Thursday, May 6, 2010
Real Moms think I suck.
My children deserve better than me. What can I say? They drew the short stick in the great genetic lottery. The celebration of Me on Mother’s Day is a little ironic, and only serves to underscore my lackluster parenting skills. Now that my own mother is gone, I’m perfectly fine with skipping the festivities and moving on to Memorial Day and fun things like grilling burgers and shooting off fireworks. I don’t do well with these undeserved accolades.
I never really questioned my mothering abilities before my children started school. I had nothing to compare myself to other than the moms I saw at Wal-Mart who were filling their babies’ bottles with Pepsi and cleaning dropped pacifiers by sticking them in their own mouth and giving them a lick or two. Heck, I thought I was Mother of the Year. All of that changed once I was thrown into the world of PTO meetings, birthday parties, and school field trips. I became the Redneck Baby Mama. I became the mom on the receiving end of disparaging sideways glances from the Real Moms who deftly prepare chocolate-covered strawberries for their daughter’s tea party while organizing the committee for the school’s annual fall festival. Real Moms think I’m Peg Bundy and Roseanne all rolled up into one. They know a faker when they see one.
Real Moms cook from scratch using fresh ingredients, and do not lean on Betty Crocker and Chef Boyardee for inspiration at meal time. Real Moms can train for a marathon, prepare three dozen cookies for the church bake sale, and finish up the last minute details of the family vacation to Disney World, all while battling a killer migraine and a nasty case of bronchitis. Me? I burn toast and complain a lot. Real Moms manage to taxi their children to soccer games, piano lessons, and dance class, and still find time to have a clean house and attend the Junior Welfare League’s charity event to help feed the children of Haiti. Me? I see a mountain of laundry, shrug my shoulders, call for my husband to take it downstairs, and then look for a comfortable chair.
My already shaky façade of good mothering was unceremoniously demolished once I was allowed to rub shoulders with the Real Moms. They know my cupcakes for the class party came from Harris Teeter. They know we eat some kind of pasta with some kind of red sauce every week because it’s easy. They know I could never survive as the mom of a child on a traveling sports team because it requires personal sacrifice and talking to other human beings. (I’d like to stop right here and thank my wonderful son for preferring to write stories, draw pictures and engage in make-believe play in the backyard over kicking a soccer ball. Big Hug, Sweetie!) Real Moms might speak politely to me, but they will never let me in the loop. Never. Fakers like me are not allowed.
So, here’s to all the Real Moms out there who are making the world an easier place for total slackers like me. Happy Mother’s Day, and don’t worry. This Not-So-Super-Mom will always be in the background making you look good.