Friday, November 6, 2009

Bad Mommy

Today's flavor - apple pie - completely from scratch, made by a really good mom.

I am a great mom. Yup. I said it...Well, maybe not great in the traditional sense. Actually, in the traditional sense I'm probably what many might call a bad mommy. My kids are not familiar with anything that qualifies as a vegetable. I have been known to serve Cheerios for dinner (those are nutritious, right?) and Nillas for breakfast.
My 2 older kids are already highly skilled at shopping for clothes that never need to be ironed. I let them watch TV any time I want to keep them out of my hair. I get a babysitter while I'm home and hide in my studio - where I sometimes just sit quietly. Breathing. I buy peppermint patties and peanut butter cups for them...but I hold on to them for safe-keeping and bribery. I offer them cash to let me sleep 10 extra minutes. I feel guilty about not cooking so I have created special dinner nights - Mac n cheese Monday; Tuna fish Tuesday; Whatever Wednesday; Take-out Thursday; Fast Food Friday; Spaghetti Saturday; Soup Sunday (yeah, it's out of a can, but they can choose double noodle or
chicken and stars!). When I get upset I drop all the naughty word bombs and then I yell "that's a grown-up word - don't repeat it." I do the laundry, but don't put it away for several days because every time I'm about to start folding, something more important - like the arrival of my Entertainment Weekly - takes priority.
This is not at all how I imagined my residence in the motherhood. Here's what I envisioned: I'd love things like mommy-and-me classes; I'd limit TV to 1 hour of PBS per day; I'd teach them to love organic foods and crave veggies; I would have a gorgeous scrapbook for each year of each kid's blissful life; I'd increase my workouts to take off the baby weight and keep it off (if my youngest is 4, can I still call the extra 40 lbs "baby weight"?); I'd bake from scratch and have 3 balanced meals on the table every day.
Cut to 10 years and 3 kids later, and all of this reality is making me wonder what constitutes good mothering. I adore my kids. But they exhaust me and make me act like a crazy person. I want to spend every waking minute with them. But they exhaust me and make me act like a crazy person. I want to cook healthy meals and do loads of educational activities - feed their bodies and their minds. But they exhaust me and make me act like a crazy person.
Turns out I'm not living the motherhood dream. Or, as I now see it, "the motherhood delusion." But my kids are terrible, spoiled little monsters, who laugh all the time, get straight A's and are rarely sick...So, if they are the result of bad mothering, color me bad, baby.

sticky post: Hello, wonderful visitors!

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