I was going about my busy day with the children today replaying my mother saying what a good mom I am. And thinking about having heard the same from friends and colleagues. I always think....If you only saw me behind closed doors, would you think the same?
What exactly constitutes a "good mom"?
A big beautiful hairdo and perfect apron tied in a bow?
A nice batch of chocolate chip cookies ready to come out of the oven?
A clean germ-free house?
A perfectly healthy, fat free, sugar-free, high-fiber, non-processed food, fruit and veggie filled, organic-only diet (preferably vegetarian) for both the mom and the children? (And the husband if he will do it) Never stopping at McDonalds...oh the sin!
Neatly ironed clothes hanging in the closet arranged in color groups with only sizes fitting a size 5? Oh, and they must be promptly removed from the washer and placed in the drier, then removed from the drier within say...10 minutes of being dry?
A huge smile on her face at all times, always understanding and ever-so-patient?
A perfect wife to her husband?
A college degree?(even if it really gets no use other than filling a frame in a extremely organized office)
A meticulously planned day never forgetting exercise for herself and her children?
And learning time...managing to teach her children their alphabet, numbers, letter-recognition, ability to write, color in the lines, etc.?
No TV, just classical music, but only for a few minutes a day as to not disturb the learning?
Oh, I feel I could just go on forever....
I suppose some of these are me, though sadly most are not.
These are the things I strive for, knowing that if I am not all of them, it is OK. And also realizing that if I were all of them, how different I would be. And how I unhappy I think I would be.
Really, I think that a good mom is one who tries to guide, protect and nurture her children with as little drama as possible. She does the best she can...
with heaping laundry in the hallway yet to be folded,
clean dishes in the dishwasher yet to be emptied,
stacks of mail yet to be gone through,
bottles lined up on the kitchen counter to be taken to the recycling bin (just out in the garage),
some good days, some bad days,
some happy days, some sad days,
some organized days, and some hectic days,
wrinkly shirts in the closet (at least they are in the closet),
crusty two-day-old peas lying on the kitchen floor that the dog somehow overlooked,
day-old Crystal Light lemonade once in a cup spilling onto the floor in the new minivan, the mail- some days she gets it, some days she doesn't,
hopefully no bill statements stating that she forgot to pay the previous month,
occasional screaming children hanging off the rafters because they are fighting, or fell down, or throwing a tantrum, or hungry or tired, or wet, or poopy-pants, or....anything.
Because she cannot ever be perfect. And I am her. Not perfect, but still keeping a happy, smiling, and cheerful look on my child's faces....oh....at least 3/4 of the time, I figure I am good. After all, being imperfect is OK and at some point, you have to teach your children that too.