Okay, I get it. We’re all on that path to enlightened motherhood. The one where we say “yes” more and “no” less. I get that, and I’m trying. But there are some things no mother in her right mind says “yes” to. Like the complete annihilation of her kitchen with the sticky mess of overly-chocolate milk, just for the fun of it. Come on now. That’s just not rational. Most of us already have stick substance of unknown origin on our kitchen/dining room/living room (need I go on?) floors that we’re trying a midst the overflowing sink and never-ending laundry to get to. The LAST thing we want is another mess to clean up. So where does this little tangent stem from, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. Last night I was watching TV with the hubs when this commercial for paper towels came on:
Initially it’s cute. Oh how sweet-the big brother and little brother are having fun. Listen to the little guy laugh! And the mom looks over her shoulder and smiles. What a perfect picture of domesticity. Oh but wait, there’s more! Because then the milk starts to spill. And not just spill-overflow off the table and down to a puddle on the floor. But that’s okay, kids! Mommy is just fine with the fact that the eight year old is making a giant sticky mess! After all, the paper towel gurus are there to help her clean it up!
I know what you’re thinking-alright Marcy, it’s a bit of a stretch, but what’s the big deal? Is this really something to get worked up over? Maybe not. Maybe I’m overdoing it. But here’s my rational: We’re a society of judges, not grace givers. And this mommyhood-it’s a tough gig. We need to stop expecting our houses to be perfect, and our moms to be supermodels. Where’s the commercial of the mamma who hasn’t quite lost those last ten (or twenty) pounds, with her hair in a top knot, drool on her shoulder and the kitchen as it really is: a disaster. Why do we keep setting expectations for this perfect family, when the perfect family and perfect mom doesn’t exist? Why is it okay to just expect the mom to clean up the mess, and not the child, who is perfectly capable? And really, if chocomilk was spilled on my floor, it wouldn’t be that easy to clean up, because it wouldn’t be landing on an already spotless floor. (Or maybe I’d get lucky and the dog would get to it first.) Because here’s the truth: motherhood is messy. So let’s give each other a little grace. After all, there’s no use crying over spilled milk- but sometimes we may want to.