Back in the day, before every schmoe (like me!) had a blog, there was a “premier” mommy blogger. She could be found in various attachment parenting forums and the like, sharing her wonderful life in Hawaii. Her online name was Mango Mama and she was what any good, crunchy mom aspired to be. Then one day, she disappeared. Rumors flew and eventually she resurfaced via a new blog (no longer available), explaining what had happened. Unfortunately, her presence on the web has been relegated to this remnant site and a few snarky posts about her downfall. For those who want the cliff notes version, she basically gave everything she had to her children and forgot about herself, her marriage….anything her. She subsequently ran away from home, had a mental breakdown, then slowly regained her sanity with a more “healthy” view.
I was introduced to her when my dear friend said something like, “I don’t want to go all Mango Mama on you!” while we were discussing how sometimes our children drive us batty (and this was when we had only two kids each!!).
Sometimes, I think about this woman. I wonder if she knew how she could make other people feel. I think about what it must have been like for her, how she probably wasn’t trying to be sanctimonious, but instead was simply trying to give a peek into her life. She probably didn’t think it was okay to say that she had too much or that she was overwhelmed or that trying to do EVERYTHING the RIGHT way was just impossible. I think about how she once described (in her after blog) her life as a circus act, where her “act” was juggling tons of plates. At some point, she said, she realized that no one was paying any attention to her, so she let a plate drop. When no one noticed that plate she dropped another, then another, and another, until they all dropped and she was left with only herself. Or maybe she was just nuts. Who knows!
What I do know is this: I don’t want to be a “Mango Mama”. I want to live my life out loud, real and true. But what does that mean? It means that I struggle with how much is okay to write, when to keep things to myself, how to be accurate and honest without telling every little detail or hurting the ones I love. And then I struggle with whether it even matters because really, how many people read this anyway? Does it matter whether I’m completely honest? To me, it does. I want people who read this (all 6 of them) to have a picture of me that represents who I really am, not just what I think should be read, what I aspire to be or what I wish I was . If I don’t share the good with the bad, then what is the point?
In that spirit, here’s the out loud, real and true of today:I had three cups of coffee before I could look at my kids with a genuine smile. We ate marshmallows for a mid-morning snack. The TV has been on since 7am and I doubt it will go off any time soon. When I pulled the toddler off the baby (he was trying to ride him) for the fifth time, I had to hold him on my lap in a hug because if I didn’t I was going to hit him. When my husband comes home from work this evening, I’m going to take a stupidly long shower without a second thought.
We all juggle our our plates. Some juggle ten tiny plates, some juggle two large ones and others juggle four medium ones. But we all. juggle. plates. I want you to see mine, watch them spin, fall and me pick them up. Likewise, I want to see yours, watch them spin, fall and help you pick them up. Isn’t that what connection is all about, after all?