When you get a chance, check out this blog! A friend posted it earlier this week and it's probably why all this "supermom" stuff was on my mind. It speaks to every mom, single or not.
I admit it. I'm not one of "those" moms who makes a homemade advent calendar that I sewed together with thread I found on clearance. I don't make perfect little color coordinated chore charts. I don't make my kids' birthday cakes from scratch. I work. I probably have unknown species of dust on my wood floors at any given time. I shout at my kids' sometimes. I forget snacks for their class. I don't do 20 minutes of reading with them every single night. I don't do coupon clipping (yet). The idea of homeschooling makes me twitch. J's scrapbook of his first year is only 3/4 finished. He's about to be 6. Don't even ASK about the second child. Oh, and there is a lot more. Add that to the guilt of them growing up in a single parent household and it's obvious -- they've been cheated in this life with me as their mom.
Or have they?
Us women are so quick to beat ourselves up. I, for some reason, have a hard time accepting compliments. If you tell me I look pretty, I joke around about how I'm really not as pretty as it looks and I spent an ungodly amount of time doing my hair that morning. If you tell me my outfit is nice, I start announcing where I got every piece and how much it cost (because it's always inexpensive). I even have friends who tell me "you look pretty and just say thank you before I hit you." I don't know why I do that..but I do. Have you diagnosed me yet? Good, bill me. When people tell me I'm a good mother, in my head I think "ohhhh, but you don't live with me."
You see, this is never the way I envisioned my motherhood experience. I had visions of driving a minivan. My daughters would all go to ballet and my sons would all be in little league. I'd be a stay at home mom and drive them around wherever they needed to go. We'd go on annual vacations to tropical locales. I'd have time to volunteer. On every holiday we'd make a perfect little craft and then I'd save it in my perfect little bin and store it in my perfectly organized garage. My husband and I (yes, there'd be a husband) would have Christmas parties every year and I'd make 193 homemade dishes for said party. We'd have movie nights where the whole family would pile up on the couch and stuff popcorn down our mouths. My children would always be well-behaved. I wouldn't dare co-sleep. We'd all wear matchy-matchy outfits for Easter.
Ah, life. It didn't turn out quite the way I planned it...at all. In reality, my daughter loudly announces every occurrence of her flatulence, no matter where we are. They fight. Every night, at some point before dawn, my four year old still climbs in my bed. I don't drive a minivan (nor will I ever). And, I don't have a husband.
I think every mother, single or not, struggles with guilt at some point or another. Every time I travel for business, I feel like the worst mother in the world. Every time they eat fast food, I can almost imagine their little insides rotting away. When I microwave food, I think "how about if this is the time the radiation is a little too much?" It bothers me that their dad gets to be "fun Chuck E. Cheese dad" and I have to be "for the 100th time, go upstairs, brush your teeth and get your pajamas on" mom. (What the FLIP is so fun about Chuck E. Cheese anyway? It reeks of sweaty kid feet and old cheese...but I digress.)
Last night, I took my son to one of those snazzy self-serve yogurt joints. He dug some change (and lint balls...and a candy wrapper) out of his little pockets and paid for $.65 of the bill. I told him I was so proud of him for being such a gentleman. He hugged me and said "you are just the most super mommy there ever was and you're the most beautiful mommy in the world". (Tell all your daughters to take a number.) I thought to myself "I must be doing something right."
For a change, I thought of what I had done right recently. I packed his lunch with a little note saying I loved him. I let him buy a Rice Krispies treat. I met him at school for lunch. I bought 20 cans for his school food drive, so his class could win a pizza party (oh yea, and so that hungry people could eat). All three of us had an impromptu dance party...I even did the Running Man (and no, it wasn't pretty). I made Josiah mashed potatoes the way he likes them. I bought E a(nother) fabulous outfit. We did morning devotions. I prayed for them before they walked into school. We prayed before they went to bed. I read them a Christmas story. I listened to my daughter's Christmas wish list for the 104th time. We made silly (ugly) faces and took pictures of ourselves.
I don't say all that to brag because believe me -- for every thing I've done right, I've done about 100 things wrong (see, I can't even accept my own compliments!). I only say it to encourage you to think of the things you are doing right. Push back concerns of everything you can't offer your children, and celebrate what you can.
What makes you supermom (or superdad) in the eyes of your children?