A Realist Mom

8 Jun

Sometimes, I’ll be somewhere with the kids – like Target or the park for a soccer game – and there will be a kid having a complete and total meltdown. More often than not, the parent trying to contend with it is Mom. At those moments I always remind my kids, “It’s not easy being the mommy.” Because it isn’t. The reality of motherhood is that, taken as a whole, it’s nearly equal parts joy and exasperation. That’s the long view. On a day-to-day level, it can be more one than the other. And almost always mixed together.

Motherhood – parenting – it’s hard. And there can be some incredibly high expectations out there. We need to be able to convincingly wield a glue gun, craft, sew (a little), cook, bake and look good doing it. We are the chief domestic officers, fundraisers, cheerleaders and volunteers. There is an expectation that we will present a side of us to the world that has it all together: lunches packed, notes signed, hair done and kids achieving.

I think that’s crap. It’s not possible. Anybody who tells you that it is, is lying. Or has live-in help. Or both.

We need to be realistic about our expectations of ourselves and other moms. Some days, I forget to pack lunches and my kids eat the dreaded cafeteria food. Every once in a while, I have to run to school in my pajamas to drop off the forgotten homework or note or sneakers. Sometimes, we eat pizza. I screw up. Often.

And that is okay. That, my friends, is life.

I think of myself as a reformed perfectionist. For some people, perfectionism is a force that drives them to excel. For me, it was paralyzing. I could never start – because I was too afraid of failure. I am letting that go. Life is about making mistakes and – most importantly – learning from them. I won’t let the fear of failure – of an ugly quilt, or an inedible cake, for example – keep me from trying. From getting back up and accepting the reality of life:

Motherhood, hell, isn’t about being perfect, it’s about being real. And loving it. 

That is what this blog is all about – celebrating the day to day of life – the little things that make it special, the always trying, the always getting back up. I won’t sugar coat things. I’ll try and help you get to where you want to go, while I’m trying to get there myself.

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3 Responses to “A Realist Mom”

  1. Nicole Rivera June 8, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    As this is my first visit here to your blog, this was a wonderful introduction. I am not a mom, but I seeing the Super-mom syndrome all over and it breaks my heart when people think that is what they need to be. I imagine it must drive them mad.

    It’s funny, in my career as a teacher I fully understood to go forth and just be real, make mistakes and learn from them. It was amazing and I thrived in the experience. However, when I got married and had to take on more at-home responsibilities (and now even more now that I am home from work) I started to gt that paralyzed feeling you were talking about. I looked back at teaching as something I did perfectly and FEARED moving forward in real life because I KNEW I couldn’t be as perfect. Well, the joke is I forgot how I operated then – by the seat of my pants, learning as I go!

    I finally realized and wrote this post as a reminder to myself: http://riverarunsthroughit.blogspot.com/2011/06/cue-rocky-music.html
    It is awesome to see it is not just a crazy whim, but, instead, a normal way of life for so many of us!!

    All the Best,
    Nicole 🙂

    btw, I love your pictures!

  2. Rose Marie B June 8, 2011 at 11:58 pm #

    Hi Beth,

    My first visit here and I loved your post! I love your ‘About’ section too! I am a (dotdotdot) type of writer.

    Looking foward to reading your blog and tweets and learning blog stuff with ya! Oh yeah, I’m one of those irritating exclamation point people too. I’m trying to tone it down, I swear.

    Have a great Thursday,
    Rose
    @OKRoserock

    • Beth - Realist Mom June 9, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

      Hi Rose – Thanks so much for your comments, I really appreciate them. I really enjoyed reading some of your blog entries so far – I was cracking up about the hair clip!
      See you on twitter!

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