Imperfect Mothering: You’re Doing It Right

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Recently, there seem to be two groups of folks who are prevelant in my life. The first are the ignorant folks who accuse me of neglecting my kids, using my kids to “get things”, being a selfish woman, etc…. The other group though, is just as ignorant. They assume I am this strange breed of SuperMom who sings cheerily all day like Mary Friggin Poppins while my house sparkles and my children behave like perfectly trained robots.
The problem with both of these assumptions is neither is true. Not even close.
But here’s the catch. If a mom admits she has a rough day, that maybe she yelled full volume at her children or cussed or let her house work go to hell…she might get branded a bad mom. But if a mom says anything even slightly braggy they are automatically assumed to be full of shit or just being judgy to all teh REAL moms out there. Oh, you coooked a huge breakfast complete with fresh squeezed orange juice and I just threw a pop tart at my kid? Well, eff you.
Fact is, we all are rocking this mom gig. Who gives a crap how we get it done?
So, here’s what this blog is all about. The first half is gonna be the stuff I’m proud of. The stuff I do that takes WORK, damnit. So why should I lie about it or make it like its no big deal for fear of offending another mom who doesnt do that stuff? So frickin WHAT? there is plenty of stuff I admire about other moms I know that I cannot do. I have a right to be proud of my skills. Without apology.
The second half of this blog is gonna be all the confession crap. The stuff I’m not proud of. But it is all just as much a part of me and who I am as a parent and as a human.
And a special big ol eff you to the handful of judgy parents who have private messaged me with all your bullshit. I know your stories. I know how you have less kids than me and a huge support system and baby daddies who take your kids on the weekends` or husbands who make loads of money so you can go out to eat and pay a sitter twice a week. Good for you. But unless you are a fly on the wall in my home and know what my life is actually like without the help of weekend dads or bigger budgets or a bunch of family nearby to help….Well, shove it. You can pretend to be a better mom or dad than me all day long. But if you’re wasting your time threatening to mess up MY life, well, your kids are clearly being neglected while your focus is on someone elses children.
Ok. Some of the stuff I rock at: (and I encourage all the moms out there to be a little more open and honest about all the badass stuff they do for their kids. You all deserve those bragging rights!)
1) I cook almost all of our meals from scratch. healthy meals. No preservatives or artificial colors. Even the burger buns for last nights hamburgers were from scratch. they took 2 hours to rise. The satisfaction I get from watching my kids enjoy a nourishing healthy meal that I worked so hard at is worth it.
2) I make all of my own cleaning products. I hate using chemicals and feel it is is safer for my kids to make my own.
3) I read aloud to my sons almost every night. Chapter books. Even the baby sits quietly and listens. This is because it is a habit I instilled from birth.
4) I don’t hit my kids. I give them the same respect I want for myself. I don’t even hit my DOGS, why would I hit my children?
5) I spend time playing with my kids every day. Whether its going on a walk or hike or coloring or making cookies, I try to do soemthing fun and relaxing as a family every day. Because thats what memories are made of.
6) My kids do chores and are pretty damn respectful for the most part. They know how to do laundry, clean a bathroom, do dishes, cook basic meals, change a cloth diaper, etc.. And when I need to discipline them for whatever reason, they usually respect it. Like recently, I had a friend over and one of my sons got too rough and hit his brother. I didnt spank or scream at him. i just calmly said “Go sit in time out.” and he went and sat and my friend said “They listen to you.” Like the concept of 6 boys listening to their mom was unheard of. But they DO.
7) I have OCD. this serves me well with this many kids. I have a “place for everything”. Shoes are lined up neatly in the closet. The fridge is organized by category. The bathroom cabinet is organized into individual baskets for each family member. Pantry shelves are organized. Rooms get deep cleaned once a week. We run a pretty tight ship here at Casa La Snarky. 😉
8) I make my kids homemade gifts for Christmas and birthdays. I cut their hair at home. I make my own curtains. I painted the walls in this house myself. I pick apples off the apple tree or wild strawberries from our yard and bake apple pie or make homemade applesauce or hoemmade jam.

Okay. Reality check. The other side of who I am as a mom. And this part comes with a THANK YOU to a dear friend of mine who recently confessed to me how her past and the darker sides of her sometimes interfere with who she wants to be as a mom every day. Which made me realize we ALL as parents have that side. we all struggle and fall short. Every damn day. Because we buy into that BS about the “perfect mom”.
1) I yell. I wish i didn’t. I want to be one of those uber patient calm zen moms who never yells. But I can’t. I keep striving towards zen in my soul. But the fact is, I also happen to live with 6 boys. Sometimes I get stressed or really pist. Sometimes I won’t be heard over the din without hollering.While we are on the topic, I also throw things (not AT my children. But I’ll grab something and whip that sucker at a wall. Its rare. But it happens. I also slam doors. Ive been doing THAT since I was a kid. (Ask my mom) Ive always had a bit of a temper. Its the Portuguese in me. 😉 But I don’t hit my kids or verbally abuse them. I just get loud sometimes, and throw my own shit at walls and slam a door now and then because I can and want to and its an adult temper tantrum and if you never get mad and act like a bit of an asshole then you are super duper full of crap.
2) I hate housework. I love organizing stuff. But cleaning…ugh. especially in a house full of gross boys. Its the gross factor mixed with the monotony. I do at least 3 loads of laundry a day. I wash dishes 3 times a day. I clean the bathroom twice a day. I effing hate it all. It sucks. I have better ways to spend my time. Its boring and gross and it all around. But i take pride in my home so I do it. But I still hate it. With a passion.
3) Sometimes my kids bore me. They want to play with legos or talk about video games and I can just feel my brain shutting off. Sometimes I am all about playing and chatting with them. Other times they run around outside and they are yelling “Mommy, come do this with me!” And I sit my ass on the deck reading a book and I lie and tell them my foot hurts or some BS because I dont WANT to help them build a fort or dig in the dirt or drag a wagon around the yard for an hour. I do PLENTY of stuff with them. Im not going to feel bad because sometimes I want to be TONIA and not MOMMY.
4) Sometimes I see my kidless friends on FaceBook talking about the restaurant their hubby took them out to that weekend or the vacation they are going on and I am jealous. And I let my mind wander a minute to what life would have been like if I had taken a different route. If maybe instead I became a singer and moved to NYC. I would have an apartment decorated with beautiful fragile things and I would sleep in sheets scented with flowery spray and awake no earlier than 10 a.m. and go out to nice restaurants and go on cruises. And a part of me longs for that. The peace and quiet. the spotless apartment that doesnt smell like boys. (You parents of boys know what I mean.) I love my boys. I would kill a person with my bare hands without pause if they harmed my children. But sometimes I sort of miss the girl I was at 20 before I had kids, and all the dreams that girl had. I miss who I used to be, who I could have been.
5) Sometimes I get busy or lazy and I dont WANT to prepare this major meal. So I don’t. A few days ago my kids had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for breakfast. I made the bread the night before just so I wouldnt have to make breakfast. My 8 year old made the sandwiches and my 10 year old brought me a cup of coffee and I sat on my butt and relaxed. Because I’m pregnant and a single mom of 6 kids and just eff it sometimes. That’s why.

So, there ya go. Reality. Because there is NO SUCH THING as a perfect mom. Chances are, if someone is getting all judgy on you, they have more than enough of their own stuff to deal with and probably shouldnt have their nose buried so far into YOUR life.
Just sayin’.

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