Being a mom can be hard work, but it is often the funniest, happiest, goofiest job, full of free entertainment and a never ending supply of laughs, especially if you don't take yourself or your kids too seriously. I've seen some pretty intense posts on the old FB lately, where it appears many mothers are stressed, freaked, and entirely too intense. No offense, but for those of us who've been raising kids for a few decades now, you all need to calm down a bit. Sure, you have a few toddlers, and sure, they are kind of loud, demanding and messy, but remember, you're bigger than them, smarter than them, you have all the money and you can drive a car…It's pretty much your show, You call the shots, so call them in your favor. Please, don't let a three year old boss you around. Really, you're better than that. And don't forget that you are an adult. You've got this. And kids really are pretty resilient. (thank God) So, even when you screw something up, generally, it doesn't do any permanent damage...
Trust me, you will make some mistakes. We all do. Get over it and move on. Stop trying to be perfect. Not every meal has to be organic, not every activity has to be educational, not even milestone has to be etched in the baby book) Just relax. Even the best moms mess up at times…but guess what? Their kids live to tell. So, here's a repost of one of my favorites--Enjoy, and feel really good about yourself as a mother. Your Welcome:
THIS IS A REPOST FROM SEPTEMBER OF 2010--
A Real Favorite and Perfect for Mother's Day
Now, on to today's topic: motherhood moments that we are less than proud of, those lapses in judgment, effort, or timing that just didn't work out. I'm not talking abuse and neglect here, but as you all know, motherhood is a series of weighing competing interests (money, time, sex, sleep, laundry, exercise, personal hygiene, children's health, activities, carpool, etc) and making the best/most convenient, least disruptive decision. It's one big story problem all day long:
Example 1: School gets out at 2:45. It is 2:15. You've been putting off getting groceries all day, because you were updating your blog...Do you have time to get to the store before picking up your fifth grader? Important Factors to consider: how far is the store? how many groceries? how hungry are you, really? Is the fifth grader embarrassed to be left in the school parking lot...(again)? Discuss...
Example 2: As of this morning you have $300 in your checking account, and $35 in your wallet. You need groceries, soccer shin guards, lunch money for 4 kids, picture money for 3, ACT prep money for the big one, and the cleaning lady only takes cash. How can you best divide the resources so no one gets stiffed? Don't be fooled, the answer to this one involves a Visa card, overdraft protection and Ted from Johnson Bank. We moms are nothing if not resourceful...
Example 3: Your baby is fussy. He cries a lot. He is just finding his fingers. He seems to enjoy sucking his thumb. You know that this will probably result in serious orthodontia later down the road. Do you encourage or discourage this behavior? This is a no brainer...beg, bribe, force the kid to suck his thumb. It is way better than a pacifier because he can never lose it. Sleep trumps all. Unless the situation involves fire or major vomit, always, always go with sleep.
In the course of any given day, let alone in the course of any given childhood, bad calls are going to be made. Something or someone is just going to slip through the cracks. The life of a mother is one big gamble and we are all just playing the odds. . Here are some real life examples of where I read the tea leaves wrong. And you just know they will come out on an analyst's couch someday....so, on those days, where you blew the call and think that you are the worst mom ever, ...well, let me tell you, you have some competition...
- Late/fogot to pick your kid up from school? Done that...a lot...
- Really late/forgot to pick your kid up from the game, practice, the dentist, pre-school screening, family movie night?....done that too--The phone call from the preschool screener was pretty humiliating..
- dropped your third grader off some ghetto gym for basketball practice, was too lazy to walk him in, and come to find out, practice was canceled? Oooops...scary
- dropped your kid off at the wrong football field for the playoffs, because you were too lazy to make sure that those kids in the purple jerseys were actually his teammates? Oooops again.
- Left your baby under the Christmas tree in his infant seat for two hours because you forgot him while you bathed and put the other kids to bed? (Pete--Christmas 1996)
- fed your kid hot dogs, bologna, cheese balls and twinkies today? Hell, my kids have packed that for their school lunches... Chris spent his entire childhood living on Tombstone frozen pizza, pretzel goldfish and kitkats...and once he could make his own pizza, I so didn't care.
- Let your baby suck on toothpaste while you showered? Why do you think Annie's teeth are so white?
- Told your two year old to keep an eye on the baby while you made the beds and took a shower? Seriously, this one ended with Baby Nate stuck outside on a screened porch...nice work, Jack. ..but all the beds had hospital corners.
- Sent your six year old to soccer practice with a broken collarbone? --the first set of x-rays were inconclusive...what? they just put that figure 8 thing on them....He's fine....
- had to have your two year old's stomach pumped because he od'd on baby tylenol that you left on the kitchen table? --(I sweat the lid was locked on) (Nate, Fall 1997)
- The baby fell down the stairs in his walker, because you were trying to fold laundry and forgot to put the gate at the top of the stairs?.. (Jack--1993---seriously, he was sneaky fast).
- Let your son skip the June ACT because he was painting an enormous ND sign in your garage for his brother's graduation party? Try telling that to his guidance counselor.
- Ignored your son's limp and leg pain after he dropped a 55 pound weight on his thigh...for two months...?
- Missed your son's graduation from 6th grade? (this was not me, this was Dave McKeon, whose response was "Who in the hell graduates sixth grade? 8th grade graduation is stupid enough. Sixth grade? Yeah, that's a moment I don't want to miss..."
So, here is what happened. Last Monday, my nephew Teddy comes home from football practice complaining that he hurt his lower leg. He's limping, and in some pain, and Wendy says, "Let's see how you feel tomorrow" Perfectly reasonable, perfectly legitimate response, given that teenage boys spend their entire adolescence pulling, spraining, straining, or dislocating body parts, when they are not busy dropping heavy shit on themselves (see above). (Don't even get me started about the time Pete hurt his stupid finger and it involved three different physicians, a growth plate, a specialist, a referral from our insurance company, 15 x-rays, and the final diagnosis was:"Yeah, he broke his finger. Tape it to a buddy" which means tape "ring man" to "tall man"---$3500 worth of medical attention for a seven year old's digit and the best you've got is "tape it to a buddy"? Holy Christ. I should have gone to med school. ) I digress...
Ted's limp/pain continues, but it's a really busy week, Ted seems to be able to put weight on the leg, he continues to go to practice, he's got a game on Friday, he's a starter, he's not crying out in pain, and again, it's a really busy week. (In Wendy's defense, if we took our kids to the doctor every time someone whined about an injury, hell, they'd all be glowing in the dark from the unnecessary radiation....and seriously, tape it to a buddy???)...so Wendy, takes a very legitimate wait and see approach. Teddy goes to his football game Friday night, goes in for the first play on defense and literally cannot run on his leg. He makes a valiant effort but has to eventually come out of the game. The trainer, who is "trained" in these sorts of things, along with the coach, recommend that Ted see an actual physician. A little side note, Ted's leg and limp did not prevent him from going out with his friends on Friday night.
Now, did I mention that the Notre Dame home opener was taking place on Saturday? Preparation for the tailgate the following day kept Wendy away from the game. Ted got home late, Wendy and Tim left very early, and no real communication regarding the leg took place Sat. morning. During the day on Saturday, Ted begins to text his parents noting that his coach/trainer expects him to see some medical professional over the weekend. His parents enjoy the Notre Dame victory (totally short lived,---goddamn Michigan shoelace dissing, dreadlock wearing quarterback) and then decide to go visit some friends who live nearby.
Teddy spends his Saturday night texting his parents regarding their status, and possible arrival home, so he can get some medical attention. Wendy and Tim spend their Saturday night with, among many fun Notre Dame friends, a nurse, an opthamologist and the CEO of a hospital,who all reassure them that Teddy is totally fine. (Question: What the hell was in the punch at that party??there is not a hospital administrator in the world, let alone a CEO, who would ever advise anyone with insurance NOT to go to the hospital) Due to Wendy's "migraine", they decide to spend the night with their friends. It is almost a week since Ted's injury and his leg hasn't fallen off yet, so surely it can wait another day. Just ask the opthamologist. Well, once Teddy's parents arrive home... some time Sunday EVENING...they finally take Ted to the urgent care/doc in the box. (Wendy is extremely concerned...about her kitchen floor and the laundry back up.)..When the doctor views Ted's films, they discover...THAT HE HAS A BROKEN LEG!!! granted it is a hairline fracture in a small, non weight bearing bone, but it is indeed a broken leg. Way to diagnose, drunken opthamalogist. When Wendy called me with the news, I laughed my ass off. Uncle Dave McKeon's assessment: "That Teddy, he's no pussy". (the "unlike my four shidiot sons" was implied in that comment)
Wendy did say, "Do you think that I am the most negligent mom in the world? To which I replied "Of course not, you think that's bad, I have a friend who is a NURSE, who didn't realize her kid had TWO broken arms and sent him to school for a week. You're just a teacher, how the hell were you supposed to know it was broken? There wasn't a bone sticking out or anything..." "I'm sure PLENTY of moms send their kids to football practice all week on a broken leg, and PLENTY of moms ignore their kids repeated texts for medical help,... for two solid days... while spending the weekend with their college friends..." (granted, these moms are now attending court order parenting classes, but hey...) And the whole time I was thinking, "Hey, I look like Florence fucking Nightengale for just ignoring my kids "deep tissue bruise" for two months. I am clearly not the worst mom, second worst possibly, but not the worst in the world" .
Wendy knows that I am just kidding. And I'm sure she realizes that the point of this whole anecdote is to show that all moms, even the best ones, make mistakes. So, to all you self-flagellating moms who are sweating out missing your kid's 2nd birthday because you have tickets to a Cold Play concert, or who are racked with guilt for refusing to play Candyland one last time, or who think that it's child abuse to miss one pee wee soccer game, "Get over it...Stop beating yourselves up already.... Don't set the bar too high, and pace yourself, it's a long race...We all screw up the motherhood thing sometimes. As long as you're not doing chronically, constantly or totally on purpose, you will be fine, really. and so will your kid. Just ask the drunk opthamologist.
I love this post and I love the lesson here--Hey, there are no perfect moms. There are no perfect kids either, so I guess it all evens out. I hope you all have/had a great Mother's Day. Here's my Mother's Day highlight--Me eating a huge piece of cake, after having a big old lobster dinner at Smith and Wolensky in Chicago. I am so very, very glad that I can celebrate this special day. Thanks, Annie, Chris, Jack, Nate, Pete, and Posey! I wouldn't be a mother without you.
TODAY'S TOP TEN:
1. Big, fat lobster
2. Big, chocolate cake--even I couldn't eat this whole piece
3. Champagne cocktails--makes the lobster taste just that much sweeter.
4. The Sharkanator--it's awesome, and Pete got me one for Mother's Day. It's for peeling, pitting and cutting avocados. AND it's shaped like a shark.
5. The NFL Draft--I totally watched a ton of this. I'm not a big Johnny Manziel fan, but he should really shake things up in Cleveland and I'm really glad they got him. Let's just hope he can last longer than my boy Brady Quinn and doesn't end up broke like Bernie Kosar.
6. The article in this month's Vanity Fair about how the OJ Simpson Trial begat the entire realm of reality TV. Totally Fascinating.
7. This JMcLaughlin dress--My kids bought me this for Mother's Day (ok, I picked it out). It's way cuter in real life and even has pockets. Be prepared to see me wearing this all summer long.
9. The view from Fr. Hesburgh's office. It's spectacular. Truly spectacular.
10. All Mothers, grandmothers, step mothers, almost mothers, acting mothers, mothers to be, mothers in law, and mother like people. You're the best. Lobster, cake and champagne, for everyone.