5/09/2013

Some thoughts on Mothers Day. And maybe a confession or two.

No one is a perfect parent. In fact, I would go as far as to say that no one is doing the parenting thing right. No one. And that's to say, is there a right way? No way jose. There are no right ways to be a parent, only different ways.

Last night the hubs and I took mister J to the grocery store so he could race the isles in a car cart, like one does on a rainy evening. Specifically, we headed for the bakery so mama could pick out a big slice of chocolate cake with lots of fudgey frosting.

As we passed the cakes and cookies, I decided J should be in on this celebrating too so I let him pick out a cookie. Then we headed to the drink isle and he picked out a tummy-yummy juice. "Pink!" Because lately he is fascinated with the color pink, and while daddy isn't sure about it I think it's fantastic.

At the checkout stand we were rung up by a young college girl who for whatever reason seemed to not be particularly happy with having to be at work. J sat in the drivers seat of the cart, happily sipping his juice, when I asked, "Do you have a hand scanner that you could scan this with?" Because I knew explaining to my two year old that we had to take away the juice we just gave him would not be pretty. You can imagine.

"Nope, sorry, I'll need to scan it here." She told me shortly. What I heard was, "You are spoiling your spoiled kid, get over it."

"Okay buddy, I need to see that for a minute, I'll give it right back okay?" I coaxed as I pried the juice from his tight grip. Of course, all he heard was "I'm taking your juice away!" and nothing else. He started to panic and when he panics I panic inside, while trying to stay cool on the outside.

When I handed him back his juice I tried to play cool by saying calmly but firmly, "No buddy. We don't scream like that, okay? You need to be patient." Of course he didn't hear me say a word because his drink was back in his hands, and that's all he really needed. He's TWO for heavens sake. He doesn't quite comprehend the big things yet, like patience and manners.

That cashier though, she gave me a glare straight from you know where and didn't even tell me to have a good day. As I left the store I found myself overly concerned with how obvious she was about thinking I was a bad mother with a spoiled little boy. To make myself feel better I told the hubs, "It's okay. One day she might have a kid and then she'll know what it's like."

But the truth of that matter is, I do spoil this kid of mine. I mean, would you take the excuse that he's my only kid? What am I supposed to do, not spoil him? Would you be able to not spoil that perfect face??

On our drive home I had one of those conversations with the hubs where the whole time I am talking he is nodding along in a "DO I EVER KNOW IT!!" kind of way. I admitted that it's something I have to be really careful about, not spoiling our son. Because if I wasn't careful, I surely would be the mom who would buy mister J a cookie every single time we went to the grocery store. Everytime he asked for a toy, I would say sure! Everytime he wanted me to hold him, I would pick him up. Everytime he wanted juice instead of milk, I would give it to him. And the list goes on and on.

"And then we'd have a spoiled, fat little boy!" The hubs added to the end of my confession session.

I still remember a silly fight the hubs and I had in one of our first few months of marriage. It was a fight that started over our puppy. I was (am?) such a pushover with that pup. I wanted her to sleep in our bed (which has never happend, because the hubs put his foot down on that one), and I had the hardest time punishing her when she was needed it.

One day, and I can't remember what the incident was, but one day the hubs exploded about it. "How you treat your dog is a direct reflection of how you are going to be as a parent one day! You are going to be a pushover mom!"

I remember being hurt, and I remember that he apologized later for saying that, but here I am looking back on it and he was right you know. I have to work everyday to not be a pushover. Because I sort of am. There, I've admitted it, I am a pushover. Darnitalltoheck.

SO here is my truth: I have to consciously make the effort to not spoil my son. Because ultimatley I know that it's in his best interest. That he probably needs to be told no sometimes and he probably can't live off of sugar.

On the days that I feel like a great mom, I don't mean that I have it all together and that I'm doing everything right. Saying I'm a good mom is the same thing as saying I'm a good person. Because being a mom is part of my person. It just means that I feel good about it, that things are working for us and that's good.

But in light of the holiday coming up this weekend, this is what I think about us mothers:

What's with the judging?

My gosh, when I graduated high school I was so happy to have it behind me. Little did I know that when I had my son, I re-entered the world of catty girls. It's mom vs mom. And why IS that, I wonder? Don't we know, not just as mothers but as WOMEN, don't we know how hard it is to be this? A woman? It's hard work you guys. We are complicated and emotional and don't you think we could use each other to lean on, rather than complain about each other and judge how we all handle different situations?

We need more pats on the back. More admittance of bad days. More encouragement.

Oh hey, you stay at home with your kids? Good for you! Fist bump!
Oh hey, you have a career while you are a mom? Good for you! Fist bump!
Oh hey, you want five kids? Good for you! Fist bump!
Oh hey, you don't want to have any kids at all? Good for you! Fist bump!
Oh hey, you can't cook and you hate to clean? Me neither! Fist bump!
Oh hey, you need help today because you're overwhelmed and it's all too much to take? I'm coming over! Fist bump!
Oh hey, I'll let you return the favor because I'm always overwhelmed too! Fist bump!

And then the kicker: Oh hey, you are trying to be a mother but you can't get pregnant? And you feel like mothers day is someone trying to say that women with children are more superior to those without? Having children doesn't suddenly make you superior or better or more loving or happier. If mothers day is a silly holiday that weighs you down, let's skip it. I'll go with you for a drink at the bar and we can drown our sorrows together. And it's all going to work out for you eventually, I just know it will. FIST BUMP.

You see what I mean? How much easier would this being a woman thing be?! I'd love to see less judging in the women world. I'd love for us all to know that it's hard no matter what, NO MATTER WHAT, whether you're a mom or not. And that we could all use that to help each other out. Because that's why we are here, I like to think. We are here to help each other out.

So there it is.

Happy Mothers Day ladies! Mothers or not! Happy Day!

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