My entire life growing up I heard the term "soccer mom" and pictured this relaxed, got it all together, lady with homemade brownies, tennis shoes, top of the line mini-van, and travel chair ready to go at any moment. This woman was what I thought was a "good mom." She never missed a game and cheered with her kids name on her t-shirt at all times. I assumed her house was clean, laundry was done, and at the end of the game, her children piled happily in her van (with automatic doors) as she handed them gatorade before they buckled up.
Any one else out there have that delusion?
So first of all, I know ZERO people who live up to that idea now that I am a 30 something mother of 4. Secondly, this would only be possible for a rich woman, with a housekeeper, chef, and one child. For YEARS, I would say I'm not a "good mom" based on what "people" say but recently I've realized those "people" don't even exists. The only person who was placing that weird idea in my head of all the things I had be, was ME. Yep, ME. I was defining good mom by this insane laundry detergent commercial I had probably seen when I was 14 years old.
What in the actual world????
I have constantly thought I was falling short because the reality of being a sports mom is VASTLY different than my ridiculous Instagram perfect no at all real version of "mom". I have 4 kids, FOUR. On Thursdays three of them get out of practice at the same time in different counties!!! This coming weekend Emma has a huge dance recital on Friday and Saturday and then two soccer games on Sunday, Gracie has a basketball game Saturday in between Emmas morning rehearsal and evening recital; all the while, Katie will be traveling with my mother to Tennessee for another weekend tournament and Cole - well he's one. Typing that makes me want to cry.
I refuse to feel defeated though. REFUSE.
There is no mathematical way for me to be at everything for all my kids this weekend. Impossible. There is no way that my laundry will be caught up or that fresh brownies will be prepared at any time. There is a very small chance that I won't have some kind of mental breakdown and threaten one or all of my children that all extra curriculars will forever be cancelled until the end of time.
My reality of good mom is not what I thought it would or should be.
I have to let go of the laundry detergent mom. Life is not what most of us pictured it would be and my life is pretty dang good. I'm typing this while Cole is laying at my feet in his footie pajamas, watching Mickey Mouse Club House, and drinking milk out of Paw Patrol Cup. My girls are attending the best private school I could find, and Katie and Tim are tolerating Woodrow and counting down the days until spring break. Chili is cooking, the fake fire is on, my house is warm, and really, THIS is the good life. Some days though I can't see it because I am blinded by the "what I haven't done" and the "what I've missed." You see, although I caught 8 of Katies games this weekend in Richmond, I missed one of Gracie's and left Cole still recovering from the flu with his grandmothers. Gracie called with a fever Sunday - and I wasn't there. Emma needed something fixed for the recital - and I wasn't home. This coming weekend I will miss every single one of Katie's games you can be darn sure she will tell me she missed me. I will have to get a sitter for Cole (AGAIN) because there is no chance he's sitting through 3 hours of ballet. This weekend, I will again fall short of what I thought a good mom would be.
With everything in me, every single day, I try to do my best at being mom, at being wife, at being ME and every single day I fail my own insane requirements in some way, but I'm working on. What I'm working on now though is not trying to "do better" but trying to cut myself a freaking break. I'm attempting to change my definition of success in motherhood. As a mom of 4 I cannot hold myself to the same expectations I had when I was a mom of one or two. As a 37 year old mom, it is unrealistic to think I can look the same way in Nike leggings as the 27 year old moms - at least for ME (I know some 47 year old moms who are rockstars in the fitness area but that's simply not me).
I just wonder if any of you moms can relate? Friends, are you the one setting the realistic expectations in your life? Is "society" placing thoughts in your mind but really if you look around NO ONE other than YOU is expecting you to live up to those crazy thoughts?
If you needed someone to tell you it's ok to miss a game, to not show up to a bake sale, to not run the Valentines party at school this year, let this be your message that IT IS OK. It IS ok if you ask for help today. It's ok if you NEED a friend. It's ok if you NEED your husband to run to Kroger. You did NOT fail, you're just a HUMAN. Like a real life, not wonder woman human who cannot possibly be everything for everyone and still look good in the morning.