This is for all the moms…past, present and future…written out of love and respect for all of you and whatever place you may be in the journey of motherhood.
Motherhood…Let’s be real for a moment here. I thought I was good at being a mom, until I actually had kids. But in all reality, there are days I just suck at it. Or maybe it is just this particular moment in my personal journey of motherhood that has me questioning why I was born with boobs instead of a pecker? Either way, I’ve screwed it all up…This being the best mom in the whole, wide world thing… I’ve irreversibly and simply just effed it all up. The trophy for “Outstanding Mom of the Year” has evaded me once again and been hastily passed to a more deserving, perfect cookie baking mom. So kudos. Kudos to you, you big Mom winner. I bet your kitchen is spotless and your garden blooming grandly.
No… I don’t really mean that because any Mom that has that going for her deserves a pat on the ass and a date night that doesn’t involve sex. So, my little pity party aside, I’ve come to the realization that I should at least give myself a little credit for showing up to this mom thing and giving it a valiant effort on most days. I tried. And although a trophy simply for my participation in this monumental challenge of parenting would be nice, I don’t need it. I don’t need that shiny award to remind me that I am a good mom. Because my children are proof of that.
In the end, despite me being me with all my lofty and grandiose expectations and parenting goals paired with my over-stuffed baggage of personal life screw-ups and hang-ups and botched attempts at princess-themed birthday parties and leaving the crust on the PB & J sandwich-I know I am still a good mom. I know this roll did not just happen upon me.
Maybe my expectations of both parent and child were just a little too high at times? Maybe I hold on too tightly and don’t pull them close enough at all the important times. Maybe I spanked ’em too hard and laughed when I shouldn’t have. I left the dirty dishes in the sink for two days too long, let them eat off paper plates, and let them wear the same dirty shorts two days in a row. Maybe the phrase “pull your head out of your ass” was used one time too many. I don’t know the answer, and I can question myself until I’m a size 2 and 105 lbs, but one thing I know for sure… I have expectations of my kids, and the words used and choices made were done out of a place of love. That’s what being a mom really is.
It’s putting aside differences and hoping beyond all hope that maybe your children will see themselves through your eyes, eventually. It’s knowing that just because too much Captain Crunch was consumed and not enough organic oatmeal, I am still a good mom. It’s knowing that at the end of the day that I’ve probably provided just enough dysfunction to sustain-ably and gainfully employ two part-time therapists to “sort all that shit out”, but I am still a good mom. It’s knowing that I did what I thought was best at the time, and accepting that no matter how hard I try, I will never get it all right.
So are you. You may be wearing your pajamas at 3:00 P.M. picking your middle schooler up while your toddler is tugging at your pant leg or you may be at your 9 to 5 job worrying about your kiddo in daycare; You may be 65 wishing your son would call more often, but knowing he’s happy just where he is, or you may be like me, 39 with a headstrong 18 year old leaving you second-guessing every move you’ve made at this point in your roll as her mom. Your house can be messy, your dishes not done, stories unread, crafts unfinished, and photos not in the album. Just be in the moment because those storms never last, mama. They may get more intense, but the good news is… you cared, you supported, you fought, and you loved right down to your last damn breath as a mother. Mother. Mom. Mama. Motherhood: Best challenge ever accepted, and I will cross that finish line with my head held high, a bottle of wine in one hand, and my Bible in the other. That’s what this journey is all about, and what a ride it is.
Happy Mother’s Day & Happy Trails,