Hey there, sister.
I see you Febreezing those toddler jeans for the third time this week and scraping the crumbs off the kitchen table onto the floor, hoping the dog will eat them before anyone notices and you can get away without sweeping in there another day. That’s right. You can’t hide that shit from me. That’s because I’m doing it, too.
And you know what? Who cares?
You don’t need to be spectacular at everything to be a great mom. In fact, anyone who claims you have to be June Cleaver to do it right can suck it. That’s why I’ve put together this HOLLA! to all my fellow World’s Okayest Moms out there. So what if…
…your kids haven’t seen a vegetable in the better part of a week. Big deal. You’re busy. They’re busy. Everybody’s busy, for God’s sake, especially if you’ve got other things like working full time on top of attending evening school and sports functions to worry about. Takeout happens. Plus, you know damn well not one of your kids is going to eat a gluten-free grilled vegan tofu burger with braised kale frittata on the side. Everybody’s going to survive, and happily at that. Besides, that’s what they make Flintstones vitamins and family dinners on Sundays for, anyway.
…your kids’ lunches look more like the picture on a can of Spam than the one on the cover of a Disney DVD. It’s still food, isn’t it? Who said sandwiches have to be expertly carved into the shapes of Toy Story characters or veggies carefully arranged to resemble Olaf in order to be edible? Nobody, that’s who. That PB and J with crusts still on will nourish your children just as well as the one that other mom cookie cut to look like Merida, thank you very much.
…you brought brownies from Costco to your child’s Thanksgiving party instead of tiny turkeys hand crafted out of peanut butter cups, candy corn, and pretzels glued together with organic frosting. You know who has time to Pinterest the shit out of everything in life? Not you. Other people, maybe, but not you. You were there, and your child noticed. That’s what matters most.
…you threw your kid a store bought birthday party. Your kid’s classmate’s mom may have hand crafted Lighting McQueen invitations out of unicorn blood and glitter glue and stitched personalized Tow Mater steering wheel cozies for each party guest to cherish and use when they turn 16, but that doesn’t mean you have to. That’s her gig, not yours. And sending out discount invites or serving grocery store birthday cake doesn’t mean you love your kids any less.
…you plop your kids in front of the TV from time to time. It’s probably best to stay away from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, sure, but I don’t think an hour of age-appropriate, educationally sound programming while you finish up that essay for grad class or vacuum the tumble hair that’s accumulated in the dog’s favorite sleeping spot for the past two weeks is going to kill anybody. As far as I know, we still haven’t perfected Jetsons-esque housekeeping technology yet, nor has the day magically gotten longer, which means there’s nothing wrong with doing what you’ve gotta do to get it all done — even if that means letting the TV babysit the kids for a bit while you do it.
…you dread when your kids select insufferably long bedtime stories, so you skip reading several pages here and there in the interest of saving time. You have until at least the second grade before they catch on, anyway, not to mention you can’t risk adding fuel to the already nightmarish fire that is your child’s tendency to tell long, incoherent stories about ducks and talking broccoli men. The point is, you’re reading to them. And that’s what counts.
…your kids are rocking wrinkly underoos. So your laundry repeats the vicious cycle of going from basket to washer to dryer and back to basket again, never quite making it into the closets and dresser drawers. Pssht. Clean is clean. And I’m pretty sure wrinkles build character. Or something. What matters is that your kids are continuously clothed and no one has wound up in jail for public nudity. Yet.
So what if you do all these things and more? You’re still winning at this parenting thing, girl.
You’re still bossing it out just as much as your Bento Boxing counterparts. And your kids still love you for you, mediocrity and all. And for that I say work that World’s Okayest Mom title, my fellow fair to middling mamas! And wash it down with a glass of three dollar wine while you’re at it.
Because you — WE — deserve it.
©2014 Lola Lolita as first published on Scary Mommy