Last week I cheerfully reminded all the parents to remember to bring swimsuits for my church's big "water fun and baptism day" and each time I surmised that I would likely forget myself. Like I do every year. This year I packed the bag, sent the husband to the store to get the swim diapers, and then left the bag on the couch. Our church had rented two water slides and everyone was having a blast. So I took off the baby's pants and he ran around in a soggy diaper and a t-shirt. My little girl ran around in a her t-shirt and leggings that were plastered to her. I sighed. And remarked to the other moms that I wish I wasn't always "that" mom. You know, the one that forgets the diaper bag, gives her kid Kool-Aid and Cheetos for lunch, and couldn't send out thank you cards to save her life.
I'm just not the cool, suave mom who wears a slimming dress and comfortable yet stylish shoes that compliment her hair-do. I wear sweats, crocs and usually my son's slime from lunch is giving my hair that extra "boost."
While I am certain I'm not alone in these feelings of underwhelming mediocrity at the World's Toughest Job perhaps having another Yay for Loser's! pep-talk isn't the best course at this juncture. Maybe what I need instead is a little bit of perspective.
Tonight I read to my daughter all of the words, the tongue-twisting-eerily-rhyming words, to FOUR Dr. Suess books and part of her kid bible. With gusto. She laughed out loud at several points and cooed a deep sigh of satisfaction at the end of each. I am that mom.
This afternoon when my son fell asleep on my shoulder I knew just how to wiggle my lower back so that his little head wouldn't drift off my boney shoulder (I assure you the fat finds other places to drift too) and wake him up prematurely. I am that mom.
Yesterday when I was doing dishes I was wise enough to pause and watch the two of them giggle and cuddle with each other in a quiet, unparented and affectionate moment of sibling love that warmed my soul. I am that mom.
So sister, or brother I guess... but I have a sneaking feeling this is something guys do better than we do anyway, go a little bit easier on yourself. Before you smack yourself in the forehead when your realize you made it to the park without the kids' snacks congratulate yourself for making it to the park. If your car is anything like mine you might just have an almost edible snack stuck in the seats anyway and if your toddler is anything like mine he might just eat it with a grin.
Because, you are that mom. I am that mom. One that loves her kids fiercely and deeply albeit painfully humanly. They're stuck with us after all but at least we're trying.