Confessions of a Professional Mom

Confessions of a Professional Mom

Professional mom seeking clarity, balance and a well deserved glass of wine.

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You’re Not a Mother, You’re a Monster

April 27, 2017 , , , , , , , , ,

mother monsterI CONFESS: There are times, as a mother, when I should go directly to the back of the Mother of the Year line ’cause they ain’t callin’ my name anytime soon.

I know you can relate. You’re nodding your head up and down right now.

In the scheme of life, however, I think we’re too hard on ourselves. Being a mother is messy. As far as I know there’s no course or manual that fully prepares you or teaches you how to breeze through the adventure unscathed and without fault or regret. There’s no RIGHT way to parent. There’s your way.

Most likely, you learned how to be a mother from your own mom. This has definitely been my path. I have vivid memories of lessons learned, conversations had, punishments given and many many hugs and kisses and looks of assurance and pride. I speak, now to my kids, and it’s my mother coming out. Again, you’re nodding.

Mostly, I think we get it right. We put our kids first. We make sure they have good food, clothes, a nice home, education and social graces. Hell, some days it feels like¬†every moment of head space and daylight is focused on our kids and what they need. (while working a full-time job) We put all this effort into parenting because we love our kids. We love them so much it hurts. Often, our duties and contributions go unnoticed and unappreciated and, well, at the end of the day, that’s what wine is for. We take a breath and know that we did our best and they’re safe and healthy and not complete brats.

To hear them tell it, however, can be a completely different story. During a family discussion, recently, 9 Going on 19 painted a very different picture of her view of life as my child. According to her, I work ALL the time, NEVER go on any field trips, RARELY talk with her and listen to her, favor her sister over her, RARELY fix anything she likes for dinner, ALWAYS pick places to eat at that she doesn’t like, and on and on. Eyes wide, I was stunned! Seriously, none of those things is true. But, in her mind, apparently, they are.

Ouch! Not a mention of ALL the things I have done and still do for her, with her and because of her on a daily basis. Amazing! I’m sure her teacher thinks I’m not a mother, I’m a monster. To hear her tell it, I’m pretty awful.

Here’s my take: at every age, in every situation, we have varying opinions about our parents. I know I did. Shoot, when I moved away at 18 and drove across the country to live in California, all I could think of was, “So long Mom, you annoy the hell out of me!” Now, at 49, I have never been more grateful for the wonderful mother she has been and the gifts and guidance she instilled in me. I’m the mother I am today, because of her.

Here’s a little list of the ways we mothers are monsters, in the eyes of our kids:

…Please take a shower and brush your teeth (don’t forget to floss).

…Go to bed now, so you’ll get up on time tomorrow.

…No sleepovers, it’s a school night.

…Do your homework, then you can watch TV.

…You are grounded.

…Save some of that money.

…Don’t chew with your mouth open.

…Stop talking and listen.

…Stop complaining and be grateful.

…Help out, you’re a part of this family.

…I don’t care if you didn’t do it. You didn’t do it can still clean it up.

…Respect your grandparents.

…Turn your phone off and be present.

…You may not understand my decision now. You’ll thank me later.

…What was your part? What did you do?

…It’s not the end of the world. Get over it.

…Are you bleeding? Put a BandAid on it and go play.

…Five-second rule. It won’t kill you.

…It’s good for you, eat it.

…I have to work. Do you like food and clothes and vacations and lessons?!

…No. Because I said so and I’m your mom.

Here’s to all you monsters!¬†

Stay sane, my friends.

Allison DeFord


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