Okay, I will admit it. I am not what some would call a “normal” mother. Whew! It feels good to get that out. I am not exactly sure what it means to be a normal mother, but I do know that I do not have the patience of June Cleaver or the togetherness of Claire Huxtable. My house is not spotless like my Aunt Jewell’s and at any given time you may get up from my sofa to find a Fruit Loop stuck to the leg back of your leg. I do not have witty comebacks and moral monologues on standby for just the right moment.
Sometimes I don’t know what to say when my son asks me a particularly difficult question with no easy answers, so I change the subject or turn on the radio or apologize once again for his father’s perpetual absence. Lean in close when you read this … sometimes, I really don’t know what the hell I’m doing!
Though I would love it if it were this way, I cannot juggle child-rearing and the other demands on me personally and professional with ease. It is not easy. It takes planning and organizing and several babysitter back-ups for the times when I travel or have to work late and despite hauling ass to after school care, I will not make it by six o’clock. It is normal I think to feel inadequate at times. Everyone has standards of what the perfect mother should be and to some degree, we all fall short and feel guilty that some thing, somewhere is not getting done right or on time.
My finicky son has recently decided that he doesn’t like breakfast food of any kind really, except for Fruit Loops—dry. I freak out about the lack of nutritional fortitude in such a breakfast so I feed him what he will eat: chicken patty sandwiches, chicken fingers, and tater tots (which is kind of like a hash brown, right?), and once even a hot dog. I know it’s appalling, but a full stomach before school is all I’m after and if it takes something unconventional, then so be it.
Don’t get me wrong, I have my sticklers: clothes have to be clean and pressed, schoolwork must be neat, adults are to be respected (Mr. Jack or Ms. Kelly), and we’re working on proper table manners. Try as I might, I am not as organized as I’d like to be and I can’t always serve on a PTA committee. But I do the best I can and right now, I suppose that’s all I can do.
What about you? What things that fall by the wayside do you sometimes feel guilty about, or for that matter able to keep together just fine? In what ways are you an unconventional mom? Please leave a comment.