Professional mom seeking clarity, balance and a well deserved glass of wine.
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I don’t know about your mom, but mine never met a stranger, so to speak. She’s very bubbly and talks to anyone in an elevator, in line at the grocery store or the waitress at a restaurant. They open up to her immediately and it’s like they’re old friends. I watched her for years, in a short conversation, make someone feel better. Happier.
I’m starting to think I also received this “never met a stranger gene.” I find myself in all sorts of places talking briefly with women. Usually I seem to connect with other moms. Not a surprise, considering all that we have in common. The thing I’m noticing lately, is we’re all dealing with the same issues. Too much sleep, too much free time and the need to weigh more. Ok, just kidding. Are you paying attention?!
The other day, for instance, I was in the check out line at my local Trader Joe’s and I began conversing with the check-out gal (is that the proper term?) Anyway, she has two little kids and was lamenting about never ever getting to sleep past 5am. Husband lives in another country and only comes twice a year. He was due to arrive in a couple days. She was thrilled. She also mentioned how hard it is to be consistent. She gets home late from work sometimes and she knows the kids need to be put to bed earlier and will the oldest be able to adjust once kindergarten starts etc. I chimed in and said, “I totally understand….like when you’re tired of telling them what to do or not do and you just say, “Go ahead and play with that electrical outlet, it won’t hurt that much” OR “Sure, just go ahead and eat candy for breakfast, it’s all good.” She laughed so hard. I leaned forward and practically whispered, “You know what, it’s ok. You’re a good mom.” The look on her face was priceless. She grinned from ear to ear and thanked me. I didn’t actually DO anything, I thought. I just supported her and related to her.
I think we get caught up in those feelings of “I’m the only one going through this (fill in the blank).” Or have those days when we feel like throwing the towel in if we have to do one more load of laundry or clean up one more dish or wipe somebody’s butt or answer a question or tell somebody not to do something. Those days are hard! I don’t know about you, but my super cape is getting heavy. I need to take it to the cleaners and leave it there for a month. Ok, maybe till the kids are out of college.
I’m learning to validate myself more. Tell myself “you’re a good mom.” It’s got to start with you. Just because you let your kids go to bed without a bath or feed them cereal for dinner or let them play in a busy intersection doesn’t make you a bad mom. It just means you’re normal. A normal woman doing an awesome job with the energy level and circumstance she has that day. I’m also realizing the value of telling other women, “Hey, you’re a good mom.” We’ve got to support each other. Let one another know that nobody is alone in this crazy circus called work and home and kids. There are a million women out there who can relate to everything you’re going through. You’re not alone. You’re not bad. You’re a good mom.
What constitutes a good mom anyway? You rise early to start your day looking perfect and smelling yummy, shuffle your little darlings off to school, work all day and make gobs of money, cook gourmet meals, keep a tidy house, never lose your temper or, God forbid, yell…always be ready for sex at a moments notice and raise intelligent wonderful children who don’t need therapy when they grow up? Where do we get our ideas about momhood anyway? TV and movies, for sure. I try to be June Cleaver, but I just can’t get past the pearls and high heels while doing housework thing. Do you think she bled while giving birth to Wally and the Beav or did they come out squeaky clean holding a glass of milk? I think these roll models have screwed us all up. Messed with our idea of what a good mom looks and acts like.
You’re a good mom if you:
1. don’t always make your kids brush their teeth
2. forget and leave the baby and carrier on top the car (but just down the driveway)
3. discover poop under your fingernail during an important meeting
4. let the dog lick your baby on the mouth
5. fall asleep during storytime
6. fall asleep while driving
9. spank your kids
10. make your kids mind
11. expect them to do chores
12. are afraid to talk to your kids about sex (buy them a book or movie, but do tell them)
13. stay up late and drink too much wine
14. get tired of being a mom sometimes
15. pretend to hear everything your kids say and pretend it’s important
16. hate little kid birthday parties
17. think Chuck E. Cheese should be burned to the ground
18. like to go on vacation without your kids
19. take time for yourself
20. throw bags of crap out when they’re not home and you’re cleaning their room
I’m leaving the list open for you to add to it. Have fun and remember, you’re a good mom.
Stay sane, my friends.
P.S. Feel free to share this with a friend.