JUST MOM ENOUGH

I crafted these 21 points for my post on Mother’s Day.  It was way before Time Magazine decided to pit moms agains each other in a super sized mom-one-upmanship party called, I’m a better Mom than you, like we needed any encouragement.

But, then I decided not to share them.

I felt like extolling my own incredible mothering skills even though a bit like tooting my own horn, which generally I advocate, was probably going a bit too far.

Anyways, after the photo-that-will-ruin-a-future-teenager’s-mental-health-and-any-chance-at-popularity-or-even-not-being-bullied, I felt compelled to share these reasons why I think I’m JUST ENOUGH OF A MOM, (just like my friend Sharon did). .

Also, and just so we’re clear, even though I like attention, I would never hang a kid off my automatic milk machine on the cover of a magazine. Mostly because  magazines don’t come with magnifying glasses, and my 32As probably wouldn’t have had the desired effect.  Anyways, on with it…

  1. I let my infants sleep in my bed with me, but that was so I could sleep and they could treat my boob like a self-service cafeteria and not out of any intense need to ‘never let them go’.  I let my toddlers crawl into bed with me out of the purely selfish reasons that I loved sleeping with them, and still would let them cuddle all night, but even a King size bed isn’t big enough for 2 adults, 2 grown kids, one almost grown one and two dogs.
  2. I drove carpool for many years and not only did I never lose or forget a child, I was never late, nor did I forget which day was mine to drive.
  3. I have never broken a child–my own or somebody else’s.  My children have never broken another child, even though they have broken themselves repeatedly.
  4. When ignoring my children so that I could read or generally just laze about, I made sure they were well-occupied with a good television show, snacks at the ready. Sometimes I played games with them, but when it got boring, I let them win so I could go do something else.
  5. When my kids had playdates, I eagle-eye watched them…be kids and colour each other into Power Rangers with Sharpies, paint the walls, build stink bombs, wrestle till they bled, and bedazzle anything within arm’s reach.
  6. At Halloween time, I hunted for just the right pieces to create the ultimate costumes. After all, you only have one opportunity in your life to dress up as Avril Lavigne, J-Z the Jew Gangsta, or an uber-cool Vampire/assassin/cool guy in a pleather coat.
  7. I never once ever said no to a book.  I did, however, say no to lots of other things. And meant it.
  8. When asked for the answers to homework, I sent them to Mr. Google so they could learn to be independent.
  9. When they asked me to go on school field trips, I went. Even when the trip was on the busiest day ever at the Science Centre.
  10. I endorsed the occasional Wednesday-itis. Everyone needs a break once in a while.
  11.  I cooked home-made nutritious meals supplemented with chicken fingers, a world-famous cupboard full of junk, and the occasional drive-thru.  I believe that no school lunchbox is complete without a treat-as long as you eat the apple too.
  12. I signed my kids up for lessons and even remembered to take them most of the time. I let them stop going when they didn’t like their lessons, because I wasn’t about to waste good coffee money and my breathe harassing them to go to optional activities.
  13. I praised my kids for their accomplishments, and bought them gifts for jobs well done.  But, I was on top of them when they didn’t do their best and gave no prizes for mediocrity.  I told them, ‘Be your best self’.
  14. I didn’t (and don’t) nag them to clean their rooms.  That’s what doors are for. Everyone needs their space.  I do, however, nag them about lots of other things such as RSVPing, keeping in touch when out at night, education, and eating broccoli.
  15. I gave them lots of leash and made sure they got all tangled up in it. I gave them the freedom to learn from their mistakes, ever present in the background.
  16. I trust. I also stalk. It’s a fine balance.
  17. I taught them to be kind to animals and everyone.
  18. I created a falsehood free environment, where the truth would set you free, but a lie would get you in big doody.
  19. I kiss and hug. All the time. Public or no public. There’s never an inappropriate time for affection.
  20. I use words like ‘I Love You’ and ‘You are Special.’
  21. I am there. All the time. When they need me.  No matter what.  Like a Tiger Mom. Only not the browbeating kind.

I’m Just enough.  Mother enough.



Comments

  1. your list of the 21 points could be mine exactly!!

  2. I listed my link above because for me, it was enough just to be able to BE a mom. All the judgment and criticism about how to do it right, assumes that you can be blessed enough to do it at all.

    And Mara, you are so much more than just enough.

  3. I’m the Momma Bear who will fiercely protected my kid from those who tried to break him over the years and who didn’t understand his disability. (I still do, although he’s bigger than me and better able to protect himself now)

    I encouraged his talents, even if it meant spending hours sitting bored at a stream while he panned for gold, dropping a pile of money on chemistry equipment, or taking him all the way to New Mexico so he could go caving at Carlsbad Caverns. Also, usually nodding with a blank stare while he jabbered on about some computer thing that is FAR beyond my comprehension.

    I made him responsible by refusing to replace the iPod he lost after 2 months, and instead telling him the next one he had to pay for. Even though I was desperately tempted to just buy another.

    Most of all, I’m just myself. I’m used to criticism and judgment because my kid ISN’T the norm, and you know what? I don’t care what other people think. How I raise my kid is none of their business-just like how they raise theirs is none of mine. Period.

  4. Love your list. The only time I forgot my kid at school was when I was pregnant and so tired that I didn’t wake up to the alarm clock after a long, morning nap. I figured it was a good enough excuse. Believe me, she isn’t scarred for life.

  5. Numbers 15 and 16. Big time. Love this, Mara!

  6. Great list. I wholeheartedly agree with each item. Go, momma, go!

    I would just add listening, from the time they could talk. Really listening to what is on their minds and recognizing that sometimes they need to vent, too. If you listen to the little things going on in their lives, you are more likely to be someone they tell the big things to first.

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