Finding my religion

Some women claim they do not pray.  These women are childless.  Because I’m here to tell you, buy a couple shots for 90% of the mothers in this world, and they will cop to clawing open the little red box under the bed that bears the words, “In case of emergency, break glass, grab rosary, apologize for being an idiot and pray like hell.”

When you are a carefree and rebellious youth unfettered by the responsibilities of family life, it’s fine and dandy to go around questioning your religious convictions and popping off about how you may or may not believe in a Higher Being.  But kids have a knack for bringing you to your knees early and often, y’all. 

I’m not sure if fathers pray.  My experience is that the just-fix-it gender prefers to take the ‘keep your own counsel, go with your gut and cuss a lot‘ approach to parenting.  But I think mothers are different.  Yes, we trust our guts.  We also trust medical professionals, writers impersonating child-rearing experts and really old deli ladies who claim to have successful offspring.  We’re hard-wired to look beyond ourselves in search of answers.  Call it an innate desire to get this whole Mommy thing exactly right.  Or a natural affinity for being attuned to the metaphysical workings of the universe.  Take your pick.  I’m good either way.

As I so subtly suggested in an earlier post this week, I was raised Catholic.  Not the real kind.  My mother favored the ‘Damn, I’m so busy I can barely keep my head on straight, but this is important, and you people need some kind of solid foundation to make a decision about religion, and I need back up on the whole no-lying-stealing-premarital sex thing, so for Christ’s sake we’re at least going to church on Christmas and Easter‘ version of Catholicism.  I can relate. 

My point is, I prayed before becoming a mother.  God and I chatted on a semi-regular basis.  About tests I didn’t study for, acne I didn’t like and boys I did.  And because I clocked enough time in Catholic school to know that God quits tuning into your channel if all you do is gripe, I tried hard to be grateful.  “God, Vanilla Ice is a hot mess. I am so glad I’m not a rapper. Thank you.

But since I set sail on the Good Ship MomNPop, God and I have been getting together a lot more frequently.  Like daily.  In the early years, my prayers took on the appearance of frantic pleading.  “Please God, just give me four straight hours of sleep.  I can do anything on four hours.  I swear.” 

If I was particularly desperate but concerned that the Big Guy might be too busy with other things — like you know, war in the Middle East or hostile pockets of frustrated Hari Krishnas assaulting travelers with wilted flowers — I’d try to back-door my request, just to get it on the list for later. 

Sweet Mother of God, the kid is biting.  PEOPLE.  He’s on the verge of being expelled from daycare, and if that happens, I’m going to have to quit my job and stay at home.  I don’t think I can do it.  I’m not like those mothers.  They’re strong.  They have better gag reflexes for the whole ‘rinsing out the crappy underwear in the toilet’ thing.  I’m sure Jesus wasn’t a biter, but could you just help me out here? I NEED to work.”

Over the years, my relationship with all beings holy has evolved.  I still pray frequently.  Out of gratitude, relief, frustration, and blind rage that I fear may lead me to lease the little people out to young, unmarried couples who are blasé about birth control.  But today, there are a lot more every day invocations.

“Good God in Heaven, is there even a possibility that you could flush this poop down the toilet after you use it?  This is unsanitary.  And it’s grossing me out!” (Yes, we’re still in the ‘poopy’ portion of the program.)

So help me God if you touch your brother one more time, we will strap you to the roof until we get to Grandma’s house. I am not even kidding.

I swear to the Sweet Virgin Mary, if I come in this room one more time and find a mix of clean and dirty clothes scattered about the floor like a modern art display, I will stop doing laundry.  Forever.  You can go to school in your underwear.”

“Jesus, Mary and Joseph help me.  PLEASE just…[insert one] brush your teeth/go to bed/get up/get dressed/eat your breakfast/stop getting those red lights and letters on your weekly conduct report…”  Yeah, that list kind of goes on and on.

Overall, the Powers that Be have been good to me.  But I am starting to think I’ve got to be a bit more judicious with the invocations.  Or they’ll shift their focus back to Britney and Lindsay.  Because you know, those girls are a hot mess too.

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11 Responses

  1. How about this classic:
    “Of all the *bleep*ing saints in all the *bleep*ing heavens COULD YOU BE READY FOR SCHOOL ON TIME?! It’s the same *bleep*ing time every *bleep*ing day!!!”

    this post edited for content so the iPhone doesn’t melt

    • Lori – I’m not there yet because I’m still tying people’s shoes, but oh, those days are coming for me. I can feel it. You know what’s stupid? Having a Mommy Moment where you let Child #1 start his own (password protected) blog and linking it to your own. Why you say? Because then you have to edit for 8-year-olds and iPhones. I need a new blog where I can make like the Bloggess, lol.

  2. How about, “Jesus Christ, if you say ‘mommy’ one more time I’m changing my name to Penelope Humperdink and moving out of the country.”

    That’s a personal favorite of mine. I’m in love with this blog. You are seriously funny.

    • Emily — I am so with you on the ‘Mommy’ thing, girl. However, a chronic case of fatigue has not helped in the creativity department. Can I borrow this one or have you had it copyrighted? If so, I’m willing to pay royalties as long as it doesn’t kill the 401K 😉 Thanks for coming back to read my random rants!

  3. Luke is only seven weeks, but I find myself praying a lot “just in case” even though I’m not solid on my religious beliefs. I figure it can’t hurt. My major complaint right now is a lack of sleep. After this, I think I’ll be delighted to yell at somebody about flushing the toilet. I’m sort of used to that…sometimes I have to remind my husband and he’s a grown man.

    • Becky,

      See what happens is, you survive the first year and things calm down a little, allowing you to reset yourself just enough to be irritated hell about things like unflushed toilets and the like. Oh, it’s one of the many joys…

  4. I am gonna have to wait til I am in a bad mood or start drinking again and then I am going to come back and re-read this post.

    Again, just a suspicion, I cannot quite place it just yet, but when I do I am coming back and though you won’t see immediately you WILL find out I was hiding a piece of wood which I will stab you with over and over and over and over again until your body turns into a collapsed lifeless mush and anyone else I think I can get away with mistaking for a vampire!!!!

    • Dusty dude, I gotta say it: you are totally freaking me out. Can we ease up on the threats of a violent death by wooden stake? I promise I’m not a vampire 🙂

      • yes of course, I wasn’t really going to stab you, the truth is I want to find a vampire.

        *sigh* someday one will come along, I hope 🙂 no worries Laura, no more talk of stabbings

  5. I will cop to that and you don’t even need to buy me a drink!

    I chuckled at your version of Catholicism. I, too, am Catholic, and I’m sure you’ve probably heard the term “Chreaster”. 🙂

    Thanks for the visit and comment love! Lori is SO fab!

    • Yes, Liz. We were indeed, “Chreasters.” And yet, I seem to have survived with at least most of my moral compass intact. Thanks for the free pass on the shot. Maybe we’ll come up with another reason to buy each other a round one day. Love your blog!

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