Meredith Masony, the founder of the popular parenting blog and community called "That’s Inappropriate," is out with a series of honest and laugh-out-loud-funny parenting essays in her new book, "Ask Me What's For Dinner One More Time: Inappropriate Thoughts on Motherhood."
The mom of three dives into all the frustrations of being a parent in today’s world, giving her raw perspective on sex, aging, anxiety, friendship and much more. The book lets moms everywhere know they are not alone.
Read on for an excerpt from her powerful essay on loneliness and motherhood.
Who Knew Being a Mom Was So Damn Lonely?
When my husband and I had our first child, back in 2006, I had no idea how lonely it would be. I assumed that once you had a baby, you would automatically be in love with that tiny person, and colors would look brighter, sounds would be sweeter, and life would magically make sense. I was so, SO very wrong. I did fall head over heels in love with my son, but I was also immediately isolated and overwhelmed by becoming a mom. I think it is so important to discuss the transition to becoming a mom, as well as how that journey changes and shapes us.
THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO ROAD MAP TO RAISING CHILDREN.
Yes, there are tons of parenting books, but parenting does not have a recipe. There is no guarantee that if you follow the instructions, you will end up with award-winning blueberry muffins -- I mean healthy, well-adjusted children. You get what I’m saying. If you are feeling alone and isolated, ironically, you are in good company. Let’s talk all about it, shall we?
I’m the mom; I have to be happy. I can’t let anyone know that I struggle at times. I’m not supposed to complain or vent. I need to keep it all in at all times. I need to be the rock. I need to be the beacon of light, whatever that means.
I’m the mom; I can’t be afraid. I need to smile and pretend that life is just fine. If I show the world that I am cracking, the truth will come to light. Everyone will know I am ill-equipped. Everyone will know that being a mom doesn’t come easy to me. My mask will fall and I will be cast as the imposter. I have to keep smiling, even though it is the last thing I want to do right now. Like, literally. I want to smile less than I want to do laundry.
I’m the mom; I have to get it all done. There’s so much to do and never enough time. The list never ends. It doesn’t end when I am asleep. It actually robs me of peace and quiet. The list dances in my head and plays leapfrog with my sanity.
I’m the mom; I have to enjoy this. I’m told all the time how much I’ll miss this. Why am I going to miss this? I mean, who really misses changing dirty diapers and washing mountains of laundry? I’m not a fan of only owning furniture that is covered in maple syrup. I know I’ll miss my kids’ tiny hands and feet. I’ll miss their toothless smiles. But can we agree we won’t miss everything? Please!
I’m the mom; I’m so very tired. Tired when I wake, tired when I try to fall asleep. I’m actually tired of being tired. I know the kids will get bigger and I will find more time for sleep and hobbies, although I don’t remember what hobbies are. I just wish I could get some of that sleep now. I feel like sleeping now would be amazing.
I’m the mom; I have to be strong. I can’t let anyone know that at times I feel like I might break. Not just break, but completely shatter. Like into a million tiny pieces. Pieces that no amount of Gorilla Glue could put back together. Pieces that I would have to sweep up off the floor, and then mop. So I try not to break, because I know I will undoubtedly have to clean that mess up as well.
I’m the mom; everyone needs me. I have to be available at all times to everyone. Which is so fucking hard and confusing, because I am simply one person. Just the one.
I’m the mom; the weight I feel is so heavy. At times, it’s so much that I feel it in my bones. I worry that my bones will be crushed under the weight. Turned into dust. Which, once again, I would have to clean up. Luckily, I have a Dyson vacuum and that sucker is intense.
I’m the mom; can anyone hear me? I speak, but it seems that my words are silent. I yell. I scream. I beg my children to listen.
I’m the mom; I love them so much it hurts. Am I screwing them up? Do they know how much I love them? Like, I would kill for these tiny a**holes. I would sell every single thing I own for them. Mind you, most of it is broken, stained, and unusable, but the sentiment is the same. I would do anything for them. They are my heart.
I’m the mom; why am I so lonely? These feelings I feel are exhausting at times. I think it’s safe to say that most moms have felt this way. I think we’ve all struggled a bit. I think it is so important to discuss our mental well-being and the stigma that is associated with talking about the struggles of motherhood, the raw, real side that people don’t want to talk about. Because that is where most moms live.
We need to talk about what life is really like when you’re the mom. Life without filters. I am not ashamed to be a hot mess of a mom. I am not ashamed to share my daily fears and struggles. I want you to share as well. You are not alone. Talk about your fears. Talk about the hard parts of motherhood. Talk about all of it. Reach out to your friends and family and let them know how you are feeling.
From ASK ME WHAT’S FOR DINNER ONE MORE TIME: Inappropriate Thoughts on Motherhood by Meredith Masony. Copyright © 2020 by Inside the Bowl Productions, LLC. Reprinted by permission of Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.