Motherhood as a competitive sport

I started thinking about being a Mom this morning while spending quality time with my Mother. It’s time we rarely get and time we both cherish. She is my best friend and our conversations are honest, provoking and always make me come away feeling better.

Which led me to think about motherhood today. My friend Mel unknowingly kick started it yesterday when we were discussing Halloween. I told her that I love making things like “slime soup, witches hair, and hot dog mummies”. She said “wow. you’re…like…a real mom. i just dress my children up as zombies and shit.”

So much from such was said with such a simple comment. As mothers we are force-fed by the media that we have to be perfect. Feed our children an all organic, whole-foods diet; put them to bed at the same time every night; volunteer for every PTA function humanly possible; all along making the rest of us feel like crap with their perfect coiffure and made-up face.

When did it become such a competition? Who are we to make it a competition amongst each other? As mothers, in the bonds of sisterhood, aren’t we supposed to support each other? Not make each other feel like crap about our supposed imperfections. There are so many days I feel this way. When Peanut was in preschool we had “Super Mom”. She was immaculately turned out every morning. Her birthday parties were the stuff legends were made of. Her “holiday treats”, well I still quiver in fear of those and the time they took to prepare.I will be quite honest. My son’s baby book hasn’t been filled out. There are notes everywhere with stuff on it. But in the book? Forget it. Immaculate house? No. It’s clean, but there are things I hate doing, so I leave it until I can’t stand it. Like windows, clearing off my end table, stacks of books sitting around, and baseboards that might be suffocating. I forget cards for holidays and have lied about the tooth fairy being out of cash (due to us being on vacation), because I simply forgot.

Does it make me a bad Mom? Does it make Mel a bad mom? No, it makes us human.

So Mel, here’s to us. You dress up the kids as zombies and I’ll throw some food together. Then, we will let them play video games while we sit down, eat and chat, knowing the are doing okay on their own. After all, it’s not about us competing with the “perfect moms”, it’s about us keeping our sanity. Let’s leave it to the others and we will actually enjoy their childhoods.

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