I love reading about parenting. I love reading threads in Facebook groups (#NWMG all the way, baby!) and blog posts by moms and articles about the latest research on childhood eating or sleep or development issues.
I love reading about and seeing the amazing, inspiring things people are doing with their kids. I love hearing about fellow moms’ successes and reading about their struggles. I love feeling like part of the larger community that is motherhood, especially right here in New West.
What I find I miss, though, are posts about the day-to-day stupid stuff that makes up mothering – and especially, all the flaws and foibles that we have as mothers. Because we all have them, and it’s totally normal to have them, and it’s totally OK to have them. In fact, it’s more than OK to be flawed. It’s awesome – because it’s what makes us human, and our flaws and foibles are part of what makes each and every one of us a unique and loveable individual.
So here, fellow mamas, are my true confessions about the day-to-day survival techniques in my household that probably aren’t going to win me any Mother of the Year awards anytime soon.
In no particular order …
My house is in a constant state of disarray (that’s a polite word for “chaos”).
My three-year-old eats way too many chicken nuggets.
I have been known to lie and tell her she’s eating chicken when it’s really fish, just so she’ll eat it.
I reward her with Smarties (a.k.a. “potty treats”) for sitting on the potty.
She has watched the Curious George Halloween special video about 79 times.
She still uses a soother.
She’s quite capable of going potty, but she’s not totally potty trained.
I still breastfeed her in the night if she calls for “mama milk.”
I have been known to turn off the monitor after I put her in bed so I don’t have to listen to her yapping herself to sleep while I watch Master Chef.
When she sneezes or sniffles, my first thought is almost always the self-centred “Oh no, she can’t get sick, I have to work tomorrow” – as opposed to, say, the far more sympathetic “Poor bub, I hope she’s feeling OK.”
If she doesn’t feel like wearing clothes in the yard, I let her run around naked.
I let her choose the colour of her own fork, cup and plate. (And, yes, I have been known to let her change her mind after she decides if I think it’ll make my life easier in that moment.)
She sometimes eats blueberries for supper. I don’t fight about it. I put all the food in front of her and if she chooses to eat only blueberries, I ain’t gonna go to war over it.
I let her climb up the slide. I don’t always make her share her toys with other kids. I allow her to sometimes be selfish. She’s three. She’ll get over it.
These are my mothering truths.
But you know what else are my mothering truths?
I will read Curious George Flies a Kite seven times in a row if that’s what my daughter wants to do.
I will set down my iPhone and log off Facebook to do the Bright Stanley jigsaw puzzle any moment of the day.
I will race to the gate with her to watch the fire trucks go by if we hear a siren while we’re playing in the back yard.
I will spin in circles till I fall down because we’re being ballerinas today. Or jump around the yard because we’re bunnies, or frogs, or kangaroos.
I will help her roar back at monsters that may be lurking in the house.
I will do just about anything, anytime, anywhere if it keeps my daughter safe, helps her stay healthy and makes her happy.
Which I figure pretty much does make me Mother of the Year – if only to one child, in one house, at one moment of one day.
So, fellow Mothers of the Year, what are your true confessions? What flaws will you admit to? What survival tactics do you have that help you get through the day? What are your mama fails? What are your mama wins?
'Fess up and share. It’s past time we celebrate ourselves for the flawed and fantastic human beings we are.
After all, we’re all in this mothering thing together.