The Ideal Mother

This weekend, my sweet cousin Mariah paid me the nicest complement I've ever been given. She told me that in her eyes, I was...

The Ideal Mother

Wow... that just knocks the wind right out of you, doesn't it?  Those are some hefty shoes to fill!

Let me start by saying that Mariah is only 18.  And what little she sees of me, she always sees in rose tinted glasses.  Being 10 years older than her, I've always been the "older and wiser cousin" who she's turned to for advice and has looked up to.  And over the years, we have formed a pretty bad-ass relationship... she knows she can tell me anything with no judgement, just love.

So Mariah labeled me as The Ideal Mother, and I had to laugh out loud... I am SO far from being ideal.  She said she was impressed with how kind, fun loving, sweet and smart my boys are.  Yes, they are (and I do toot my horn for that), but she doesn't see the other 99%.

Being a GOOD mother is so ridiculously hard.  Equally the BEST and HARDEST thing any of us will EVER do.  But being an IDEAL mother is actually an impossibility.

Is it ideal to think that you can calm your newborn down if you just put him in the freezer for 10 minutes? (I didn't DO it, I just THOUGHT about it, calm down).  Is it ideal to roll your eyes when your newborn is crying again?  Is it ideal to think that maybe having #2 so soon was a mistake?  Is it ideal to tell your toddler to "dry it up" or "suck it up"?  Is it ideal to scream "SIT YOUR ASS DOWN!" when it's taking 10 minutes to get in the car?  Is it ideal to sometimes want to go bonkers on them when you've had it up to here?!  Guys, I know this is gritty and ugly, but it's real, and it certainly ISN'T "ideal".

Wouldn't I love to be the picture perfect mom?  Freshly manicured and prim... wearing a flowing dress and apron with maybe a smug of flour on my forehead.  My children all sweet and polite, "yes please, no thank-you".  And when things get heated, instead of losing my dang mind, just telling them to "settle down now" or "go play quietly in the corner", and they listen?

This seems like Bizarro world to me.  This is not MY life... and I'm pretty sure it isn't any of YOUR lives either!

So I can't aim to be The Ideal Mother... I can't and I wont even try.  I'll never measure up to "ideal".  I'll never be patient enough.  I'll never be prepared enough.  I'll never cook well enough.  I'll never be dressed well enough.  I'll never be cool enough, or strict enough, or green enough, or liberal enough or enough of whatever the latest mom-fad is.  So why worry about it.

For MY kids, I'm the BEST mom they could possibly ask for.
But just in case, they don't have a choice anyway!


Shawna said...

haha...the weather is nice here right now and our windows are open. The other day when Raya was tantruming for the millionth time and I was screaming "go to your room NOW!" I was thinking about how the neighbors must think I'm a horrible mom! lol.

S said...

I think that just in being a good mom, you become the ideal mother for you children and that shines through. From what I can tell, you're a rockin mama!