I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the perfect mom – I think most of my mommy friends can relate to that. However, how many of us are comfortable with people actually seeing or hearing us at our worst moments?
Here’s an example: sometimes, on nights when my littlest one is waking up for the third or fourth time in as many hours, I find myself whisper cussing as I rock him. It goes a little like this: “Shhh, baby, shhh, f*ck, shhhh, go to sleep, shhhh, damn it why aren’t you sleeping, f****ck, shhhhh.” All of this is communicated in hushed and comforting tones, and often with tears in my eyes (or streaming down my face). It’s sleep deprivation at its finest, and while it’s not exactly my proudest parenting strategy, it’s who I am and how I sometimes cope.
One night I realized that my every word was (potentially) being digitally broadcast via baby monitor to any nearby household that happened to be on the same frequency. Damn it. You see, I don’t mind telling you about my parenting fails. I just don’t want you to HEAR them for yourself.
Now, I’m not saying that my neighbours have actually heard me at any point. In our house, we’ve only once picked up a signal from another baby monitor. (And it was truly terrifying – our daughter, an only child at the time, was at her grandparents’ for the night, so the nursery was empty. My husband and I were sitting downstairs when we both clearly heard a single child’s cry come out of the baby monitor. It sent chills down my spine. Even though I knew what it had to be, I made him come upstairs with me to look for ghost babies.) I’m pretty sure that if my neighbours did hear me, they’d be too polite to mention anything at our next casual encounter. Right? Or would they just give me a sympathetic smile and later tell the other neighbours about my potty mouth when I’m not around?
I’d like to say that I hold myself accountable for my actions regardless of who may be listening in – and for the most part I do. But I guess sometimes, in the privacy of my own home, I need to be allowed to mess up a little. To be imperfect. To be…human. Without anyone else to judge me except myself – and maybe my husband, who says that he can sometimes hear my midnight swear sessions and he never knows if he should get up and help me. (YES, YES, DAMN IT MAN, SAVE ME.) Don’t we all deserve that sense of sanctity in our own home?
So, to my neighbours that may have heard me: I’m sorry you had to be a part of this. I’m really doing my best, trying my hardest to be a good mom. I think I’m doing ok for the most part. Please disregard my swearing. Sometimes I just
f*ck up make mistakes.