Embracing mom-hood

I’m learning to embrace my mom-hood.
It’s kind of like man-hood, but with boobs.
And a whole lot of other stuff.
I have recently learned something about myself.
Something that has never dawned on me before.
I’m insecure in my parenting.
I don’t know why,
I really am a pretty darn good mom.
I can only remember one time with my kids got in trouble in school.
Abigail was in kindergarten and she got written up for writing on her desk. In pencil.
What can I say? She was my first.
My kids are well-rounded.
They are kind for the most part.
Why should I be insecure?
I am now going to resist listing their good traits.
Because I am trying to learn to NOT need to do that.
It’s not healthy.
My kids are MY KIDS.
What else do they need to prove to me?
Nothing.
They don’t need to be a certain way for me to love them.
And they certainly shouldn’t need to be a certain way for me to love me.
So in honor of embracing my impeerfections as a parent,
and in honor of the vulnerability 
that I’ve been learning about in Brene Brown’s book.
Here is the kind of mom I am NOT.
1- I am not an overly anal car-seat parent.
I don’t believe in making my kids ride in a car while suffocating.
(After posting this photo on facebook it was brought to my attention
that the straps should be tighter and the harness higher.)
Whatever.
I also usually don’t remember to remind my kids 
to put on their seat-belts til we are at least 
out of the driveway and usually we are down the street a ways.
2- I hope to have one more baby to test this next mom item out,
but I don’t believe I will ever be one of those wrapper moms.
Kind of like rapper mom, 
but with a big long blanket that goes around your whole body.
And inside the blanket is a baby,
wrapped to your body.
Clinging to you for their very life,
like a car-seat will kill their brain cells.
Hmm, maybe I am a car-seat mom after all.
I am a total believer in the baby carrier.
Always have been, and I believe I always will be.
I also secretly hope that my hubby would never
be a wrapper-dad.
I just don’t find it sexy at all.
Unless we are in the African jungle,
and it would be the only way to keep the baby safe.
You know straddling his chest,
while he takes his machete to fight off the warthog,
that might be sexy.
3-My three year old goes to bed with a 
sippy cup of chocolate milk every night.
It is just a little bit of chocolate
and we only added the chocolate because my mom
ruined the perfectly good white milk on her last visit.
I have no intention of changing this tooth decaying habit
until  my dentist tells me I have to.
It’s hard enough to get the kid to bed,
and at least we can bribe her with the cup.
And let’s face it,
I’m soooo over it by 10 pm
when we finally get her to bed.
4-I put my three year old to bed at 10 pm.
If any of you would like to come over and wrestle her to sleep earlier
or keep her from her 4:00 nap every day,
more power to you.
5- In the summer my kids and I stay up til midnight
and we all usually sleep in until at least 10 am.
I always laugh at the parents who say they would love
for their kids to sleep in,
but, “THEY JUST WON’T,
I’ve tried keeping them up.”
Yeah, well, you have to keep them up for longer than one night.
Keep them up late for a week,
and I promise they will sleep in.
I think some parents take pride in their
early to bed, early to rise schedule.
I might be one of them if I could ever do it.
6- I really really love Little Ceasar’s Pizza
and Taco Tuesdays at Del Taco.
I wish my hubby would let us eat out every night.
I don’t really enjoy cooking
unless I am in the mood to bake.
I’m a good cook,
it’s jut not my thing.
7-I only change my kids sheets as needed.
Sometimes we can go a couple of months,
especially when they sleep on top of their comforters.
A few dead skin cells
obviously doesn’t kill them.
8- I only scrub my showers on a bi-monthly basis.
Get over it.
9-I make my kids fold their own clothes
and let their drawers be messy
if that’s how they roll.
10- I yell at my kids,
but try to minimize that to
only once a day,
and even then I save the
really angry tone
for the big time
(like when they run in the street
and almost get hit by a car)
and then I hug them real tight
because I am so relieved that they didn’t get themselves killed.
All while secretly knowing
it wouldn’t have been themselves
to get themselves killed,
but my crappy parenting.
And there you have my worst fear.
I am totally anxious about my kids
growing up.
I don’t want them to be living proof
that I was the crappiest mom in the world.
Oh but Alice,
the only thing a parent needs
to be a good parent is love.
Well, if I could just convince myself of that
then I might be ready for what awaits me.
Please God, don’t let them go to jail
or get in a car accident
while not wearing their seat-belt.
The six cavities I can handle,

and the emotional immaturity,
and the inability to organize,
and the one who calls home from school once a week
because she needs more love,
and the whole nail polish kit
left outside for a week
with most of the caps off,
(they were outside because
they’ve been banned from inside)
the couches with marker stains,
the occasional B on a report card,
the one who is just like her dad,
and the other one who is just like her mom,
and the one who just never shuts up,
ever.
I can handle all of that,
and probably a lot more than I realize,
but my prayer
is that you don’t let any physical harm
come to them because of my
inabilities and weaknesses
and the fact that I didn’t want them
strapped to my chest
because I was just happy
for them to do their own thing.
So that I could do mine.
Please make sure your 
guardian angels make up the difference.
Because really,
that’s all a mom can do.
Admit it.
Get over it.
And leave it in the hands of God.
Now, the way this works is you tell me something
about your parenting that makes you vulnerable
and then we leave our kids at home
with their dad while bonding over Olive Garden breadsticks.
You can tell me that you are really good at all of the above,
only if you are willing to dish out a list of 10 of your own
where you suck.
Because perfectionism is a myth,
and the sooner we all embrace that,
the happier we will be.
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8 comments

  1. Haha, I know I'm a new mom, but I've already started doing things I thought I wouldn't do. I read books about getting babies to self soothe and sleep on their own, but I found I like cuddling Ruby to sleep, so I ignore all their advice and I do it. I leave the dishes and bathroom unclean because I'd rather hold Ruby when she cries than listen to it while I get stuff done (and I usually sleep when she does).

    Also, I'm totally a (w)rapper mom. It was the cheapest baby carrier I could find and I'm a big fan of having free hands. I'm a convert. 🙂

  2. 10 Parenting Things I Suck At:

    1. Reading aloud to my kids. This one is rough because I used to be good at it, but I've gotten to busy. I make my kids read to each other.

    2. Kissing my kids good night and sitting on their bed talking/singing to them. They have to kiss me before they go to bed. I sing to the little two (6,4) because they beg and are upstairs. The kids downstairs are on their own.

    3. I scrub my shower less than you, so I finally hired somebody and I make sure that she has the shower scrubbed monthly.

    4. I sweep only every two weeks and only because that's when my cleaning lady is coming.

    5. I hate cleaning, picking up, etc. I would work just to hire more cleaning help.

    6. I yell.

    7. We have scriptures and prayer every night, but it includes a lot of me yelling to be quiet.

    8. I will leave my 4-year-old at home if he's still sleeping when I need to drop off the other kids for school. A lot of times he's awake when I get back, but he doesn't get stressed.

    9. I hate cooking, but I've never served cereal for dinner.

    10. I don't change sheets often enough. Except the kids who wet the bed. Some of my kids change sheets almost everyday. The soiled ones land in a special garbage can size bin called, “Tinkle Laundry Bin.” It does not get washed everyday. If it did, we'd never have clothes to wear.

    There! Also, I became a wrapper mom on #5 partly because #4 was only 21 months and I HAD to have a free hand. I quit using it as quickly as possible. But I loved that it let me carry my baby with my arms getting tired.

    So… when are we going to Olive Garden?

  3. Oh Alice, I love that post. All of us have similar fears and yet somehow our kids have managed to survive. I was never a wrapper, didn't nurse (to the horror of my mother in law.). I yelled at my children, in fact, one of them asked me why I cried after I yelled at them. I'm a little bit of a clean freak but not the “scrub the tub every day ” kind. My kids could sing show tunes while their cousins sang the primary songs. Oh well. I feel alright about my parenting. I feel like my children are well adjusted and kind. What more could I ask. Let's go to lunch!

  4. I'm a wrapper dad. I clean the kitchen everyday. Drive with hands at 10 & 2. Read scriptures everyday and never yell at the kids. Yes, I'm that awesome. One day you might be as awesome as me.

  5. Sounds like you got it down pat!! The more kids I have, the more I realize that SO many things just don't matter–AT ALL! Half of our beds don't even have sheets and the kids kept falling out of bed, so two of the mattresses are on the floor!

    Thanks for the GREAT laugh. Hope that you are doing well.

  6. This one made me cry, only because I've been struggling with keeping up with it all since #3 came along. I am still cooped up in my in-laws house and can't wait to have my own place, hopefully next month if all goes as planned, where life can get back to NORMAL. Maybe then Rosie will listen instead of being a terror and getting kicked out of her dance class for the second time. Doesn't sound too terrible, except, she's only been there 3 times. Anyway, reading the book, working on being vulnerable. Thanks for your insight and knowing I'm not alone.

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