I am writing this post trapped under a sleeping baby. He has been sick since Sunday, wearing me thin because there is absolutely nothing I can do to ease his discomfort, he doesn’t feel well, his tummy is upset, he is running a fever. Sam is baby number five, and twin A which means I share my mommy self between five other children. I was feeling a little guilty this morning about not getting things done, but he needs a nap so I am taking a break to share my thoughts while he rests on me.
I fell into the trap of feeling spread too thin, not having enough time in the day, thinking I need more arms, which I guess is an easy trap for all women. As a mom to six I wear many different hats due to various ages, often all these hats at the same time. Last night I stayed up late baking cupcakes for a class party, found all things school related after a long weekend, emailed teachers, nursed babies, and then set a couple sick kids up in the living room to camp out.
I was called into a role I find often overwhelming, but when I think of who I am; strong willed, independent, a type who will fight until the bitter end kicking the entire time – definitely not one to roll over or admit defeat easily. Why would I expect less out of my life calling? Juggling and stretching is my normal, of course complete with superhero theme music – as a child cries for my help to wipe their bum from the toilet.
I baked cupcakes last night, did I mention a couple of my kids are sick? I didn’t think before I made them, I simply opened the box with freshly washed hands, and mixed them in my clean Kitchen Aid mixer. I carefully poured the batter into paper cups, decorated each one, and gently placed them into my labelled Tupperware container. I went to bed with a smile, and after closing my eyes thought “Oh man, I have a couple of sick kids. I bet some mom somewhere will pass judgement for how disgusting I am.” That thought haunted me all night, I debated throwing the whole batch of pink, fishy kissing, heart cupcakes out. But when Annaliese woke up she walked over to the container, looking through the plastic she said “Mommy these are beautiful, I can’t wait to share them with my friends.”
I stopped, did I do anything wrong? I am not sick, my kitchen is clean, my hands were clean everything I used was clean. I am betting there are a few moms out there who cannot believe the ‘disgusting’ mom of six sent the cupcakes in – I will own it, I sent them. I couldn’t for the life of me think of one thing I did that would warrant not sending them.
It is so easy to zero in on the things you are doing wrong, where you are missing the mark, or focus on what you *think* others feel about you. There is a shift in social media I have noticed among fellow moms, from the thrill of showing only your best – to bragging about your ‘non-pinterest’ effort. Looking for validation (maybe?) that you were not the only mom who sent in Valentine cards from the dollar spot, almost to the point of shaming the moms who shared a picture of the Valentine/treats she stayed up all night creating.
Why are we not choosing to shift the focus towards celebrating the differences in our parenting? Suzie’s mom’s homemade Valentine card a treasure that ends up in the 2016 scrapbook. William’s mom’s Chocolate cupcakes were the favourite party treat. Ally’s mom forgot all about the party but she was in the class volunteering her time to read with each student last week. Sadie’s mom (you know the one with the $ spot Valentine cards) she was out late last night cheering for the girl’s team at the Basketball game AFTER work. There is a whole village of moms and dads who make up the classroom, our kids are benefiting from our differences. Yes, even that mom who sent the cheap red candy, and glow stick – that super fun gift was worn to bed. Or perhaps like our case the bracelet was bitten, and your daughter feared for her life while spitting glowing saliva into the sink. It was a great memory, and general parenting win!
So to the mom who sent the cupcakes in when she had a few kids sick at home, we hate you… oh no, wait that mom is actually me. I am simply another mom, with another point of view. I may have made a different judgement call than you, but I love my kids, and their friends (your kids) too. A busy mom with so much on my mind, all while I try to keep on juggling.