Thursday, May 31, 2012

Confessions of a Real Mom

Confessions of a Real Mom
I’m not nearly the mother I dreamed I would be.  I’m too frazzled to be a room mom.  I detest cooking.  And since I have anger management issues, I yell at the umpires in middle school softball.  But I’ve recently discovered a mecca for brilliant parenting advice.  It’s a place where you’ll find tips from more obsessive supermoms crammed into one space than in the dressing room on “Toddlers & Tiaras”—the self-help shelves at Barnes and Noble. 
This magic aisle boasts hundreds of titles written by successful “real” moms instructing us slacker moms on the secrets of how to do everything from organize and delegate to go green and get rid of stubborn belly fat.
Those cool ladies also usually write blogs with charming names like “glitzysupermom” or “marathonmomof7,”  in which the overriding themes are “I’m OK.  You’re OK.  I’m just better than you, hon.”    
They make me wanna crawl in a hole with my Cheetos and Ho-Ho’s.   
The truth is, I’m intimidated by the over-achieving moms on book covers—the way they can run a corporation, communicate without screaming, make playdough out of dryer lint, and wear those skinny jeans.  How do their teenagers turn out so perfect?  If I were to try to implement their Five Easy Steps to Help Your Teen Express Herself, my daughter would probably respond by getting a Guns ‘N Roses tattoo and wind up on Jerry Springer.
If those pundits of self improvement, smiling at me from the bookshelves, are indeed as accomplished, confident, and slender as they claim,  I probably couldn’t relate to them anyway. 
I like a mom who, with frosting on her lips, fibs that it was Dad who ate the last piece of birthday cake.  I can identify with the frazzled mom who wants to lock herself in her bedroom in the middle of the day after a horrifying trip to Walmart with two preschoolers and a sick baby. 
I’ll bond with the mom who goes to the bathroom in the stall at Target holding a crying baby and her purse on account of there are no hooks on the door and who’s begging her toddler to get up off his hands and knees and stop sucking a receipt up off the floor.  That’s the seasoned veteran I’ll listen to.  She is real.  She is an inspiration.
Give me a mother who threatens to tie her teenagers to the top of her SUV’s luggage rack the next time they mercilessly ridicule her for simply tapping her fingers off-beat to the radio.  One who doesn’t bring weird vegetables for her kid to eat at playdates to impress the Oreo-packing moms and insist, “My son, Willow, would rather have raw okra than anything else in the world!”  Puleeeeeeze.  I guess he’s never had chocolate syrup then.     

I don’t think I’d connect with an “I-can-do-it-all” female dynamo who writes self-help books about things like relieving stress and taking charge of your life.  She would probably share her coping strategy with me instead of a gallon of Rocky Road.  
You can bet your sweet mac ‘n cheese she’d claim she doesn’t have cellulite either.   That’s because she probably teaches 5 a.m. Extreme Spinning classes at the gym.   I have an annoyingly energetic friend like that who posts all her athletic accomplishments on Facebook. She touts that she exercises because she likes to push herself—which sort of makes me want to push her down.
Truthfully, I don’t have much time for exercise or social media—except to stalk my kids on it.  An average mother can barely keep her head above water, much less find a working pen in her house and write a book.
As a matter of fact, “real” moms don’t write a lot of books.  They’re too busy making dinosaur dioramas and scrubbing permanent markers off the carpet.  They’re on their knees blowing bathtub bubbles and butterfly kisses, and pouring out anxiety and fear to the God of high fevers and brand new drivers.  
“Real” moms are teaching their daughters how to stand up against the wave of public opinion and how to ride out the rip tide of teenage emotions.  They are engrossed in their son’s school play, and they’re reveling in their daughter’s double-play.  They’re teaching their kids to take baby steps and sometimes leaps of faith.   
And there’s no where else they’d rather be.
So, to all my under-achieving sisters sloshing in the trenches of motherhood, it makes me feel better when you admit that you’re addicted to Reese’s Cups, that you don’t have all the answers, that a glass of wine makes you happy, and that you’re flying by the cellulite in your pants just like me.  
And for the record, I most certainly did not eat the last chocolate bunny from the kids’ Easter baskets.  It was Dad.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I decided I’m going to start giving thanks more.  Since it’s summer and I don’t have to set my alarm in the morning, I figure lying in bed for a few minutes saying a prayer for my blessings is a great way to start my morning and it’s the least I can do.
However, my mind is so scrambled, I literally can’t concentrate for longer than 15 seconds on prayers.  They go something like this:
Dear Lord, thank you so much for my wonderful soft, bed and my heavenly pillow, and my soft covers.  Thank you for my beautiful bedroom.  Ok, let’s see.  What else?  I really don’t need to lie in bed long. Wastes half the day.  What do I have to do when I go downstairs?  First thing, deal with the stupid cat.  Bugs me to death meowing to come in before I have my coffee.  God, why can’t my husband let her in?  Darn him.  I just said ‘darn’ in my prayer.  God, please forgive me of my sins. Then she wants to be let out of the laundry room after five minutes and go out again.  Why can’t she go straight outside, God?  My hot coffee is waiting and she wants to roll around on the rug first and stretch and all?  She can do that crap outside.
Lord, thank you for the summer time and our trip to the lake.  The kids had so much fun.  Thank you for not letting them get concussions riding on that tube— especially their friends that came with us.  I wonder if the cat came home all weekend. Thank you, Lord, that cats are so easy.  Please don’t let that stupid animal have gotten run over by a car.  We were only gone three days.  Been gone a lot longer than that.  Thank you, God, that the cat stays outside.  If she stands on a curb, I wonder if she’s stupid enough to start racing across the street right when a car comes.  If she got hit, I wonder if you could save her.  I guess not if she hit the tire face first.  But what if when she got right to the car, and stuck her foot out in front of her to stop quick and change directions?  The car would just run over her foot.  I wonder if the vet has ever had to cut off a cat’s foot.  I wonder if they know what to use to do something like that.  I wonder if they know where to cut it off?  Would they cut it off above her cat-elbow or below?  If below, she’d probably try to use it to walk and just end up with a bloody stump.
Oh my Gosh!  I’m thinking about the cat getting a bloody stump.  God, what’s wrong with me?  I can’t concentrate for 15 seconds.  This CANNOT be normal.  
Thank you, God, for answering my prayers and giving me something to write about today.  You have a great sense of humor.