I remember back when I was a perfect parent. It was around the same time I thought that parachute pants were an excellent fashion choice. It was also when I was going to save the last dance with Sean Patrick Lewis and have his perfect babies.
Did I mention I was not yet a mother?
No one told me that you have to do all that “perfect” parenting at the same time as children are yelling, shrieking, and jumping naked on your couch cushions that you fluff up 5,000 times a day.
They are just so loud you guys.
And also so messy. I am messy, but they’re like next level messy.
So it turns out I am not perfect, and also I’m not that good at dancing. We are hanging in there with all these disappointments.
The kids still seem to like me so that’s encouraging.
I am currently relating with Pink, who likes to microwave her coffee.
Comments on her instagram included: “It’s one thing that she’s drinking coffee but the second thing is that she microwaves which kills all and everything in the milk if she uses milk is not good for the baby.” and “Can i give you a solid? Don’t microwave anything! All food/drinks loose there essence after microwaving for more than 60 seconds.” and “Why is the microwave oven so low.”
I also like to drink burnt microwave coffee. Mostly I like to heat it until it explodes. Other people do not like that Pink does that. They are very disappointed in her, because “microwave placement” is everything when it comes to parenting. Also decaf is basically Hell’s nectar. (I do actually believe that, but only because it’s not caffeinated).
Recently I was told my articles are unreadable because my three year old uses a pacifier sometimes (to each their own). I find out new requirements for good parenting practically every day. I’m going to go sit on my kitchen floor and cry while I wish my microwave was more conveniently located.
Haters gunna hate, ya know.
Yesterday I carried my three year old who was screaming, yelling, and hitting, out of the gym daycare (she didn’t want to leave). Somewhere along the way we lost a boot and I dropped my bags twice. I finally made it to a bathroom stall where I sat on a toilet holding down her arms and legs so that she wouldn’t hurt herself.
I sat there holding this child, thanking God that my workout endorphins were still doing their happy magic on me. What was I supposed to do? I was wracking my brain, but came up with nothing. I couldn’t carry my gym bags plus her out to my car. So I just sat with my yoga pants on someone else’s butt germs.
Eventually the tantrum turned into crying. She was the color of a sunburnt lobster. The passion in this child…oy vey. “Do you want me to carry you or do you want to walk?”
“Do you want to say you’re sorry?”
We apologized to the front desk lady who empathized, “I’m a mom.”
Look, this is 100 percent what I signed up for. Twenty minutes later Haven and I were having “coffees” (a steamer and americano) and croissants shooting the breeze about unicorns and how her favorite color is “chocolate”. She told me unsolicited that she was sorry for hurting me. Which, I’m just going to go ahead and take as a win.
Motherhood is hard and we need each other. The last thing we need is to nitpick each other’s ridiculously trivial flaws. If we are going to do that, let me just save you the trouble. I do not cut up apples. It is against my religion. I make three meals a day, and apple slicing puts me over the edge. My kids eat round apples and they seem to be alright so far. Sorrynotsorry. Also I don’t do shots. Not like we don’t get them, but my husband takes the kids. I do childbirth. He does immunizations. Also my friends tell me that I can’t multitask and that if anyone is in the car with me I drive approximately 15 mph and never turn off the windshield wipers.
My flaws are endless.
Every mom that I have come to know – either in my community or online WANTS to do right by her kids. Every single one is doing her best. Every single one worries that who she is not enough to give her kids what they need. She wonders if she is doing it right. Is she disciplining too much or it too little? Are they eating healthy enough? Do they know that they are loved?
Lets give each other the benefit of the doubt. God knows we need it.
What if with every mom we saw (including those who judge our pacifier decisions), we thought:
SHE IS DOING HER BEST and,
SHE IS PROBABLY WORRYING IT’S NOT ENOUGH.
We are far too busy raising decent human beings to engage in finger pointing debates about pacifiers and decaf coffee.
Number one rule for not raising jerks? Don’t be one. (Excuse me why I go teach my daughter that hitting and screaming are not good ways to communicate.)
Most of the time if I’m feeling critical of others, all I need is sleep, a shower, a girls night, or a couple hours alone at Target.
Lets agree to take care of ourselves, give ourselves a BREAK, and then do the same for our comrades.
Together we are stronger.
I’m with Pink.
Speaking of supporting moms, I am totally loving Dee Krassa’s passion project: Mommy Cards. Check them out for an easy way to reach out to moms and let them know they aren’t alone.
I’m going to take an idea I recently read and buy some $5 Starbucks cards to hand to frazzled moms I see out doing their Christmas shopping.
We are in this together!! Mwah*
This article originally appeared the Wonderoak blog.