It really hit me today. What was I doing? To be honest, I felt pretty awful. It was a miserable, dreary, Monday and I was busy catching up on chores. It never seemed like anything was ever getting done around here. It was morning and there were tons to do .I was in my son’s room, watching him play. To cheer myself up, I checked weather.com for an update. I was really only concerned about one particular day: this Saturday. That was the day my five year old daughter and I would be going to Radio City to see the Christmas Show. I couldn’t be more excited. A mommy/Julia day. A fun day, quite different than this current one. I rarely get one on one time with my daughter anymore. And this day kind of sucks altogether. As I looked up, I saw my beautiful son. He was the doctor and busy giving one of his stuffed animals a shot. His patients were all waiting to see him. “It won’t hurt,” he said. I looked up with tears in my eyes. My baby boy was sure a handful at times, but he was beautiful just the same. And I was missing this moment. The moment that I will never experience again. All because I was busy checking the weather. I quickly dropped my phone and put it far away.
Us moms. All of us moms. Whether, we stay at home, work full time or work from home, it is the hardest job out there. And, on really sucky days such as this one, we find ourselves looking forward to what is ahead. Because the days ahead are going to be much more fun than the current miserable ones. November has arrived, Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we have visions of our children in their perfect little outfits. We will spending the cozy day with family. December is the biggest month! We decorate the tree, visit Santa and wait for him to arrive on Christmas day with a ton of presents. There is nothing more magical than that. With lots of lot of pics to share. Because we all have to show our friends on Facebook all the fun that we are having. Coming back to reality, I turned back to my precious boy Owen. The little boy who likes to give his stuffed animals shots as he looks into their ears and checks their hearts. He always promises his little patients that it won’t hurt. My own heart was officially broken.
I think all of us make promises to live more” in the moment.”The same promises that we made to ourselves before we even had kids. Our “future kids” would be beautiful, impeccably dressed, well behaved and our homes would always be spotless. We can do it! Because we are supermoms! Ironically enough, I quickly realized that I had my standards way too high. Instead of my fantasy grown up life, my reality is dealing with Cherrios on the carpet, a sticky kitchen floor (something spilled, not sure what yet), bickering children, and at least one child climbing up a cabinet and trying to snatch cookies. Oh and that is on a good day. At only seven-thirty in the morning. By the time the day ends, I just want to get into bed, stay under the covers, sleep and hide from the world. Because tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow, I will somehow find the energy I have been missing for the past seven years. And do it all. And all would be perfect. Like it should be.
I love to blame the 70’s and 80’s sitcom moms for all the unrealistic expectations that were set. As a t.v. kid, I looked up to all these women. Whether they worked or not, their home was always spotless. And they looked perfect. And any disagreement ended in a half hour. Usually with a hug. I figured that would be me when I grew up.
Growing up, we loved the holidays, but we also appreciated the normal. Like that one Saturday that we spent the day in pajamas watching Family Feud. When it ended, we all got up, cheered, screamed and hugged in a circle. Just like they did on the show. Yup, none of us were dressed yet. The house was undoubtedly in shambles, but it still remains a wonderful memory.
I figured that one day I would be that “perfect mom.” But, I am far from it. I wanted to be the one that had the perfect home, put dinner on the table every night and went frolicking with my kids all day at the park or doing any other special activities. You know, kind of like Mary Poppins. It didn’t matter that we lived in the city. That was actually the good part. We would be hitting museums, parks and various landmarks on a daily basis. All the while handling tantrums and lugging strollers up and down the subway steps. It would be a piece of cake!
I used to get mad at myself for not achieving this perfect standard but I have learned to let it go. My kids are out and about very often. We do plenty of activities. They get tons of love. They are happy. Yes, it is fun (and exhausting!) to spend the day playing in Central Park, but it is also fun to have a “lazy” day once in awhile. I laugh as I think of those two words “lazy” and “mom” together, but you get the point. For today, I am quite content reading my son some of his favorite books, playing with his cars and coloring together. Oh, and trying to write an article or something like that. Maybe possibly trying to do something for myself as well. Some of these activities may get a little messy, but I am going to let it go. Owen doesn’t mind. He is loved. And pretty soon we will be picking up his big sister from school. I will see the joy in his face as he spots his sister in the schoolyard and screams, “Julia!” And then the fun really begins. We will walk home and talk about the day and the afternoon treat we will have. Exchanging funny jokes and stories all the while. Then the chaos begins as we get home and I start to help Julia with her homework. Owen, not happy about suddenly not getting all my attention, will act out. But, that’s okay, because today I have print outs for him to color. So he could do homework just like his sister. Maybe I will make a quick pasta dish. Maybe I can get my husband to cook tonight. Maybe we can order out. I can consider cleaning up once again, but I may not have time for that either. Because today will be a special day. Even with the sucky weather and it being Monday and all. We will be too busy making memories to notice the negative. Memories in this messy home, where dishes need to be done, and dinner to be made. We are all together and deserve to be happy. I hope my children remember this day as well. Who knows, they may end up remembering it as one of their best days ever. And if they do, I know I will be doing my job right. Not as a superwoman, but as a mom. A title I couldn’t be more proud of.