How to be a Cool Good Mom in a Bad Mom World, I am not the worst mom in the world, and it is still kind of funny… My five-year-old just offered me a quarter to tell him where his Halloween candy is. And this could be one of those incidents where we broo-ha-ha over a mama losing it and eating said child’s candy, but I didn’t.
There wasn’t any Halloween candy.
We didn’t go trick-or-treating.
We pretended like Halloween didn’t exist.
In all fairness, it was raining, like a freakin’ monsoon. There was nowhere to go trick-or-treating, and no one came to our house to trick-or-treat.
So, this is the part where I dug to the bottom of my purse and found a lifesaver with some lint and a penny stuck to it, and I was all, “Surprise! Here is your Halloween candy!”
From this exchange, I gained a quarter. Sam is a man of his word. So, I put the coin in the boy’s “Counseling” jar. I know he will need it and if by some grave miracle he doesn’t I will let him spend it on Halloween candy.
I don’t want to be a cliché bad mom. Actually, I think I am a pretty good mom, less the aforementioned incident and a few others. Maybe wine guzzling, F-bomb dropping, freedom speak moms are the new in-crowd, alas, I always find myself on the outs. And while I guess it would be easier to throw in the towel and just cut loose, I like my kids.
I have the best of intentions. Granted, I drive my Salvation Army donation bags around for weeks at a time before I find the gumption to unload them at the donation drop-off, but when I loaded them into my van, all I really cared about was the children in need. Yes, my children, and their need for more closet space.
Earlier today my husband and I drug ourselves to the kindergarten where our five-year-old attends. This is where I show my true colors. The five-year-olds were all wearing paper sacks that they had decorated with their families and turkey hats. Our boy’s feathers were ACTUAL turkey feathers from a turkey my dad shot.
This is the extent of our showmanship. And, in all fairness, he made it with his sister Sophie, I was out of town.
My husband and I are 25 years older than the other parents. For those of you who don’t know, we have 4 biological children, and then, we started over with adoption and foster care. Sam is 5, Charlie is 3, Justin and I are old.
I felt fat, tired, and decrepit. The moms in wait in the hallway wore yoga pants like they are chiseled out of marble. Their bare arms are a tribute to their dedication to looking like Jennifer Aniston… who I hate to break it to them, is older than me.
How long have I been doing this thing? This thing where I compare myself to EVERYONE around me.
My whole life.
Is this the rite of passage for women… starting at 14 and following us the rest of our days?
And if we can’t beat em, join em!
The new cool… Give up every pretense of trying and make a mockery out of motherhood… and pretend like we don’t care anymore.
So if it is funny to air how crappy a mother I am, maybe no one will believe how little I think of myself? I will turn it into a game of “Kiss my a** and do your own laundry!” For if it appears I don’t give a damn – then I don’t have to strive to be different or better.
Still, I see the other moms… they are all eyeing each other. Maybe that’s where the joke started. I can’t be her, I can’t even begin, so I fully relinquish the inferiority and make fart noises with my armpits and eat Cheetos for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I have been a party to this. But today in the hallway I realized something…
I like Sam.
As weird as it is to go watch a baby walk through the halls dressed like an Indian, no really, that was the extent of the show, I cried when he saw me. He was proud I was there. He was eager to show us his room, his teacher and his “bwest frwend in da worlb, Kolton.” I wanted nothing more than to be there for him. To meet the minimum requirement of just showing up.
Yes, I am a yeller. Sure, I have thrown away entire loads of laundry because they didn’t get folded right out of the dryer. I am a size 14 and I am old enough to be Sam’s teacher’s mother. But I like being a mom. I like my kids. And… I like this life.
I hate for this next generation to think motherhood is something to be made a mockery of, (OMG THAT WAS SUCH AN OLD LADY THING TO SAY!?!?!?) That there is more camaraderie in lousy, drunk orgy motherhood than… I am doing the very best I can today motherhood.
I guess I’d like to propose a happy medium…
The kind where we all get a good laugh when a kid gets left at Chuck E. Cheese cause you lost count and still, the joy of celebrating fork-tender pot roast, good manners, and just showing up and celebrating a mediocre prance around the hall in a paper sack… because “Hey, that’s my kid… and I really like him.”
Just my two-cents, two-cents I found at the bottom of my purse stuck to a half sucked on cherry bank sucker and a post-it note that read, “Don’t forget Charlie gets out early today…”
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami