Something has been bothering me lately. Facebook posts and texts from the mothers who do EVERYTHING. You know the type. Those that create themes for their albums on Facebook for the oodles of pictures they take of their adventures with their children. Or the ones who have cakes for their dogs so they can spend quality time making and eating cake with their kids. Or those that do any of the crafty things that would put anyone to shame. (Although I have them listed separately, if you’re lucky you get the trifecta, the moms who do all of them.) These are the moms, that without meaning to, make me feel like less of a mom. Teeny tiny and inadequate. Hang on, let me have a drink of wine while I tuck my kid into bed.
I don’t truly hate these moms. Honest. At first, I thought it was super cute and even responded or “liked” the posts. Wow, I thought, what an amazing thing to do with your kids! I even made attempts to emulate these moms, but I never got further than getting up off of my tush from the couch, and in most cases, from the couch, just did some Google searches on Pinterest to see just how difficult it would be to create indoor snowmen or homemade play dough. I lived vicariously through these moms, daydreaming about how my kids and I would be if we could do these things together. My eldest would smile sweetly at me and follow my every move and scream “again!” and my youngest would crawl into my lap, demanding for more as well. We would all be happy when my husband would arrive home, and my eldest would talk nonstop about our adventures we had that day.
And then I woke up.
I never claimed to be perfect. I am the mom who gets dates wrong for PJ day at daycare, or encourages my kids to pick up food off the floor to eat (it’s only been there for a few minutes!) But the more I read these posts and got these texts about the amazing things people were doing with their kids, I felt smaller and smaller. I remember asking my husband at one point, “do I do enough with our kids?” Ever the encouraging, loving man, he told me that any time I spend with our kids is valuable, and we don’t have to do anything super special all the time to make it so. He reminded me that the special times would be all the more special when we actually did them, not just expected behaviors. It always made me feel better, but then I’d get a text about how so and so had a theme for the day with their kids…they played cars, made car shaped cookies, and later on, would be watching the movie “Cars”, while all cuddled on the couch as a family, eating popcorn. What had I done that day? Sort of watched my kids color while I checked email and did paperwork. Mother of the year.
I often remind myself of why I am not at this level of “mommy-dom”: I have a full-time job, two small children, and am in the middle of a possible advancement in my career. Some of the moms who post like this don’t even work, so that’s where they have all this time to create amazing days of creativity with their children. Others, who do work, must be crazy. I wonder when they have time to sleep, or time to themselves to regroup, or read oodles of novels they keep posting about as well. Yes, I love to spend time with my kids, and yes, I want the best for them. But I don’t need a theme or something special to do everyday to show that I care, do I? Am I just ridiculously lazy?
So what now? Do I try to change my ways and find every possible thing on Google to try with my kids or emulate the Super Mommy I saw that has 3 kids under the age of 5, runs races, reads novels, and makes creative things with their kids, all while juggling a full time job? Or do I remain how I have been operating, trying with every attempt to simply remember that I have to send my kid with Valentine’s cards, signed, so she can exchange at school (yep, forgot to sign them, but at least I sent them in)? I am going to have to settle for the little triumphs. Like just tonight, after I asked my kids to play a board game after dinner, my eldest said to me, “Mommy, I love you. You do so much stuff with us. Like color, and play games, and do puzzles…” Validation? I suppose when those times come that I do something extra special, like Paint with Water with my kids (and they give up after 10 minutes), will seem more meaningful.