Like most parents, I have my ups and downs—typically not in equal parts, but overall I think I get the job done well.
My kids still smile when they see me. And some may argue that I do a bit too much for them.
But there are just some things that I will not, cannot, and or refuse to do.
You’re Thirsty? Again?!?!
I remember when Zain was a wee thing and we were out on an excursion when a friend reached into her stroller and pulled out a sippy cup that rattled. As I looked at her with bewilderment, she went on to explain that her son prefers water with ice it. To my reply, “I’m pretty sure this sippy cup has been in the stroller since yesterday.”
Nearly 12 years later, I’m no better. I have absolutely no retention for the fact that my children need to drink water. At the playground, on the sports field, on a bike ride, etc. they will say, “Did you bring water?”
Um yeah…I’m not that mom.
That’s Why I Gave You a Brother!
When Zain was little we were in a playgroup that had 4-5 other boys and their moms. We did everything together. We had matching strollers, and found an excuse to get together several times a week. We swapped war stories of blow outs and garbage ignoring husbands. These “playdates” had absolutely nothing to do with the socialization of my child. It was for the socialization of the moms!
So with the invention of the “drop off” play date, it takes all of the fun out of it for me, and lord help me, I rarely am in the mood to entertain more children then I gave birth to, so yeah, I’m not scheduling play dates for my boy’s. When asked, I reply, “That’s why I gave you a brother!”
Percy Say’s What?
My boys have about 5 bjillion train tracks and accessories, a quadrillion Lego pieces (minus all that I vacuum up each week) and 47 thousand Matchbox cars. I will begrudgingly continue to add to their collections, but Lord, please do not have them ask me to play with them.
I’m not that mom.
I will set up an elaborate train track, I will clean up after you “help” me bake cookies, I will play any board game except for Candy Land, and I will take you bike riding. But I am not play acting out a scene from Thomas the Tank Engine. I just am not.
Thanks No Thanks
When Zain went into Kindergarten I signed up to be one of the room parents, but since every mom wants to be a room parent in Kindergarten, I was passed up for the job. I was taken a back. I thought of the scene from Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts goes back to the store that wouldn’t help her with her hands filled with shopping bags with my own dialogue, “Hi remember me the crafty event planner mom you didn’t pick for this year’s room parent? Big mistake…HUGE!”
But it didn’t take long to realize that it was the best gift ever. Because room parents have the thankless job of coordinating school relegated, allergy free snacks, seasonal games, managing chaos and collecting money from those thankless other parents. God love ‘em.
I’m not that mom!
Your Lunch Box Includes…Your Lunch
Growing up I wanted soooooo badly to take my lunch to school. I coveted my friends’ metal Strawberry Shortcake lunch boxes and Little Debbie snacks. But my mom refused to let me take my lunch. Not ever!
Now, as much as I do not enjoy it, I do make lunches for my boys and while I marvel at the Pinterest posted Bento lunch boxes, and sandwiches carved into Snow White’s resemblance, there ain’t no way in heck that I’m doing that!
I’m not that mom.
I’ve also fantasized over scenarios of clever lunch notes to send in their lunches—like a mini story with a little chapter each day, or a sentence that can be decoded. But that is where they ended. As a fantasy. If I am able to get two boys and a husband out the door on time, with lunches, snacks and their silly water bottles every day without screaming (that is an added bonus), it’s an awesome day. Hand crafting notes on napkins is just not in the cards. Mind you, I have a friend that adds a joke in her son’s lunch every day and posts it on Instagram. So I just tell them the joke when they get home. Win win.
When the Clock Chimes 8
My friends think of me as the crazy sleep mom. I’m one that thrives with a schedule and as a result, I’ve trained, I mean raised, my sons to follow in that path. That has always included a strict early bedtime—year round. It’s gotten later as they’ve gotten older, but one thing has not changed. I transform into a raging lunatic at 7 minutes past said bedtime.
I know, in concept, that bedtime is an amazing time to connect with your children. There is the potential of extra cuddles, bed time stories and secrets being told. But that is outweighed by the fact that by the end of the day, I’ve had my fill. I’m done. I need some “space”. So instead, I run around getting rounds of water, tolerating the last trip to the bathroom, and that “Mom, did I tell you” rigmarole for the first 5 minutes, but then I crack and all heck breaks loose.
So while I’m not packing water bottles, or pushing Percy around the track, I am all over volunteering in their classrooms, afternoon snuggles, making them crack up, baking elaborate birthday cakes (typically while screaming at them to step away) and planning birthday bashes months in advance. I savor my time over board games and those minutes right off the school bus. I don’t think twice about loading everyone up and hitting the open road to “we’ll figure it out when we get there.” And I love being a mom.
For me, it’s all about playing to my strengths and not comparing myself to “that mom”.