Because I never met an act of procrastination I didn’t like, I was scanning the YAHOO! news before getting to my mail. The singer Shakira was attacked by a sea lion. Oh, dear. Then I saw something that really piqued my interest. A mommy list.
“10 Signs You’re a Type-A Mom” by Emily Liebert for GalTime. http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/10-signs-youre-type-mom-140900722.html
Within two lines I was in Ralph Macchio’s Karate Kid stance, where though hobbled he’s balanced on one leg, the other in a high front parallel attitude (pardon the dance lingo) ready to kick, his arms over his head like an angry Count Chocula.
Another mompetition I’d entered unwittingly. And this lady had me beat! Her kids were 10 months apart, by virtue of adoption and then good luck. And I thought I had it tough with kids 18 months apart! She presented herself as a parenting expert who kept company with other perfect mothers, wives and authors. Well, you go on with your bad self, grrrrl! From what I could see in the ten points listed, this chick was insanely organized, an adept multi-tasker and was on a daily basis well-coiffed, well-groomed, and fashionable.
At first I thought she was being a little tongue-in-cheek. No. She was SERIOUS! But then I thought about it. Instead of enviable, her boasts were sad and scary. The precursors to misery.
Simply put, to need that kind of control over everything and everyone, a gal’s gotta be wound up a little tight. Those La Perla panties must be more snug than an effing tourniquet -- enough to make an upper class Supermom bust a cap in someone’s a--.
I mean not wanting to have your kid have a goody bag? Really? Those little simple surprises are so special to kids. Enough to make their day. Sure it’s stuff I probably wouldn’t buy for them. Sure they don’t need it. If something’s is unsafe you can get rid of it.
And for the record, thank you very much, I am the mom who put the pencils in the Valentine’s goody bags for my 3 year old son’s class. And here I thought I was being good by not providing candy!
Those who can get and keep their kids on a perfect schedule, doing the same thing at the same time daily, are amazing. More power to them. But as I mentioned in my first post on the subject of mompetition (http://www.momsnewstage.com/2012/01/dancer-in-mompetition.html) these people need to realize that they are lucky to have docile kids! A household of small children is not the military. While that might be the pinnacle of orderliness for a family, it’s also soulless and insensitive. Invariably, something runs late, someone has pooped, someone’s rhythm is off. With no sense of time, kids dawdle. And lest you squash like a cockroach their innate sense of “smelling the roses,” sometimes they should be allowed to do so. The essence of motherhood is flexibility.
A tree that doesn’t bend breaks.
Then I read the “all you have to do is a little light reading and follow the rules.” My stance went from Karate Kid to that scary guy in Deliverance with a crossbow. I could have got my kids to sleep by reading books? What a brilliant idea! Wish someone had told me about that one!
News flash, lady. Children are not DVD players. There is not a one-size-fits-all manual. I tried everything in every book. My kids began to sleep only after 6 months after crying it out. Your child’s great early-sleeping habits don’t make you perfect.
And yes, everyone wants her husband to get it. Lord knows I do. I really, really do. There are days I’d gladly pull out my eyes to get him to do things my way. But he’s not a dog and I can’t train him. We try to talk amicably about what we’d like from each other. We push each others’ buttons. But we know we’re both great parents, doing our best with very little time. My J thinks I tear him up in this blog. He needs to see post so he’ll know that other dads have it way, way worse, and that his disheveled little wifey is both enlightened and a kitten compared to some.
So apparently, type-A Mommy’s home looks like the vision of HGTV’s Genevieve Gorder. Many rooms in my house look like they were designed by Charlie Brown’s friend Pigpen. When A-Mom multitasks it results in a symphony (although I’ve got to say that “emptying the dishwasher, changing a poopy diaper and working your I-phone” is "Ooooooh-I-just-love-amoebic-dysentery" gross!), while I burn dinner and have a child fall off a chair.
Now here’s the thing – why should anyone actually believe that their ability to multitask, get a mani-pedi, put things in those nifty Container Store plastic bins, and order others around makes them a better mother? Those things are part of mothering, sure, but they pertain to managing a household and taking care of oneself.
Perfect parenting is something else altogether.
To be that so-called perfect parent I’d like to hear how you never yell at your kids. How you consistently employ a firm, yet sensitive strategy to counter undesirable behavior. How you have an arsenal of crafts ready for a rainy day. How you allow for spontaneity and curiosity and extreme dilly-dallying. How you’ve figured out a way to let your kids help you make dinner, without dinner taking 2 hours to make. How you put your kids to bed lovingly, without wanting it to take no more than 3.8 seconds.
How you don’t need a stiff drink at the end of everyday.
Things like that.
As for the other stuff, if that’s winning the mompetition, if that’s being perfect, then bring on the bungling. I’m happy to have lost.