I’m rocking motherhood. In spite of myself. Okay, maybe that’s the wrong wording. It would mean that I didn’t want or expect to do so. I’ve wanted to since I got my first doll. I expected that I would, because my mom is so awesome at it. How could I mess it up? After more than 8 years of being a mother, it no longer shocks me that I mess it up on a daily basis. I am not the soft-spoken, angelically patient mom I dreamt of being. I am not cool and laid back. I am totally a foul-mouthed smother-mother.
But, I’m rocking motherhood in spite of that. Now, if you had asked me if that’s what I thought a week ago, no way! Mainly because it is in my nature to be self-deprecating. It’s my thang. Also, because I go to bed every night feeling guilty about how I scream at my children. Then I saw this rocking motherhood challenge floating around. What an awesome idea! We moms spend so much time (waste so much time) on the mom guilt, we miss out on seeing all the great things we do. Like I can clean up a diaper with the shit of 3000 men with one baby wipe – so I got that going for me, right? This would be a chance for me to pat myself on the back (not literally – I’m just not very flexible anymore). And maybe, while sharing the ways I think I rock motherhood, my readers and friends would start thinking about the great things they do every day.
We almost take for granted that we’re rocking motherhood
Can you find some of your own awesomeness in these women? Ang has to clean up after 2 kids, even though only one is actually a child (she knows what I’m talking about). Brandie and Lori always have their shit together, no matter what. Anna is raising her kids with just enough help that I think she’d rather not have it. Nataline works different shifts, day and night, and still gets her 4 kids everywhere they need to be. Marcia does the same while working 3rd shift. Audrey and Becky will never stop being the example their children need to see, even as they’re all moving out. Melissa has the life of a single mom at night, while her husband is at work, even when sick or has a migraine. Andrea is teaching her kids a friendliness you don’t see much these days. Jenny works late at night and gets up the next morning to put on her mom hat. Heather has started almost back at the beginning, raising her grandchild. Emilie has the patience of a saint, and parented alone for months while her husband was deployed. My mother – I just wouldn’t know where to start. These women impress and inspire me. I would hope that they,too, would take up a challenge to list all they do to rock motherhood!
Thanks to Kirsty at That Noise Is Mine (I love that name – I say it every time we’re coming out of a doctor’s office, while apologizing) for nominating me to complete the 10 Ways I’m Rocking Motherhood Challenge. So when you’re done here, go check out what she had to say!
So what are my 10 ways?
I was ready to dig deep and find out what I really think of myself as a mom. If you have a hard time getting started with your own list, this is what I did: I pretended somebody told me I was a bad mom. What would I say to them? Well, I’d start with a “burn in @#*&”, “go #@$*& yourself”, and “you better sleep with one eye open”. Once I got those pleasantries out of the way, though, this is what I’d say:
I’m a memory maker and keeper. Not in my brain, because that went out the window when I turned 30ish. But, I go to great lengths to make life BIG for my children. I drive Daddy nuts with all the planning and extravaganza at birthday time. I must have at least 6000 (may be a slight exaggeration) things hanging from the ceiling for their 1st Birthday. Every birthday they get a whole weekend all about them. On the actual day they get to decide all meals. Then, I (or Daddy) takes pictures of every detail. I take hundreds of pics in between bdays, too. And I actually have them developed and put in albums! All of their baby books are up to date. I write them letters. I track milestones. I just may be a psycho-path.
So, the birthday thing got me thinking about cake. That reminded me how I let them eat cake. For breakfast. I know, there’s some of you thinking this puts me in a bad mom category. But, I believe it’s not going to hurt anybody a few times a year. And it will make these little freaks ecstatic, if when they’re begging for leftover cake from a gathering for breakfast, I just say “sure”. It’s the part of me that realizes that I don’t have to say no ALL the time to everything. Sometimes it’s too automatic for us moms. So, I really think about my “why” before the “no”. It makes for some fun times with them that could be missed otherwise.
I own up to my mistakes. Yes, we have to be confident in our decisions, and we don’t want them questioning us if they remember that one time we were wrong. But,I also try to teach my kids personal responsibility, and being able to admit when they’re wrong. I’m sorry, but if they’ve never seen anyone apologize for their wrong doings and errors, they may think it’s not necessary and turn out to be real shitasses as adults. When it’s a parenting mistake , I need to let them know that is what it is. That way they know that I care, am trying, and not intentionally messing up when it comes to them.
My children’s music selection rocks! Yes, music is where I’m really “rocking” motherhood. My kids are learning a variety of music, and we have fun with it! My schmoopies can head bang or shake their booties to a wide selection ranging from Sir-Mix-A-Lot to Avenged Sevenfold and on. This one isn’t all me. Daddy was a drummer, so there’s no getting away from music in our house. It makes for some fun Saturday night dance parties!
You can eat off of my floor. Not literally. Well, sometimes. They do appreciate that feeling of confidence in the 5 second rule when they drop their food. Which happens. A lot. So my need for clean does pay off there. But, I’m actually talking about indoor picnics. It can be the same old food on a rainy summer day, but spreading out a blanket and eating it on the floor makes it a little more fun. And then we can go play in the rain, which is really awesome.
I educate my children. From the start, I am reading to them, talking to them and narrating our days. I use big words,too. How else will they learn what exasperated means unless that’s how I’m describing how Mommy is feeling at the moment? I always ask when using these words, or talking about something that is beyond them “Do you know what that means?” Then I explain. We do projects and research as they grow. We have lessons and workbooks in the summer, too. The only summer slide happening here is out on the swing set.
Speaking of educating…. I am schooling them in the fine art of sarcasm. This is not for everybody, I know. But the ability to be serious and find humor in things at the same time can build a resiliency to some of the crap in life. In this house, looking for “funny” in our day helps us cope. It also helps us bond. When my 6-year-old daughter narrows her eyes while looking at her brother and delivers a totally dry comeback, I tear up a little.
I don’t always put them 1st. Okay, this was a weird one for me to think of, considering once my son was born it took me about 7 years before I bought a new pair of gym shoes. It’s all for them. But, not really. It can’t be. That whole idea of putting the oxygen mask on yourself is true. I have learned that when my blood sugar drops to 40 while making them lunch, no matter how much somebody is whining that they’re starving, I take care of myself first. This should be a “duh”, but it took a few close calls to realize that they will be fine if they have to wait and I will not. The same starts to apply to those moments when I know I’m going to lose it because they’re all asking for something at once. I’ve walked away before to take some deep breaths on the porch. My kids get the last of the food, clothes budget, and all the other necessities. I know when to prioritize myself. Except for showers. I’m horrible at that.
I juggle. Like a mo fo. (My best friend is picturing the time I showed her my actual juggling talent one day and she is laughing at me.) There are TONS of little people here who all need a lot from me. Well, just a 2, 4, 6, and 8-yr-old. I home school the preschooler. I work from home. I still try to stay organized and have a clean house. So, I juggle. And I SUCK at it. But, I keep doing it. Sometimes I drop all the balls. Every damn one. Those are the days I laugh and know I need a cuddle break.
I’m busy. We all are. But, that does not change what I have told my kids from day 1. There’s always time for hugs. I will drop everything to put my arms around my babies.
All of these things may be trivial in the big scheme of things. Maybe these are just a little more specific to my style of mothering. The rest, I think a lot of moms do. I let them try things on their own, then help them back up if they fall. I tell them to put the things they think aren’t fair in their suck-it bucket, but then I show them empathy, and tell them I understand that they’re upset when things aren’t fair. I tried sorting it all out while talking to a friend when I was feeling so overwhelmed after bringing home my 4th baby in five years. At the end of each day, I go into their rooms, check each bed, and look to see their chest moving up and down. I lay my hand there and feel the thump-thump. 4 heartbeats as I crawl into bed. I did awesome.
I’d love for you to tell me some of what makes you rock motherhood in the comments. If you think I may be your kind of mom-friend, and want me to send you new posts, just enter your email below. Click HERE to go to the home page and see all of my categories. Something for everybody. 😉
I want to thank Patricia at White Camellias for starting this challenge. I’d like to tag these lovely ladies who have not yet told us how they are rocking motherhood: Jenni at Raising My Little Superheroes, Jessica at Hampton Roads Moms, Dilraz at Mommy Dil, and Maria at I,Mommy.