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Challenge: WHO Are You?

To all my fellow average moms: I salute you

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Oh, to be an exceptional mom... what would that feel like, I wonder?

Frankly, I don’t have the slightest clue, and I’m OK with that.

I’ll be the first to tell you I am an average mom. I don’t do anything exceptional for my kids or my family. I don’t go out of my way to stir their senses, engage their imagination, or nurture their curiosity. Leave the Pinterest crafts for someone else. I look at those pins and all I see is an hour of MESS. And guess who gets to clean up that crap? Yup. When you say arts and crafts, I say Crayolas and blank paper. Or Play-Doh. But show me pipe cleaners and sequins, and I’ll show you the door.

My kids watch too much TV. Did someone say less than an hour a day? Well shoot... That’s how much time it takes me to get dressed and make breakfast in the morning without losing my mind. Sometimes I wonder if my kids watch too much TV, but I need to make dinner without a toddler hanging off my leg pretending he’s a monkey, so yea, we like Netflix.

When it’s cold outside, or it’s raining out, or mommy’s got a headache, I have a tendency to send the kids to the playroom. Yeah, I know the outdoors are good for them, but a little indoor play never hurt anyone either. I even bought my kids an indoor trampoline for Christmas, because it’s the perfect diversion when someone says the word “outside” and the temperature out the window looks frigid. Exercise is exercise, right? Whether it’s off a log or on a trampoline, it’s still jumping.

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I like to feed my kids healthy, nutritious meals, but most of the time my children refuse to put anything in their mouths that doesn’t have melted cheese on it. On a crust. Pizza, okay... my kids only seem to want to eat pizza. I’ve tried kale and quinoa. That went over real well. So screw that. Fed is best, right?

I bribe and threaten my kids. I told myself that I would never be one of those parents that bribed their kids. That’s manipulative and just poor parenting. Well, actually, it’s brilliant because it works. And I use it every day just to get my kids into their car seats. If it takes a granola bar to get them in their car seats, then yeah, I’m going to bribe them. And when I threaten my kids with no dessert until they finish everything on their plate (pizza), it’s occurred to me that I’m simultaneously bribing and threatening them, so ― wow ― that’s gotta win me some sort of lame ass parenting award, no?

Maybe the sanctimommies are going to get their panties in a bunch over my confession. That’s OK. I know I’m just an average mom. I’m not trying to win any awards here (except the lame ass one). Like most people, I’m just trying to do the best I can with the tools, time, and present life situation. Aren’t we all?

And while my parenting skills can at best be described as mediocre and at worst slightly lazy, there is one thing I excel at, and it’s something almost all moms excel at ― my love for my kids. You can call me average. You can question my parenting decisions. But you can never question my fierce love for my children, because that is off the charts.

So hats off to all the fellow average moms out there. I salute you. We are succeeding every day in keeping these cute, but often crafty and dauntingly exhausting, kiddos alive. And some days ― most days in fact ― that seriously does deserve an award.

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