How many times a day are you asked “How are you?”
How many times do you respond with “I’m fine”?
We, especially women and even more so mothers, go through the day asking each other how we are and expecting the normal casual response. Any break from the normal “good” would potentially cause us to have to stop and listen to some one’s problems and then feign interest and even concern. So to avoid any detour in our busy day, we all know the rule. “How are you?” is answered with some form of “good” or “I’m fine”.
Haven’t we all had a day when it almost feels like the world is about to cave in around us?
When you woke up and walked into the kitchen you realized you didn’t do the dishes and now all the food will be a thousand times harder to scrape off. Your hair will absolutely not cooperate. You cut yourself shaving, again. The dog pooped by the door because you didn’t let him out in time. Your mother called to criticize you for not vacuuming enough. Your toddler just tried to eat dog food, again. You can’t shake the feeling that your clothes make you look fat and unfashionable. You try to go grocery shopping and you forget your little one’s favorite toy or snack so she whines the whole time. By the time you’re done and in the car your both crying and all you want is to get home and see your husband soon. Crap, you forgot set the chicken out to thaw. Then your husband calls, he has to work late. You some how manage to get you and your screaming-at-this-point kid and your groceries inside. Then, when you finally close the door and can look in the mirror, you see that your mascara, which you only wear occasionally and wanted to wear today so you would look nice, is completely smeared and running down your face in a terrible way.
Then the phone rings and it’s your close friend calling to invite you to dinner on Thursday. But before she says anything else, she asks “Hey, how are you?”
You hide the insanity in your voice just long enough to say fine, accept her invitation and tell her thank you.
When you finally hang up all you’re left with is a dinner plan for Thursday, a crying child, groceries that need to be put away and your mascara covered self.
What’s worse? The result. You get irritated with your kid and yell at them, when you finally thaw the chicken and try to make dinner you burn it all and when your husband walks in, he has no idea he has just walked into a circle of hell. And of course by then, it is all his fault anyway.
Wouldn’t it have been nice to take a few minutes to be honest with your friend? Maybe she would have told you about her crazy day and how the cat jumped on the cabinet and started eating a loaf of bread, chewed right through the plastic! Then you both could have laughed and your evenings would have stood a chance.
Now, I am not saying that sincerely asking and answering this question will solve all the problems in the world. I mean maybe it would have. Maybe if some one had asked Hitler how he was doing the day he was rejected from art school and he had taken the time to explain how hurt he was, just maybe he wouldn’t have turned into a mass murdering dictator. But I am not saying that.
All I am saying is, it’s important to ask each other how we are doing and then take the time to listen to the answer. And if asked we need to, maybe take a risk, and honestly say we are having a hard day if that is the case.
We women and tired Mamas especially need to look out for each other. Instead, there has some how become this trend of seeing who can be the best. Who has the most well behaved children? Who never EVER argues with their husband? Who’s home is immaculate? Who can be the superest-mom without having a breakdown in the frozen food aisle? The result is never confiding in one another for fear of admitting that our life is the one spinning out of control that day.
We lie to look good and mistreat ourselves in the end.
I double dog dare you to tell the truth about your day, good or bad.
-Sarah, One Curly Mama