I never really heard my mom talk about the experience of motherhood. Maybe she did and I never paid attention because I wasn’t a mother, but it always seemed like she just got stuff done without a lot of personal analyzing.
I do, however, have this distinct memory from my childhood: seeing my mom weighted down with what was probably her 7th or 8th pregnancy, in the middle of the summer. We’d just gotten back from the park and she opened the fridge and sighed this hot, tired, pregnant mom sigh, and sent my brother to the store for a gallon of ice cream for dinner because she didn’t feel like cooking. I think I forgot about this story until I became a mom myself.
My grandma once told me she used to sneak oranges and eat them in the pantry because they were so expensive and she used to crave them so much.
I’ve been thinking a lot about secrets. Some are scary, but some (probably most) are things that everyone does and no one talks about. Because we want to be seen as good moms, because we don’t want to own up to bad days.
There’s a distinct kind of bond that develops when you’re talking to another mom and she reveals some minor habit that you secretly do too.
I asked some moms on my page and group to share some of these universal mom secrets that everyone probably does, and no one really talks about.
There was a resounding cacophony of “Omg! Me too!”
Some were hilarious
And some were more poignant
But the resounding theme was “yes, all moms have secrets” and “yes all moms have done stuff like this” we’re alike in our weird survival at any costs life in the trenches. We’re all just making it through the day.
The awesome thing was, the more people shared the more acceptance there was. Even if it was something you’d never do, and hadn’t even thought of, no one got called to task or shamed or judged in any way. It was like the more doors we opened, the more breathing room we found in our commonalities.
It occurred to me that there’s strength in numbers. If enough moms are willing to say, “yes, I’m just getting through this too” can you imagine the solidarity we’d find?
Can we make this a thing? Can we open a dialog about mom secrets and hashtag them? Sure, that’s the easy part.
Can we keep from judging each other about those secrets? That’s a bit more complicated.