How can I be rollin' along feelin' pretty good about this mom thing, then suddenly be slapped with the realization that I'm mediocre at best? I try to do what's right for my kids, balanced with some time for just me, but in the end I always end up feeling inadequate, guilty. Does this sound familiar? God, I hope so, because I could use some back up.
Last week, I was in the shower when I suddenly heard the alarm on my phone ringing. First thought? "Crap! Where am I supposed to be that I forgot about?!" School. Mystery Reader. I'm late.
I twisted my hair up in a clip and took off for the school, book in hand, with a wet head. I waited impatiently to sign in, then took off for the classroom apologizing profusely. I missed it. The teacher covered for me and said we could reschedule. She said she had a reminder for me last week, but since the munchkin was home sick I never got it.
Now, I baked them treats this week, helped them with homework, made them yummy dinners, cleaned up their messes, and gave them lots of hugs and kisses, but this little episode sent me home in a funk. I suck. I suck, I suck, I suck...The chant in my head in the car.
I think, as mothers, we are our own worst critics. I know I was a good mom to them this week, but it was all erased in my mind once I messed up with Mystery Reader. How can I do better? Is it possible to never mess up? How can I accept it and move on without it demeaning all I've worked for up until that moment?
I don't have the answer. But, I can sit down here and type it out here and know that I do the best I can. That nobody's perfect. That they will not be scarred forever if I miss reading time at school. The big picture is much more than that. But, it would still be rewarding to feel like I have it all together at some point in this process. So, until then, I sucked at being a Mystery Reader, but I'm trying my best to be a great mom. That's all I can hope for at the moment.
One of my girlfriends just emailed me a Job Description for Mothers she wrote in response to this post:
Pray with the children each day and night, bathe them, dress them, brush their teeth and comb their hair each morning by 7:00. Take each child to a doctor's appointment, a dentist appointment, and an appointment for a haircut. Know all of the words to every stupid song that comes on TV and the name of each and every repulsive character on Nickelodeon. Take each child to play two sports and either music or dance classes. There is no fast food.
Cook, do laundry, decorate house, keep house clean and presentable at all times, and plant flowers outside. Correct all homework, complete science projects, pay bills and budget in money for groceries each week. Make cookies or cupcakes for a social function. Attend weekly PTA meetings, church, and find time at least once to spend the afternoon at the park or a similar setting.
Shave legs, wear makeup daily, which is applied either while driving or making lunches. Adorn self with jewelry, wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes, keep nails polished and eyebrows groomed. Have extreme, unexplained mood swings but never once complain or slow down from other duties.Know all of the following information: each child's birthday, height, weight, shoe size, clothes size and doctor's name. Also the child's weight at birth, length, time of birth, and length of labor. Each child's favorite color, middle name, favorite snack, favorite song, favorite drink, favorite toy, biggest fear and what they want to be when they grow up.
Clean up after their sick children at 3:00 a.m. and then spend the remainder of the day tending to that child and waiting on them hand and foot until they are better. Make an Indian hut model with six toothpicks, a tortilla and one marker; and get a 4 year old to eat a serving of peas.
Have enough energy to be intimate with spouse at a moments notice. Do this over and over and over again for the next 18-25 years...eventually earning the right to be called Mother!