I was listening to a podcast today by two moms who have very successful home-and-family blogs. Each of them has written a book, runs a couple of blogs, homeschools, eats all organic natural food made from scratch… and each was emphasizing that they are by no means perfect.
Yikes. If I were that “imperfect,” I would crown myself with a diamond tiara and wear it in public. Every.single.day.
The blog world makes me feel like the “typical” mom is the one who is out there doing all of the above, while hand-painting seasonal doormats, whipping up their own chevron-trimmed curtains out of dropcloths, and cooking paleo meals – while taking gorgeous photos of it all and sharing them with the world.
I am not that mother.
I am in my mid-40s and still have Craigslist and IKEA furniture, heaps of clutter, and no window coverings. I am so hard-pressed to get a meal on the table that I have to make it my Lenten resolution. Not only do I not homeschool, I spent my daughter’s formative years arguing with her about how she holds her pencil… to no avail, I might add. I eke out a blog post every so often with blurry or discolored photos of my own or borrowed photos from others.
But that’s okay. As I used to tell Q when she was little, I believe that I have four Mom Jobs. I am supposed to:
- keep her safe;
- keep her healthy;
- teach her stuff; and
- love her.
I do a good job of keeping Q safe; I may even be a bit too overprotective. I struggle with meeting my own expectations for the middle two. I know our family could lead a much healthier lifestyle, and it is something that I agonize over and try to work on every day, but it is one of my personal weaknesses. I know I will never be able to teach Quinland everything I would like her to know, but I think she’s got a pretty good foundation.
But let me tell you, that girl knows she is loved. She has been hugged and kissed, played with and talked to and listened to all of her life. (I genuinely like to sit and talk with my daughter and her friends,who are not typical 14-year-old girls, which is another post in and of itself). And, oh, do we laugh together! We are silly and goofy and funny and downright wacky together, and we crack each other up. I make ridiculous BigEye faces that creep her out and make her laugh hysterically.
So, I may not be typical, but my daughter thinks I am a great mom. She gave me the most wonderful gift a couple of weeks ago: I was feeling discouraged about all my maternal failings, and she said, “Mom, the number of things you do wrong is like this” – holding her thumb and forefinger about an inch apart – “and the things you do right could fill this whole room.”
That makes it all worth it.
Your mom (or you, if you are a mom): typical or not typical? Do you make each other laugh ’til you cry? How would you rate your mom or yourself on the Mom Jobs? Would you – or she – go out in public with hostel-hair like I have in the above photo? No? I don’t blame you…