- Apr 4
- 7 min
A Tsunami of Truths. A Sea of Lies. A Bathtub of bubbles: Why I Write Memoirs of a Mom.
Is there a third party narrating your parenethood? Is there a voice in your head grading your succcess? Your motherhood? Is it true?
Lately it seems my daughter is the host of her own drive-time talk show whose aim is to make her on-air guest cry. Our conversations start happily, “How was your day? Who did you sit with at lunch? Did you play outside? You kept your undies dry! And without segue or commercial break she goes in with, “Your grandma died?”
“Yeah, she died,” I answer.
“She got sick, and old.”
“Sometimes when old people get sick, they die.”
“And she went to heaven?”
“Yeah, she went to heaven.”
“She was a good person.”
“Why she was a good person?”
“She loved a lot of people, and she was kind.”
“And you can’t see her?”
“No, not really.”
“Well, she’s not on Earth anymore.”
“Well Heaven isn’t on this Earth, it’s somewhere else you go… after you die.”
“You don’t need a car?”
“No, no cars in heaven.”
“No one drives in heaven.”
At this point, I’m shooting from the hip and recognize we’ve crossed form interview to interrogation.
According to all PBS commercials, life with a three-year-old was supposed to be one long well-edited clip of her on a rainy day in a yellow slicker chasing a litter of ducklings across a park, stopping to watch a butterfly land on a flower, or adorably walking around the house in a pair of my Jimmy Choos (Birkenstocks). No one admits the real “curiosity” phase is an unending series of fast balls thrown by a preschooler with a bionic arm who can only be lured away from the mound by the promise of sugar and a small British pig.
Fortunately, the conversation devolves into a subtle awareness (on both our parts) that I’m ill-equipped to handle the magnitude of the universe, and I flip on the Mickey Mouse theme song which curbs any further resurrection rubbernecking. For now.
Unfortunately, even the squeaky voice of a singing mouse can't drown out what follows. Cue, the mom guilt.
Well, I’m a shitty mom. I’m actually annoyed my child wants to learn. There's definitely something wrong with me. Do I need therapy? I should swing by the grocery store, we're running low on milk. Other parents are so much more patient. No, I should go home and read to her. What was that therapists name I found last time? Therapy is so expensive. I should turn the music off and just keep talking. I honestly cannot take another question. Why the fuck aren’t there cars in heaven?
I earned my M.O.M. in 2020 when my wife and I adopted our daughter. In 2022 I completed my MFA in Creative Non-Fiction and began writing a full-length book. In 2023 I published my first short form essay, Memoirs of a Mom, and at that moment a future was born (I'm still trying to figure out if it's mine).
For the moms who feel like they're failing. For the women who feel like we're never enough (or always too much). For my grandmothers who cleaned too many floors. Here's to you, and me, and them.
May we never run out of snacks.