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December 20, 2012 / Mettā Reiki Center

Good Mommies

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I joke about the “Mommy-Olympics”, and all of these things that make a perfect Mom. I think society has twisted motherhood, or the idea of it anyway, into something unreachable. If you pay any attention, it can knock you down hard. Last night a conversation with my husband had me thinking hard about what the world thinks – and what I think – makes a good mom.

I thought about that Time Magazine cover.

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When it first came out, it was like a kick in the gut to me. I’ve never been skinny. Ever. I’m a thick German girl, and although I am very active, the baby weight is coming off much slower than I’d hoped – no skinny pants for me.

And I can’t breast feed. Not that I “won’t” or “didn’t want to”. I couldn’t. I was so sick during and immediately after my pregnancy that even pumping every 2 hours – day and night – I was lucky to get 2 ounces a day. I’ll never forget that awful day when the doctors and lactation specialists told me there wasn’t any hope in breast feeding for me. I fell to my knees in that exam room and sobbed. My baby was in a NICU, on a breathing machine, and I couldn’t even give her the nourishment she desperately needed. I felt like I had failed the Mommy test before I even had a chance to bring her home.

Society’s “good mommies” have little girls in chevron-patterned dresses with monogrammed letters and perfect pigtails, and little boys in Gap khakis and polo shirts that never get baby food in their hair. Their homes are spotless with floors polished to a mirror shine. Their makeup is flawless; their legs and derrière perfectly sculpted and toned since they work out tirelessly while baby is napping or dinner is baking. Their brand new SUV is adorned with private school and soccer club or dance stickers; the inside of the SUV is perfectly organized with healthy snack bins and educational DVDs that play on flat screens installed on the back of Mom’s and Dad’s headrest so the kids stay obediently quiet on road trips. “Good Mommies” have endless supplies of breast milk that they can provide in a Batman-like stealth technique (lest they offend someone who has never seen a tata before). They have hand sanitizer on every bag and designer covers for grocery carts so their kid’s skin isn’t exposed to horrible grocery store germs. Their shoes have three inch heels, hands and feet are manicured, and hair perfectly tousled in a Taylor Swift up-do.

It’s exhausting to think about, and an awful lot of time spent on making sure people think you’re a good Mommy. It made me wonder…whose opinion really matters?

Three guesses on whose opinion matters to me – and the first two won’t count.

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Yup. It’s these two 🙂 …

During my conversation with my husband we talked about what we thought made a good Mom. I learned that I’m actually doing pretty well with what matters.

My house isn’t spotless, but it’s safe and a fun place for baby to grow and learn. The floors are sticky but its usually the result of a REALLY fun afternoon. I can’t make breastmilk, but I’m trying my best to make good homemade food. I’m not skinny, but I’m fit, and strong enough to play with my daughter and teach her an active and healthy lifestyle. I do my best to protect her from germs but I do not want my child to be afraid to get messy. If she catches a cold, we’ll help get her better.

I still love working out, wearing makeup, and the occasional pedicure when time and finances permit. But those things I do for me, not because I give a damn what people think.

To the mommies out there like me, with graying hair, blue jeans or sweats instead of skinny jeans, running shoes instead of heels, sedans instead of SUV’s, Ramones stickers on their cars instead of private school stickers – who prefer to spend their time in the park, library or kitchen goofing off with your kids instead of at the spa, who may not be able to do the Batman-breast feeding and may slip from time to time and allow their kid a (GASP!!!) French fry…

…smile, relax, and know for certain that by taking time to have FUN being a Mom and being there for your child in every way you are able – to hell with what Time magazine thinks – you are more than “Mom enough”.

You are amazing.

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One Comment

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  1. Judy / Dec 23 2012 11:14 pm

    Giving your child love love love will make you the best mom there is. Listen when the talk to you. Be there to dry tears when they fall or fail and pick them back up to try again. Let them learn to be independent and grow.
    You’re already a great mom!
    Merry Christmas Kristie!

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