I’m Afraid I’m Becoming One of Those Moms…

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You know, the mom that procrastinates planning the birthday party of her almost five year old for so long that he asks her on MONDAY night where his party will be on Saturday.

I’m the mom who dyes Easter eggs on Saturday night, if at all.

I’m the mom who forgot to buy treats for her seven year old to take to school for his birthday until the last minute, and had to make a late night run for Twinkies.

I’ve not always been this way. When I had only one child, I planned elaborate birthday parities with decorations and favors and homemade cakes. When I had two kids, I pulled off much of the same. Four kids must be my tipping point.

I’m fairly certain that I am still an adequate mother. My kids are loved beyond measure, fed and clothed, and well behaved.

What I’m wondering is whether the mark of a good mother is themed birthday parties and perfectly frosted cupcakes for school celebrations; coordinated Easter outfits (which I also used to do, but I’m certain the almost 13 year old would bristle at), and a well decorated home that changes with the seasons; cute foods on holidays; and decorator bedrooms. Because if this is what I have to be…I’m a complete, utter, total failure. This is what the magazines tell me I should be. Oh, and let’s not forget that I should be endlessly creative and apparently never sleep so that I can come up with new, fun ideas to do with my kids tomorrow so that they do not need to rely on video games and Legos for entertainment.

So why do we, as mothers, look to these outside “professionals” to tell us how to mother? What makes these magazine editors and so-called parenting experts any better than those of us down here in the trenches, getting our hands dirty, walking around with bleach stains on our sleeves and going to the grocery store with one pant leg accidentally tucked into a sweat sock? Why do we torture ourselves so?

Because, you know what moms? You have a tough job. You have a job description that gets tougher as the years progress. You work for little bosses who will never give you as high marks on your quarterly review as you think, you KNOW, that you deserve. But, at the end of the race, maybe, just maybe, you will have shaped a little human that can go off and do something even better than you ever were able to do. Of course, you may also shape someone who still lives under your roof and complains about the meals that you cook at age 40. Either way, they are your kids, and in the end, you have as much control over them as you had on deciding which day that they would be born.

I take comfort in the fact that while I am an imperfect parent, raised by imperfect parents, and raising imperfect kids, I have a Heavenly Father who is perfect, and who sees me as absolutely perfect because of the perfect sacrifice of His one and only Son. And that makes me feel a whole lot better. I pray that it can do the same for you.

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About the author : Dakotapam

I’m a Lutheran pastor’s wife and mom to six kids, including toddler twin girls. My life is sometimes normal, and sometimes crazy; but through it all, I know that I am blessed! Some people say that I have my hands full, I prefer to call it living life with both hands full, and I love it!

6 comments to “I’m Afraid I’m Becoming One of Those Moms…”

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  1. crazytalk05 - April 14, 2009 Reply

    I needed to hear that today. I was just looking at Easter pictures…my kids don't get an Easter basket…and while they may get something to wear in the spring…I don't require them to wear any particular outfit on Easter. Every other year I'm not even with them on Easter sunday morning…I'm at work. And my house is not spotless, nor seasonally decorated. But my 13 year old daughter wants to spend time with me one on one each week and my son still wants me to cuddle with him before bed and show me all his lego creations and I guess that should be enough for me.

  2. Megan - April 14, 2009 Reply

    Very well put Pam:-) I sincerely hope & pray that none of my kids lives with me at age 40 though.

  3. Ethan, Zach, and Emm - April 14, 2009 Reply

    Amen, BFF! Every mother needs to hear that. You just made my top posts of the week! 🙂

  4. Joy - April 14, 2009 Reply

    I don't subscribe to magazines. My girls wore dresses that were all free this year; none matched the others but I got Girl2 to wear a dress–that was my accomplishment. And you know full well I don't make homemade cakes or change my home decor with the seasons!! I never have and I'm not sorry. So there!

  5. Beth - April 15, 2009 Reply

    Ack! Parental guilt! Must release it (this coming from someone who has been a parent for one whole week). I figure there are worse ways to screw up a kid than not supplying professionally made themed birthday cakes every year.

  6. Dakotapam - April 15, 2009 Reply

    Thanks guys! I know that I'm not alone, but we moms can be really rough on ourselves!

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