Not too long ago there was a BuzzFeed video going around about the different types of moms. You know.. crunchy moms, helicopter moms, hot mess moms, etc. I remember watching it and thinking, “Where do I fit?”
One of the hardest things about motherhood for me has been figuring out what kind of mom I am. I love home births and believe in the benefits of natural birth (GIRL POWER BITCHES, WE WERE BORN FOR THIS SHIT!), but I also hated the birthing process (I’m sure an 11lb baby didn’t help). I’m pro-breastfeeding but I stopped breastfeeding both my kids at 6 months because it was difficult as hell and I selfishly wanted my body back. I rarely watch Cora when she’s running wild in the backyard (I’d make a horrible helicopter mom), but I’ll be damned if my kids don’t have basic manners and can play well with others. We eat a shit ton of fruit but we also can’t live without bacon and mac & cheese. We vaccinate, but we don’t circumcise. I cuss in front of my kids, but we don’t spank. I swore we wouldn’t sleep train and our babies would “sleep when they’re ready” but fuck that, I was exhausted. And guess what? My kids are happy…probably because we’re all sleeping like champs.
(Here’s a picture of a Wookiee in a cage, just because.)
Basically, I have crunchy tendencies but I also know the value of my own sanity. I know my limits. This season of my life I like to call The Season of Pick-Your-Battles.
It wasn’t until recently that I finally stopped reading things and comparing my parenting techniques to others. Every kid is different. Every parent is different. My children are fed, healthy, happy, and they laugh daily. They’re socialized enough to not be weirdos (well, they’re still weirdos, look at their parents) but not so much that we’re never home. I go with my gut more these days and I’ve stopped stressing about what other moms will think.
There is no box I fit in. I just flit around all the boxes like a hummingbird on speed. I. Just. Don’t. Care. Anymore.
(Psst, you shouldn’t either. Do the damn thing, momma.)
It’s funny how motherhood really hits you. Those quiet moments when you think “Wow, I actually did alright today.” They’re few and far between, but they’re there to keep you going. Little reminders that maybe, just maybe, you’re going to make it. Cue pat on the back.
Most days, if I’m being utterly honest, I feel like a sub-par mom. I think I’m a decent “housewife”…our house is usually completely presentable aside from a few stray toys, we’ve never run out of clean laundry, and very rarely is the sink full of dishes…but the mom thing I struggle with. I’m not great at being needed. (This has ruined a lot of relationships with me. ha!) I crave more quiet, alone time than the average human. Throw in two kids under two who essentially need attention at all hours of the day (and sometimes at night too) and I get worn thin really quickly. I wish I had more patience with them.
I had one of these back-patting moments not too long ago while putting up our leftover dinner. Mark had to work late and I had successfully washed and folded three loads of laundry, made a pot roast, vacuumed the whole house, carted both kids to Cora’s dance class, bathed both kids, and tucked them into their beds. Dexter went down easily with a full belly (he drank 14 ounces in the half hour before he fell asleep…true story) and grinned at me as I left his room, and I braided Cora’s hair into sweet little braids before I laid her down and listened to her whisper “Nigh’ nigh’ mommy.”
It’s important to me to pause in these moments and remember it’s fine. Everything is fine. We’re doing alright. Alright alright alright.
I think there are a lot of misconceptions about what makes a marriage work. I don’t believe it’s “just because” flowers, date nights, love notes, and the like. I realized all this the other night when my husband was working late and I had to make my own cape cod.
Yes, we absolutely drink when the kids go to bed. We drink and we eat two bags of popcorn. Maybe I eat s’mores afterward. It’s whatever.
I had never really noticed it but Mark almost always makes our drinks at night. It seems like such a small thing but I’m usually cleaning up the kitchen or picking up toys in the living room, so it’s nice to finish up all of that and have a drink in my hand right away.
I’m not saying my marriage is working because my husband makes me mixed drinks. Let me back up a bit.
Sometimes it’s something like sending me to Target for less than three things, knowing I’ll take my precious time and come home with those three things…plus half a dozen fall candles, some Starbucks, and a toy for each kid. It’s me mentioning how messy our kitchen is, leaving to buy groceries, and coming home to a clean kitchen. It’s knowing my Wingstop order without having to ask.
Essentially, it’s knowing what the heart needs. And sometimes the heart needs Wingstop. Or a cape cod. ❤