Not your typical mother

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.

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 child’s formative years arguing with him about how he holds his 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 he was little, I believe that I have four Mom Jobs. I am supposed to:

  1. keep him safe;
  2. keep him healthy;
  3. teach him stuff; and
  4. love him.

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 him to know, but I think he’s got a pretty good foundation.

But let me tell you, that kid knows he is loved. He has been hugged and kissed, played with and  talked to and listened to all of his life. (I genuinely like to sit and talk with my son and his friends,who are not typical 14-year-olds, 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 him out and make him laugh hysterically.

From Q’s Instagram: Goofing around at a Norwegian bus stop…

So, I may not be typical, but my son thinks I am a great mom. He gave me the most wonderful gift a couple of weeks ago: I was feeling discouraged about all my maternal failings, and he said, “Mom, the number of things you do wrong is like this” – holding his 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…

4 thoughts on “Not your typical mother

  1. Quinland just amazes me! I mean, what 14 year old is so keyed in to others’ emotions and feelings? Ah, you are blessed.


  2. You will recall that the pizza delivery man hugged me when he took another job and would no longer be delivering our pizzas on Lurline.

    I love your list. It’s simple and clear. I only hope my boys know they are loved as much as quindaloo.


    1. I forgot that! I just heard from David that Papa John’s pizza gave him a gift card for Christmas for being one of their best customers. (He used to get pizza for his homeroom kids as well as order tons of uncut pizzas for a class on diving things fairly, besides all the nights the gamers order pizza.)

      As for the boys, you know perfectly well that they think they are loved just the tiniest bit too much, if anything! (“Here comes my mom/Auntie Lori to kiss and hug me again. Lovely.”)


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