I'm reading Jodi Picoult's latest novel, House Rules, and here is a lovely excerpt that I really connected with after a rough day this past weekend:
Real mothers wonder why experts who write for Parents and Good Housekeeping seem to have their acts together all the time when they themselves can barely keep their heads above the stormy seas of parenthood.
Real mothers don't just listen with humble embarrassment to the elderly lady who offers unsolicited advice in the checkout line when a child is throwing a tantrum. We take the child, dump him in the lady's care, and say, "Great. Maybe you can do a better job."
Real mothers admit it is easier to fail at this job than to succeed.
If parenting is the box of raisin bran, then real mothers know the ratio of flakes to fun is severely imbalanced. For every moment that your child confides in you, or tells you he loves you, or does something unprompted to protect his brother that you happen to witness, there are many more moments of chaos, error, and self-doubt.
Real mothers may not speak the heresy, but they sometimes secretly wish they'd chosen something for breakfast other than this endless cereal.
Rest easy, real mothers. The very fact that you worry about being a good mom means that you already are one.