Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Real Moms

One of my favorite authors is Jodi Picoult. I just finished her latest book called House Rules.  Once again she did an super job telling a great story from lots of perspectives that kept me reading to find out what happened in the end.  Not only does she tell a story but she also teaches you about the subject matter she is focusing on in her book.  In House Rules you get a peek inside the world of Autism, more specifically Asperger's syndrome.

While reading her book there was a passage about  REAL MOMS.  And I really liked it.  So I thought I would share.  It was on page 156-157.  She describes the days when cereal boxes contained the prize and how you suffered through the cereal to get to the bottom of the box to get the magic ring or mystery decoder wheel at the bottom. 

"I cannot admit this out loud.  In the first place, we are expected to be supermoms these days, instead of admitting that we have flaws.  It is tempting to believe that all mothers wake up feeling fresh every morning, never raise their voices, only cook with organic food, and are equally at ease with the CEO and the PTA.

Here's the secret:  Those mother's don't exist.  Most of us-even if we'd never confess-are suffering through the raisin bran in hopes of a glimpse of that magic ring. 

I look very good on paper.  I have a family, and I write a newspaper column.  In real life, I have to pick superglue out of the carpet, rarely remember to defrost dinner, and plan to have BECAUSE I SAID SO engraved on my tombstone.

Real mothers wonder why experts who write for Parents and Good Housekeeping- and dare I say it, the Burlington Free Press- seem to have their acts together all the time when they themselves can barely keep their heads above the stormy seas of parenthood.

Real mothers don't just listen with humble embarrassment to the elderly lady who offers unsolicited advice in the checkout line when a child is throwing a tantrum.  We take the child, dump him in the lady's cart, and say, "Great.  Maybe you can do a better job."

Real mothers know that it's okay to eat cold pizza for breakfast.

Real mothers admit it is easier to fail at this job than to succeed.

If parenting is the box of raisin bran, then real mothers know the ration of flakes to fun is severely imbalanced.  For every moment that your child confides in you, or tells you he loves you, or does something unprompted to protect his brother that you happen to witness, there are many more moments of chaos, error, and self-doubt. 

Real mothers may not speak in the hearsay, but they sometimes secretly wish they'd chosen something for breakfast other than this endless cereal. 

Real mothers worry that other mothers will find that magic ring, whereas they'll be looking and looking for ages.

Rest easy, real mothers.  The very fact that you worry about being a good mom means that you already are one."

It is 7:41 and I have already had many Real Mom moments. 

  • Henry slept until 6:10, but then started yelling for me.  Instead of rejoicing that he slept 25 minutes later than yesterday I went in to try and coax him to sleep a little later...causing more yelling (by him).  Which woke up Charley with a bad dream who refused to go to sleep...both of them yawning at me as they complained about wanting to go downstairs.  Why didn't I just get up Henry, it would have maybe not woken Charley up.  ugh.
  • Immediately they started romping on the floor - yes, the volume of my voice escalated, the hall light was smacked on, and I demanded they find something to play or they are to report back to their crib/bed. 
  • Ed leaned over with a kiss to say "Have a good day." and I could tell in his voice he knew I was already tired and crabby.  I hate when he leaves knowing that I haven't shaken my little mood swing.  Which is slowly moving from boiling to simmering as the sun finally appears (or at least it is lighter out -it is another rainy dreary day so the sun is not shining)
  • Yesterday at the store we bought some donuts.  Poor Henry suffered through a strep swab and I just wanted to bring a smile to his face.  Yesterday they split one donut mid-afternoon.  Real Mom moment...this morning I will pair a donut with a banana and call it Breakfast.   And I have a feeling that for those few moments while I enjoy my donut, my mood will start to swing the other way...especially when I realize that the breakfast dishes this morning will be minimal and the biggest mess will be the sprinkles and chocolate frosting that is going to coat Henry's body.  

What are your real mom moments?  The moments that lack the balance of a breakfast with eggs, fruit, and toast...but rather put smiles on everyones' faces, get you through the moments and moods, and restart the next moments with a little sugar high. 

I think the most important line in Jodi's passage above is the last one: 

"Rest easy, real mothers. The very fact that you worry about being a good mom means that you already are one."

This post is linked to Chatting at the Sky's Tuesday Unwrapped.


Coffee Please!?! said...

That's awesome! My most recent "real mom" moment was when my DS, 9, asked if he could have "pop tarts" for dinner last night and I responded "yes" before fully comprehending his question. But he ate them, both of them, and didn't give me a hard time about being hungry later. His thoughts on the subject were "if they're good enough for breakfast, why aren't they good enough for dinner." touche.

April said...

I have way to many real mom moments...I try not to feel too guilty about them.
I am so excited to hear her new book is good. I might just go out and get it this weekend!

Drew's Mom said...

I love this, and am really looking forward to reading the book. And I love being a REAL mom. It took me close to 7 years to accept the fact that I won't be Supermom... and now I'm perfectly happy being a real mom... who allows her son to sleep in her bed just to avoid the argument of making him stay in his own bed. Anything for sleep =)

michelle said...

i need to get my hands on this book :)
and I have more "real mom" moments that could fill a book rather than a blog post.
and far less fresh organinc, PTA mom ones than I'd like to admit.
(we had donuts for breakfast too...and there was no banana!)

The Tompkins Family said...

Great post! I loved the book too!

My real mom moment for today...I gave Samara a homemade chocolate chip cookie for a snack. Just so I wouldn't have to clean up yet another snack that she refused and threw all over the floor. Healthy? No. Peaceful? Oh, yeah!!

Shell said...

I loved that part in the book, too.

I bribed my 2 year-old with a cookie this morning so that I could get done with my shopping. Probably not the best snack at 9am.

Kelly said...

Hmmm...if you own the book I may have to borrow it!

Anonymous said...

GREAT post. LOVE it. should read it every day. RR

Danifred said...

What a refreshing post to read. I feel like I doubt myself every, single, day!!!

Barb said...

Great blog and after a journal session tonight, it's extremely refreshing to read your 'take' on life at your house. Hey Sarah - your top heading is back, it's amazing, I'm so excited, the b&w photos are up on top. Did you change something? If so, don't touch it!

Jennifer said...

Great post! Oh yeah, I have real mom moments everyday. Yesterday, I bribed my sons cooperation at Home Depot with the promise of Wendy's kid's meals. The thing that I do that I hate the most is raising my voice, losing it. I try to make up for it afterwards but I just hate that I do it at all.


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