Luckily, I am able to skip right by those posts and tune out the moms at the playdates who are already worrying about how quickly their newest Easy Peasy Life Scheduling Apps are filling up with holiday parties, photo shoots, shopping lists, visits with the in-laws, gift exchanges, private visits to Santa, and more wedged in between the usual volleyball practice, music lessons, chess club, and private tutor sessions. Since I don't give a crap about most of that stuff, I just smile and say, "Man, that sure makes me glad that my boys just want clothes and cash for Christmas. No one has invited me to a cookie exchange in years, and I don't put out big family holiday cards".
When I see the horrified expressions on these mom's faces illuminated in the glowing display of their cell phones, I just remind myself that I am an OK mom, and there is nothing wrong with that.
There is a lot of pressure to be the World's Best Mom. Both from the outside world and from inside my tiny brain. Everywhere I look, I am bombarded with commercials for crap my kids don't need and holiday traditions I must start and food I must bake and then consume in mass quantities. There is an overwhelming feeling to make everything magical and amazing and special and unique and memorable and awe-inspiring or else I'm not a good mom. But you know what I realized a few years ago? I didn't have to listen to those commercials or my tiny brain. I could ignore it all.
That's right! I don't aspire to be the worlds greatest mom. I don't even try.
I am perfectly fine being the worlds okayest mom, and no one's childhood is going to be ruined because of it.
And it's not just this time of year that I feel this way. It's all year round that I hold that badge of honor proudly. I don't celebrate half birthdays (I celebrate the actual day, you can't get two parties out of me) or spend my weekends constructing the most kick ass diorama anyone in the eighth grade has ever seen (I wasn't good at those when I was in eighth grade, my kid has a better chance at an "A" making it by himself) or baking anything my family would enjoy eating. I don't make festive fall scarecrows to pose on our front porch (hay makes me sneeze) or get up to watch the sun rise with my kids (do you have any idea what time the sun rises??).
Just because I don't do this stuff, doesn't mean I love my kids any less.
I don't live in a fog of mom guilt where I worry if I'm screwing up my kids. They know I love them and that's what is most important. I have to let them make mistakes and learn from them. I have to take care of more than just their happiness. The way I see it is, it's pretty hard to screw up your kids. As long as you're not abusing or neglecting your kids, you're probably doing OK. As moms, we have to let that guilt go. We have to stop worrying so much about our parenting and second guessing ourselves and judging ourselves. Our kids are happy if we're happy and I don't see how we can be happy if we're letting the mom guilt get us down. We can't worry about the kids or the husband or the house at the expense of us. Let's face it, we're the glue that holds this family together and if we start losing it, everyone is going to lose it. We have to give ourselves a break and say, "Today being the Okayest Mom will do."
It doesn't always have to be perfect. You can throw out the schedule and the menu plan and the vacuuming and just talk with your kids (better yet, watch a basketball game with them) or help them with their chores or their homework.