I love listicle articles. I love reading them because I feel like they are fun and short reads about topics that are pretty lighthearted and silly. My favorite ones are obviously ones about motherhood now that I am part of that group.
A few months back my mommigo sent me one called “The 7 Friends Every Mom Needs.” I asked her which one she identified as me and she told me a combo “laid-back, same job, & been there, done that” style. It made me laugh and feel impressed with my own skills. As any parent will tell you, we are all just making this up as we go along and hope everything ends up okay.
However, the listicle has stuck with me over the last two months. I find myself examining the type of mother I am vs. the type of mother I expected/hoped I would be. When I first got married and joked about getting pregnant I would tell my girlfriends I was scared of the mother I would become. I didn’t want to become the dreaded “yoga pants only” parent. One of my best friends told me “No, you’ll be the fabulous mom coming to the games in your cute sporty outfits with great shoes and the life of the party.” In my head I bought into that image.
Then reality set in post birth. I consider myself successful if I actually spend the time to straighten my hair…let alone dry it with a blow dryer. I have started to put more effort into wearing make-up at work, mostly to mask the deep circles under my eyes. I try and make sure my clothing is free of wrinkles, but sometimes that doesn’t even happen. And yes, if you’re wondering, I totally wear yoga pants pretty much everywhere when I can get away with it.
But the other thing I have found is freedom. There is a lot my family and in-laws will tell you I fixate on as a first-time mom, but there is oh-so-much that I really can’t be bothered to worry about.
I am the mom that lets my 12 month old feed himself…EVERYTHING.
I am the mom that lets my son play with the toilet paper…I am sure I will regret this choice later on.
I am the mom that doesn’t care if you pull all the pots and pans out and bang them on the floor. Explore. Enjoy – Don’t tell Dad.
I am the mom that lets our house stay a mess because there is no point cleaning during nap time when I know after nap time its just going to be a hurricane again.
I’m the mom that forget the wipies and uses wet paper towels.
I’m the mom that doesn’t care if you pull all the DVD’s out of the case, as long as you’re having fun.
A large part of me figures, you’re only little once. The world is only new to you once. Take it. Explore in it. Make it yours.
I will admit to the other side of me too:
I am the mom that would like to feed my child as much organic, non-GMO products as possible while I eat Doritos. I want you to live a long and healthy life.
I am the mom that won’t let you have sugar, or baked goods, or sweets unless its a very special occasion.
I’m the mom that doesn’t want to give you regular milk full of growth hormones.
I’m the mom that wants you to have a schedule and stick to it – this way you stay structured and I stay sane.
I’m the parent that worries that you’re going to fall off every surface and break your head open.
I’m the parent who is worried you’ll be like me and be allergic to everything.
At first when I realized all these things about myself as a parent, I felt ashamed. I wondered if I had given up on the effort before I even had a second child, but I realize, this is who I am. Yes, I fixate and worry about crazy things. Things that are so far out of my control its funny I try to control them. But when it comes to my child, he deserves the chance to make this life his own….within reason. The little temper tantrums can go.
I also wouldn’t change myself. I like the mom I am. The mom I am is the mom I need to be for E. I don’t really care what other’s may say. It’s working for us.