It is very easy to project being an extraordinary mother, a good mother, a great mother and an even so-so mother. It is also very easy to show off Mother’s Day gifts and pose for pretty pictures with your kids. It’s even easier to hit the send button and post all those great images caught while you’re being a “mom”.
As a single mother to my oldest daughter for the last 15 years, I have learned to cherish every minute with my children. I’ve learned to give up getting a manicure so I can take my daughter out for ice cream. I’ve given up getting a new coat so I can get my daughter that American Girl doll she’s been wanting. I have found comfort in forgetting about R-Rated movies and embracing G-Rated movies. I’ve traded in my soap operas for cartoons. I’ve traded in weekend shopping trips with my girlfriends for weekend day trips to the library.
In my mind, that is what motherhood is about. We make sacrifices, we change our life, and we embrace a new one. When I look around and see mothers, who perhaps did not have my fate of being a teen mom, and had children in their 20’s, not embracing motherhood it sickens me. Especially when I see younger moms, who might have less, doing so much for and with their kids. I begin to wonder, are their kids a burden to them? Is a manicure really more important than taking a few hours to take your child to a toy store, a movie or even Chuck E. Cheese?
I dislike it when my youngest daughter’s father calls me ‘Super Mom’, because I am nothing of the sort. Why ‘Super Mom’? Because I love my kids? Because I care for them in every which way possible? Because I take time out for them? Because I care more about my toddler getting potty trained and knowing basic words than I care that I haven’t gotten a hair cut in over 6 months? Because taking her to Chuck E. Cheese after working an 11-hour shift was worth missing my alarm the next morning? Because I’d rather spend money to buy my daughter a Wii game than have money for my lunch? Even when I don’t have money, I still spend time on my day off to just be with my kids for hours on end. Because I take pride, and always have, in giving my kids a home cooked meal and sitting there watching them eat? Because every night I get up and kiss them goodnight after they both have been asleep for hours? Because even when I was 17 and working and going to school full time, I still made time to do one outdoor activity with my daughter on every day off? These things do not make me a SUPER MOM. They just make me a MOM. This may separate me from some, which I think is sad. I don’t do anything different than what any other mom should be doing. However, doing the things above and being who I am is what makes me happy. It’s what makes me ME!
So while others may be posing for the next photo op with their kids or perhaps tweeting about how they are home on a Saturday night with their kids out of misery, I will be happily and genuinely enjoying mine.
To the young mothers who think that they can’t do half of what their parents did with them, or maybe that they just can’t afford it…YOU CAN. There are always free activities to do with kids in almost any city or town. Always remember that kids, especially little ones, are amazed and content with even just a walk in the park. Always take time out to spend with your kids because they grow up so fast.
To the mothers who think that their nails, hair and they themselves are more important than their kids, take some time to evaluate yourself and your situation. Be a MOM. Your children will be 18 before you know it and then you can go back to being the “normal” you. You and your child can do activities with your friends and their children and then everyone wins.
Life isn’t about just living; it’s how you live it and what you do to live it the best way possible.