I’ve always struggled with the kind of mom I want to be, versus the kind of mom I have time to be, versus the kind of mom I end up being. These past two weeks I’ve been home with my kids for the first time in 4 years. And when I say home with my kids, I still mean with the appropriate mix of help and school.. But I’m still the one doing pick-up and drop-off, laundry, meals, packing lunches, brushing teeth and all the 1 million mom duties that I never really had to do before. Because I worked full time.
And now I don’t. I’m home.
So why can’t I just rise to the occasion and Mary Poppins the shit out of this?? In some ways I’m rising to the occasion. I mean, my kids are (relatively) clean and they have (mostly) eaten for the day. But I’m not doing crafts and baby aerobics and having pretend tea parties with the figurine cast from Frozen. And every day it makes me feel like a shitty mom. I don’t know how to “play” with my kids. When Stella asks me to “make the dolls talk” I literally break into a cold sweat and divert her attention to something safe, like a puzzle. I can do puzzles! I can read books, or color, or play board games (but not when they cheat.. I’m sorry, no… play it right or play alone) – but even when we are doing these things, I feel like I’ve surely killed 3 hours when it’s really only been 17 minutes. Which I know for certain because I texted my friend 17 minutes ago and liked 3 pics on Instagram. And I’m right back to being a shitty mom.
A couple of Mother’s Days ago, my mom gave me a card that said “There’s no point in trying to be a perfect mom when there are a million ways to be a great one.” I’ve held that sentiment close over the years, but sometimes I feel like that’s an unrealistic measurable too. In fact, most days I feel like I’m just making it through the day until it’s wine o’clock. On the other hand, my mom also gave me a sign that says “You’re not really drinking alone if your kids are home.” So maybe I should just stop beating myself up and pour a glass. Cheers.