Have you seen that red Staples button that says “easy” on it? A friend of mine has one at her house. I can certainly appreciate what an “easy” button might do for my family as well. It would be the perfect little complement to all the parenting books and articles I’ve read over the last 6 years. You know, positive reinforcement and all. Calm voices. No running at all, ever, in the house. No toilets or sinks clogged. No diaper blow-outs that send even your neighbors running. Time-outs in a “thinking chair” where nobody gets up till the timer goes off. Kids that never fight. The other aspects of running a household would be simple as well. Rooms in your house that self-clean, kind of like ovens, but don’t smell foul in the process. Laundry that folds itself. Groceries that magically appear. A husband that shows up with flowers every night and doesn’t ask what we’re having for dinner. but cooks it instead. Day in and day out, this would be my life, and at the end of it, I’d be so drunk on motherhood and wifehood that I’d push the damn thing so many times it would probably break.
Sigh. Lest I sound miserable, because I am far from it, but there is more to my life than the red “easy” button and I need someone to acknowledge that. I’ve been thinking about the challenges of motherhood a lot lately, because my sister is due with her first child in three weeks. It has caused me great reflection on my journey…the many joys, challenges, and highs and lows of being mummy. So while the “easy” button is grand and all, in theory we moms need a “not easy” button too.
Expecting moms should be introduced to this button as a recommended item on their Babys-R-Us registry. It should be readily available at each and every checkout in their stores. It should be included in a gift basket for new moms beautifully wrapped alongside a hockey helmet, boxing gloves, ear plugs, a whistle, advil, and a bottle of vodka. At the first visit to the pediatrician, the receptionist would have a huge basket on the counter filled with “not easy” buttons. In one breath she would say “Congratulations on the arrival of your bundle. Looks like you’re gonna be dealing with reflux based on the sounds of that cry. Make sure you take one of these buttons on your way out.”
More veteran moms should make this button a part of their lives as needed, and carry it wherever they go. Personally, I’d like mine to somehow hook up to my car. Everyone in town would know to look out because the not-easymobile full of not-easy kids was having a not-easy day. I’d roll through town with the flashers set off, projecting a repetitive “not easy. not easy. not easy.” low bass sound from my vehicle. People would step aside and see that I was more than some crazy lady pimping out my van. They would see a desperate woman on a mission, just trying my best to make it till 5:00 so I could heat up some chicken nuggets and see bedtime on the horizon.
And all the “easy” moments…I definitely celebrate them and I don’t take a day for granted. They are wonderful. They keep me smiling. They keep me sane, and they remind me of why I signed up for the marathon of motherhood, even on the days when it feels more like smotherhood.