Monday, September 21, 2009
To Be That Mom
What do I mean by "that mom?" The kind of mom who wraps herself into her kids' activities, grades, achievements, problems, and lives. The kind of mom that has no life outside of that of her kids. She prides herself on being the perfect Scout Mom, Sunday School Teacher, Homeschool Teacher, Soccer Mom, Football Mom, or "blah, blah, blah" mom. Don't get me wrong, I think it's very important to be present and a full participant in our kids' lives. However, it concerns me when moms go overboard. I steer clear of moms who only identify themselves as mom. Why? Because it's ugly! It gets very ugly!
Moms who don't have another identity outside of mom can become territorial, competitive, overbearing, boring, judgmental, and a downright pain to be around. Think about it. As "MOM" we have to make sure mouths are wiped, lessons are learned, personalities are cultivated, chores are done, projects are finished, appointments are made, appointments are kept, meals are nutritious, etc., etc., etc. As "MOM" most of the characteristics mentioned above are important. We have to be a little territorial because we have to protect our children from harm. We have to be able to use our judgement and competitive skills (hopefully only with ourselves) to show children how to present their best selves and best work. Let's face it, we have to be a little conservative in front of the children too, and that may come across as boring. Finally, just because we repeat ourselves fifty million times a day, we must also be a bit overbearing to keep our own sanity.
However, we have to know when to check ourselves. If we don't we will eventually become an overbearing, selfish, competitive mother-in-law or an angry old lady. Checking ourselves means, not showing jealousy and resentment if another child presents better work than your child. Checking ourselves means, not chasing down other moms who come too close to "infringing" upon "your birthday party plans," "your scout dance," "your spelling bee," "your play date day" or "your idea for Valentine's decorations." Checking ourselves means, keeping ourselves looking sexy, alluring, and beautiful even if it is with a pair of jeans and a tee-shirt . Yes! it can be done. Just thrown on some cute earrings, a little lip gloss, and a bracelet (and maybe mascara). Checking ourselves also means, not becoming a part of the "Mom Mafia" who sits at rehearsals, practices, birthday parties, and other events side-eyeing other women while bragging about making chili in the crockpot and complaining about out husband's dirty underwear. If you are going to sit with the Mafia, bring some enlightening conversation, not the same old boring mom fodder.
We've got to remember that being mom is just one of our duties. We are still the same woman we were before nursing, changing, soccer, swimming, homework, cooking, laundry, and play dates. We still need time alone. We still need to do our activities. We still need our personal meditation time. We still need a glass of wine. We still need to make love. We are still women. We are not just moms.
Sooo....the next time we decide to come out of the house unkempt, or the next time we decide to fly off an email or pick up the phone to reprimand another grown woman over some kid business, or the next time we think about verbally attacking someone else's child, we should think about checking ourselves. We should remember that "MOM" is only one aspect of who we are, and we don't need to go around mothering everyone in every situation.