laughter is thy medicine. Get yourself (and your friends) a copy of Motherhood Comes Naturally (and Other Vicious Lies) on Amazon!