Most of you know that my son is pastor’s kid (or a PK to those in the circle, WHADDUP CHURCH FOLK? HOLLA AT A GIIIIRL.). Whenever we’re at church, my kid is rarely in my arms. There is usually a line of eager baby-holders behind my kid so long it rivals those at communion tables. And I am usually pretty quick to hand him over because hello he’s adorable and I happen to find peace in the fact that he doesn’t cry when people in my community who didn’t have anything to do with him coming to exist love on him.
But this weekend, someone remarked on this phenomenon in such a way that lit up all the bulbs on my insecurity light board.
“Every time I see Dax, he’s with another woman. He’s going to grow up not knowing who his mother is.”
As offensive as that was, I assumed the person was joking because oh my word who actually says crap like that? Plus, I must say, this person is very dear to me and I know that my son and I are very dear to this person. So I chuckled to myself and made some incomprehensible comeback like, “Haha, yeah, he’s cute, people hold him, chunks, the face, he smells good, hahahahahaha snort.”
But it didn’t end there. The rest of the night, the person took it upon themselves to come to me and report whenever Dax was handed off.
“See? He’s with X person now. And now, he’s with Y person!”
Mmmmmkay. I thought. I get you. He’s a hot little potato right now. Okay. He’s the village bike or whatever.
The straw that broke the insecure mommy’s back, though, came later. My friend was holding Dax while I was standing there talking to her. When this person saw this, they jaunted over and bowed down to look my six-month-old baby in the eye and say, “See, Dax? Your mom is RIGHT THERE and still won’t hold you.”
It was about that time that I pryed Dax out of my sweet friend’s arms and bid the place adieu.
“Okay, y’all. That’s enough. That’s quite enough for me thanks. See you next week if I haven’t been turned in to DCF yet for neglect! lolololol”
Again, I must reiterate, I really adore this person and they adore my family. They are very nice. And probably not menacing in the least. But sometimes, people say things that are unintentionally hurtful.
Since then, I’ve been a walking wreck, questioning every move I make as a mom. And, because it’s just the way I am wired, it’s making me question my abilities everywhere else, too.
Am I sucking as a wife? A writer? A human being in general? Probably. No one has said such things but I bet it’s only a matter of time before someone barges into my house, looks my husband in the eye and says, “See, Dan? Your wife is RIGHT THERE and she’s not, like, cooking you dinner right this second or having some crazy monkey sex with you or WHATEVER I DON’T EVEN KNOW SOMETHING ALONG THOSE LINES, SO YOU BETTER REGULATE SONNNN.”
The past few nights I’ve been lamenting these fears to my poor husband (husband (n): the dude who is contractually obligated to lie next to me each night and listen to me complain about nonsense) and, while he’s been sweetly encouraging in the touchy-feely sense — “Lindsay, you are such a great wife because EXAMPLE and you’re such a great mom because EXAMPLE and blah blah blah” — he’s also been super helpful in the logistical sense.
“What you need to do,” he suggested last night as I lie awash in a sea of my own tears LOL HYPERBOLE IS THE BEST, “is write down all the things you think you’re failing at right now. Then, take a good, hard look at each of them and figure out why you think you’re failing. What about those thoughts are true? What about them are lies? Once you know what’s true and what’s a lie, you’ll feel better and know how to tackle them.”
Well. I guess that’s why I married him. That and the crazy monkey sex.
I’ve found that 99% of the crap I’m worried about is based on lies. Whether it’s a lie someone told me at church — this person may be right about seeing Dax with lots of women during the day but there’s only one woman he clings to in the middle of the night and early in the morning when he really wants to be comforted and feel safe — or a lie I’ve told myself a thousand times — you suck at everything because you’re not like someone else — it’s just a matter of bringing myself back to center to focus on the truth.
I’m a good mom because:
- my kid is alive and, like, not sick. Or alone. Or afraid of other people.
- I change his diaper when he poops in it. That’s gotta get me some points.
- basically that’s it.
I’m a good wife because:
- I try to love my husband the way that makes sense to him.
- when I don’t quite hit the mark, I try again the next day.
- basically that’s it.
Everything else? Everything else is a lie. And lies are stupid.
While we’re on the topic of lies being stupid — blondes don’t have more fun, okay? They just have more blonde. I would know.