I get complimented on being a great mom–ALL THE TIME> Most everyday. I have people who envy my “parenting approach” or “style” as some say. And I just have to rant a little. I have to give it to myself. YES I do everything in my power to give my daughter a stable life. I want her to always know she is loved and never give her doubt in our bond. This is not something I work at but this is something that comes 1110% naturally.
I hopped on my husband after pulling the plug on birth control and we conceived life. We created a human for out future generations and someone to grow into an awesome addition to society. Its not like I thought “oh hey maybe we can give this whole parenting thing a try and bow out if we don’t like it”. I am all in. ALL the time. I don’t know how you decide to be a parent or decide to have sex and not understand the possibility of having a life created. One that needs loved. Needs nurtured. And one that is going to be exhausting to take care of…just when you think you are done or your flame has burned out it strikes again and you are doing what needs done.
I function sometimes on a robotic level. I don’t think people see that. Sometimes I don’t even think about what I am doing as a parent but rather my body/mind/spirit just does it. For shame. This is where I break down. My “awesome mom status” should really be revealed as “I want with every fiber of my being to sleep.”
My child happens to have some special needs. Like gluten free and dairy free food. Which means, that in turn for the most part guess who else is also gluten and dairy free? Why would it be any other way? Do you know how cumbersome it would be to cook two meals every night? OR how awful it is to try to explain to a not-yet-two year old that I am eating something she can’t? What kind of parent would I be then? Not to mention…how insane it is to cook most meals from scratch. (In my eyes, I wouldn’t be a parent. If you see the definition of parent in my dictionary it is next to self-less–not to be mistaken for not taking care of oneself or a marriage!).
Last night we ventured into making homemade poptart bites for school. They are dairy and gluten free and as cute as could be. It took us about 3 hours to complete and we made a huge mess. Ate too much sugar. But overall we lived in the moment of making a happy thing out of our special need. My daughter is not broken. Having to watch the things you consume does not mean you CAN’T consume those things in different forms. In that. This does not make me an awesome mom. This makes me mom. A mom. No award needed.
I don’t have to be mom and dad. I get to be mom all the time and dad gets to play dad when he wants. I get to be the good cop and the bad cop mom. I nourish my child with love and laughter.
I think where single moms screw up (to be blunt) is taking on the role as mom and dad. Sorry to say it but I married my husband for him to stick around and be my husband and the father of out child(ren), yes, children. I didn’t marry him to leave me so I could take his place? Granted, he has his own issues with parenting but as a general whole–he loves our daughter very much! And I never want to take that away or take his place. I am mom. I can only do mom things. *Is this where people get confused. Am I supposed to fall apart at this point?*
Which brings me to. I am weird. I have incredibly weird hair brained crazy corky ideas. I like to encourage imagination and allow my child to make crazy kid decisions (wihtin reason). Like painting her ENTIRE face with frosting. I mean. Not exactly ideal for easy clean up but you know…she had fun! And she told me she was a cow afterward. She put white frosting on her face so that she could be a cow. Thats funny. Thats cute. Thats using imagination.
I treat my daughter with respect and demand the same in return. We have a lot of fun at home. We do lots of kid friendly things because my life as a parent, yep there’s that word again, is that I have signed up to raise a productive member of society. I get to show her compassion and responsibility as well as the repercussions when we don’t fulfill either of those things. Sometimes at the same time.
Most importantly. I am not looking to be cheered on as a mom. Single. Married. What have you. I mostly get these remarks from people who don’t do “so well” with parenting (oooooh) because they have the “S” word attached to it (selfish). It grinds my gears to no end that it is socially acceptable to tell someone that they are an awesome mom because they are being mom or parent. Selflessly I have laid down my life from the moment I found out I was pregnant to now and well into adulthood. Not because I don’t have needs. Or that I don’t have desires or wants (which are not on hold or hindered by being a parent). But its because I am 11000% always going to do my duty as a parent to put my child first. As I feel everyone should. I feel so much shame for women who feel the need to boast on another for doing things she chooses not to. It’s a freaking choice! When is the last time you looked at your kid, instead of a screen, and told them point blank “I love you” and lit up their face?
Congratulations. Everyday. As. A. Parent. I. Put. My. Kid. First.
AND. Gasp. I. Still. Function. In. My. Needs. As. Rocket. Not. Mom. (no award needed.)