Not Your Typical Mom
I’m not exactly your typical mom. Of course, I’m not completely sure what that even means, but if sitcoms, social media, and the moms at the school pick-up line are any indication, I’m a bit different.
I don’t do play dates. So not happening. It’s only in the past year I started letting Aidan’s friends come over during daylight hours for something other than a sleepover. Why? Because they only need me to throw juice boxes and crackers at them – or better yet, order a pizza and stand back while they devour it. Otherwise, I can leave them alone to watch TV or play on a tablet – or whatever it is little boys do when they get together. Not sure what it is, but it’s usually loud.
I’m not planning the big elaborate birthday party. Call me a cranky-pants, but the small quiet family gatherings were good enough for me growing up, and they’re fine for my boys. I’m not renting space in a skating rink, Chuck E. Cheese, or wherever else birthday parties are held.
I’m not sending my kids to birthday parties. Okay, if someone is their absolute best friend, then they can go. But so far, that hasn’t happened. I can barely afford to keep my kids clothed, fed, and filled with Google play cards. Buying a random child a birthday present isn’t going to happen any time soon.
I’m not doing the soccer/football/baseball mom thing. My boys aren’t interested in sports, and I thank the universe every day for that. If they were truly interested, I’d find a way to sign them up. (That crap is expensive, y’all. I don’t know how some of you do it.) But even then, I won’t be carting kids around, ordering trophies, or slicing oranges. On the other hand, I will hoot and holler whenever my child is up at bat, kicks a ball, or runs in the right direction. But, like I said, praise Jesus in heaven above (among other deities), they aren’t interested.
I’m not carrying their backpack for them when they’re capable of doing it themselves. What are we doing, y’all? I see you in the pick up line at school and walking through the parking lot. You’re carrying your fifth grader’s backpack. Why??
I caught myself being the family pack mule a few years ago, soon after the split with their father. They used to scamper out of the car without a care in the world, and I carried backpacks, lunch boxes, blankets, my purse, groceries, and cups, so many cups. Hell no. I stopped that shit quick. Now, we all carry our fair share.
I’m not fighting over food. Both boys have to try a food at least once before they claim not to like it. But after that, I’m not fighting. Oh, don’t be mistaken, I’m not cooking separate meals, either. This ain’t a Waffle House, and I ain’t a short order cook.
I don’t make stuff, paint or color, play in the rain, or run around the playground. It’s just not happening. The birthday cake is store bought. The crayons are in a box waiting for them to help themselves. By the time we get to the park, I’m tired. And no one is tracking mud in on the floor that I finally got juice, Cheez-Its, and dried milk off of, so that rain thing is so out.
I’m not compromising on bedtime during the school year. Both boys are in bed by 8pm unless it’s the weekend or a special occasion or weird shit happened and we got home late. Their bedtime is sacred. Why? Because tired children are cranky children, and I’m not puttin’ up with crankiness if I don’t have to.
I probably sound like a real fun gal, huh? Never be mistaken – I love my children with all the fierceness I possess. I will kill and die for them.
Okay, so here’s what I will do.
- I will fight like the Mama Bear I am if someone messes with one of my babies.
- I will help them navigate the perils of bullies and teachers who aren’t paying close enough attention.
- I will let them face the consequences of their actions – in school and in life. But let some authority figure (teacher, coach, whatever) take it too far, and that whole Mama Bear thing gets real – and quick.
- I will let them watch YouTube, play Minecraft, and watch tons of TV. If they’ve been away from home all day, they deserve to unwind from their daily stressors as much as I do. Pardon me, I’ve got a Diamond Dash game to play on my phone.
- I will go through the drive-thru of McDonald’s for the crappy hamburger and fries. I will let them drink sodas and eat ice cream. I think dessert is as important as dinner (but only if they eat their dinner).
- We will read together any time they want to, and I will take them to the library as often as possible.
- I’m showing up for all awards assemblies, Honor Roll ceremonies, and anything else that celebrates their genuine, actual, real-life achievements. And I’m definitely hooting and hollering when I hear their name.
Every once in a while Mom Guilt creeps in over what I could be doing but don’t but it never sticks around for long. I have happy, healthy boys who know how to say “Thank you” and “Yes, ma’am/Sir.” Clearly something is working.
I’m not the most sentimental person in the world, but even I cry when I think about my babies growing up. Yep, I totally cried the night Sean “graduated” from pre-school. Sobbed…like a baby. But when I feel sad and want another, I hear someone fart and then giggle or remember sleepless nights and runny poop, and I think, “Nope, I’m good.”
I don’t know what a “typical” mom looks like, and I really don’t care. No matter how we parent our children, only one thing really matters – healthy, happy children who aren’t completely self-absorbed.