Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mommy Blogs

I have a question. You know all the popular "Mommy Blogs?" The blogs where young mothers talk about how wonderful and stressful and difficult and rewarding being a mom to young children can be? What I want to know is where are the blogs where middle-aged (I can't believe I just said that) mothers like myself talk about their TEENAGERS? We've covered potty training, night terrors, crayon on the walls, spoons in the toilet, and ketchup on the walls. We're all willing to write about the trials and rewards of learning to share, learning to obey, having picnics in the sunshine, and taking wonderful indoor rainy day adventures .

Well, where are the blogs about the holes punched in the walls with a bare fist? Where are the posts about the child who wouldn't talk to you for six hours because you asked him/her to stop banging the console cover while you were driving in the car? What about teenagers who sleep around? What about drinking and drugs? What about pornography? What about kids who quit coming to church? What about our sweet little ones who grow up and drop out of high school?

I know the trials of motherhood with toddlers. And I enjoy reading the Mommy Blogs. I especially enjoy reading the blogs of my sister and sisters-in-law and hearing about the antics of my nieces and nephews. But I just want to say that it is difficult (and oh so painful) for parents like me who have struggles with their children that are of a more personal nature, and cannot really be written about on blog posts or Facebook, or even in a private journal. I ache to blurt it all out somewhere, to confess that I want to quit, to wonder if I was really not cut out to be a mother at all.

The fact of the matter is that I have four wonderful children. They are healthy and whole. I love them desperately and am trying my best to be a good mother and a good mommy. But guess what? The little ones grow up and make their own choices. Choices that hurt themselves and their loved ones. What can a mother do? Not much. Not much at all.

And I wonder if it mattered at all that we read Drummer Hoff ten thousand times with voices and sound effects. That I slept on the floor when they were sick or scared. That we made cookies together and drank hot chocolate when it was cold. That I squirted whipped cream straight into their mouths and on the end of their little noses. That I hand-made the Christmas stockings they still use. That I let them eat cereal for dinner when Daddy wasn't home. That I took them to church and told them stories of Jesus. That I saved jars for them to catch bugs in. That I paid them a quarter to poop in the potty.

And I wonder if it will matter at all that I can't sleep night after night when they don't come home until 2 am. That my thoughts are constant prayers for their safety and can't He do something to help? That I hug them and stroke their hair when they cry. That I get up each morning when all I want to do is lay in my bed until I turn quietly to dust.

There. How's that for a Mommy Blog?

14 comments:

Natalie said...

I don't know how to respond to you but I cried when I read this. I know EXACTLY what you are feeling. I'm afraid saying it out loud would make it real and again in our need to protect them, we hate to think they might read how much pain we are in.
I have gotten much comfort from some words from "couch" you know who I mean, After Curt was suspended the first time he smiled, gave me a hug then chuckled and said "don't worry, it'll get worse!!" So now I know everything is mean't to be and they will come back one day. Love ya.
Email vent me any time.

sachiko and mark said...

You made me cry too! I know I'm nobody's mommy but having teen after teen sit on my couch and tell me that they don't care where their life is headed is heart-breaking. That they are going back to the gang and drugs after they get out of kiddie prison. That they don't think they hurt anyone but themselves when they steal, assault, and do drugs. It's such a scary world out there. I am so thankful for beautiful moms like you--your children will not doubt that you knew the power of faith.

Boyd said...

The pictures on your blog of a smiling, happy and adventurous family are the real deal. You have had good times. Laugh at perfection. It is boring. You love your children which is why you could even write this entry. Where's the payoff? I stopped wondering about that a long time ago because the pain you feel now is about as intense as it gets. I can't quite comprehend the joy that would make that worth it. When the joy does come, I think I'll sleep for a very long time but until then I'll just keep looking at Natalie's scrap books and the good times she has captured there. As for the Mommy Blogs from new parents... just know that those will soon become the memories they look back on when their kids are out not being perfect. Be glad that they are capturing them. They'll need it :)

Lee and Melody said...

For whatever it's worth, YOU give me strength to hang on every day! My kids are very small, in fact they're not even done coming yet (NOT an announcement!), but I have watched yours growing from the days they were brand-new, and I think your kids are something special. They have golden hearts, even if there are lessons that they insist on learning the hard way and taking mom along for the ride. I look back at how I behaved as a teen toward our parents, and it was outrageous. But I think I turned out ok...maybe. :) And I think it makes all the difference in the world that you have invested a lifetime in cookies and stories and potty training and having friends over and movie nights- they will cherish those memories, like we do the ones with our family, and you will have them to look back on with fondness. I know I can only stand here on the outside and make my own theories, but from where I'm standing, I think your kids have a wonderful mom. I mean it. The very, very best.

heath said...

Holes punched into the walls with bare fists sounds very familiar. How about teeth knocked out during crutch fights? I could think of numerous more examples that capture what it was like growing up with 7 older siblings. Mostly I just watched on the sidelines, afraid and sad. Granted, the choices my siblings made weren't as horrible as some, but they did some pretty stupid things sometimes. But, I'm here to tell you that they all grew up to be good parents, faithful in the Church, and we all laugh now about those hard, yucky things from the past. My prayers are with you though--what a hard job it is to be a mom. And I think we need more people who are honest about life--we all want so much to put on a big smile and show how great our lives are going, but sometimes they're just not.

Tat said...

I love you. I won't pretend I know exactly how you feel. But give me ten or twelve years, and I'm sure I will.

Jill said...

You have a GREAT kids!! I dread the day that I have to worry about all that stuff but I know it is coming! All you can do is try your best, and hope they learn. I am a CONTROL FREAK and so when things are out of my control, like teenagers, I don't know what I am going to do then I guess I will have a great blog to look at, me tearing out my hair!!!!
:0 LOVE YA! Hang in there!

JoEllen said...

Oh, Marianne! My heart aches for you. I wish I could make it all go away, but we have to make our own choices. That is why we are here on this earth. You have seen a glimpse of what Heavenly Father feels with all the choices being made by His children. You most certainly were meant to be a Mom. Don't ever forget that!

MattP said...

Dear Sis: I can't know your pain. I can't feel your sorrow. I can't touch the hearts that you can touch, and I certainly can't make it all right. Frankly, I'm not sure we would want it to be all right. But I do know that you are an inspiration to me about what a good mom should be. And I will never be a mom!! But as an upcoming Dad of a lot of teenage girls, you give me hope. I love you and your beautiful children.

Lainie said...

That's a really good question! My brothers have teenagers too. It occurred to me the other day that it must be the hardest thing EVER, as a parent, to watch your children (who you thought you taught the very most important things, and tried the best you knew how) make NOT the best choices. How do you let go? At what age do you stop parenting, if ever? Love and Logic works great for my little ones, but how will it work with teens? There's a L & L book for teens, but I don't need it yet. As much as I can't wait for my boys to do a little more on their own, I worry for the "teen" years that lie ahead. Well, Marianne, I think its time to start a middle-aged mommy blog. After all, I'm half way to 70! YIKES!!!

bookmom said...

Marianne,
You have such a great way of expressing how so many of us feel and don't dare say. What I want to know is, did the quarter work?

Mormon Mommy Blogs said...

I LOVE this post!

What about all the "I hate you's" ? Those three little words crush me to the very soul.

I would love to see this on the MMB... fyi.

Tami said...

Marianne,
You know one of the reasons I love you is because you are real! And you know I tell it like it is. I think being a mother pretty much sucks about 85% of the time, is rewarding about 10% of the time, and is so take-your-breath-away-you-never-thought-you-could-love-anyone-so-much amazing about 5% of the time. You can always call me and scream! I love you!

Tami said...

Oh, and by the way, let's start middle-aged mommy blogs. How about those of us who have teenagers and preschoolers! I currently drop 4 children off at 4 different schools!