Monday, May 9, 2016

I Was No Mother

I stood out on the porch with a cigarette in one hand and dialed the phone with the other. When my mom picked up I said, "I'm just not cut out for this."

All three children in diapers, husband out busting his buns trying to keep it together, houseful of un-met priorities, and crying. Crying, whining, complaining, needing - and that was me! I was at my wits' end.

I laid out my case for why someone would have to come rescue me from this clearly devastatingly bad choice I'd made. I was no mother.

She listened patiently and then on the beach filled with grains of excellent advice my mother has given me over the years, she laid this, "Of course you are. Just do the best you can. Don't think about the whole thing. Just handle this minute, if necessary, this second. Get past this one and go on to the next one and do the best you can with what you've got. That's it. That's the job."

She was right, of course, as she always is, I've come to find.

So here's to doing the best you can with what you've got. Here's to doing it if you're a guy, if you're a lesbian, if you're Christian or Muslim or not sure. Here's to doing the best you can if you're feeble, or hurting, or tired. Here's to doing it on days when it all turns out exactly right and, too, on the days when every single thing fails and you spill food all over yourself, to boot. Here's to your kid turning out a little screwy, but you love her anyway and it's not your fault. Here's to your kid being a total rock star, and needing someone else more than you for a time. You're still always going to be the mommy. Here's to all the people on the planet who make it without all the best ingredients and still turn out to have a good life because their moms taught them to just do the best they could with what they've got.

Do good, do your best. That's all you can do. That's the job. And it's great.


  1. Always on point... always saying the things I feel... always being an inspiration to those who are lucky enough to have you, be it your kids, your family or your friends! Thank you, as always, for sharing your thoughts!

  2. It was never my *heart's desire* to be a mother...probably why we were married seven years before we started our family. I can remember one of those early baby showers, receiving some "Size 2" clothing for our new baby...and in my head I was like, "what in the WORLD do I do with a two-year-old? How does one parent a child that big???" HA! I think it was at that point that I knew I had to take it moment by moment as well...and eventually - actually, almost immediately - our children let us know what they need from us. :) 15.5 years in, haven't killed anyone yet - HA!

  3. This is Lisa P., by the way. :D