Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I'm a Naive Mom: Excerpt from "The Motherhood Diaries 2"

My blog posts often highlight moments where motherhood has thrown me for a considerable loop. In The Motherhood Diaries 2, twenty-four other mothers and I share our ups, downs, and all-arounds in the name of solidarity and preserving our sanity.

And in that same spirit, here's an excerpt from my essay, "Diary of The Naive Mom...(Or Everything I Didn't Know)."

Many words accurately describe me: Creative. Insightful. Passionate. Optimistic.
But the one I like least. . .  and which most thoroughly applies, I’m afraid. . . is naïve.
In high school, I heard a story about Toni Braxton being “discovered” while pumping gas. As I also harbored deep-seated dreams of singing stardom, I believed such a thing would happen to me. Only in my early 20’s did I discover — to my great shock and confusion — that this occurrence was not only highly improbable but also a poor substitute for a life plan.
Just before Thanksgiving during my freshman year at Howard University, I was hustled out of two hundred dollars by two gentlemen who didn’t trust the American banking system and needed me to prove its accessibility with a quick ATM transaction. When I later discovered their treachery, I was dumbfounded. After all, one of them claimed to be a pastor and wore a gold cross around his neck!
But my preciousness — let’s try that word for a while, shall we? — is nowhere clearer than in my expectations of motherhood.
Point of fact: as my head-in-the-clouds mentality presented even in my youth, my brother David predicted I would build my adult home atop a lush grassy lot and use the foliage as a floor. My children would eat tree bark and drink rainwater from the hole in our roof we’d call a shower. I would fashion their clothes from nearby leaves and discipline them with spiritual timeouts involving the lotus position and quiet, remorseful chanting.
David is a special person.
My current abode has carpeted floors, and to the best of my knowledge, my children do not eat tree bark. Yet I’m not entirely sure my expectations of motherhood were any less fantastical. Though my oldest natural son will be seven this year, I am amazed how many times I grumble, “Man, someone really should do xyz…. Oh, right. I’m the mother. I guess that ‘someone’ is me. No, that someone is I. Motherhood is no excuse for sloppy grammar. Though I could argue that motherhood kills brain cells as I no longer remember what I was supposed to be doing. . .”
Per the children’s handbook, I could blame my naïveté on my mother and her unbelievable amazingness. My father was incredible, too, but Mommy was the eighth wonder of my world. She worked full-time outside the home yet gave me the attention of a stay-at-home mom. I remember her smiling face at every school performance, her encouragement during every personal trial and academic test. And as far as I could see, her success was an effortless matter of intention and action.
Oh, and having a daughter who never gave her a moment’s trouble.
*smiles sweetly*
So armed with this foolproof prototype, I entered the maternity ward, ready for a storybook life complete with birds singing me awake and lifting the corners of my bedspread as I busied myself with morning chores. My children would be attentive and obedient—never cranky—and would love clean and crumb-free living as much as I.

(Hey, like you didn’t envision the same thing!)

The Motherhood Diaries 2 is available now!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

And follow the MD2 mommies on Twitter with #MD2 where we tweet about "That moment when..." and other mommy-related hijinks. 

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