I am honest enough with myself to know my talents and admit my faults. For instance; I am a Bad Mama Jama baker. I can take those ingredients and whip up a fresh batch of yumminess from scratch with my eyes closed. Crafting and creating? Yes, absolutely. Pooping with a kid on my lap and a kid on my feet while reading 'If You Take A Mouse To School' all while holding a sippy cup of milk? So freaking good. Keeping plants alive? Eh. (let's just say it's a good thing keeping plants alive and keeping kids alive aren't closely related talents). Remembering anything? Like, anything at all? I'm a total failure. Being a funny mom? Still up for debate...
I know where I excel and where I need work. Motherhood is no exception. If anything, becoming a mother is when you really start to learn how absolutely sucky you are at so, SO many things. And if you are unsure if you're good or not, just wait for your sweet little one to start talking. They will let you know your shortcomings. Their honesty comes daily but it's done in the most adorably brutal way. "Mommy, you should brush your teef better cause you bref stink." Or "Mommy, you don't cook good." Or my personal favorite, "You the meanest mommy in the world and I want a new one."
And the minute you let your guard down, the second you begin to feel pretty good about your parenting skills, something happens. Something always happens. And it seems to most often take place quickly and unexpectedly.
One specific (of many) mom failure stories of mine comes to mind here: What had begun as a fun afternoon at the park with the local Mom & Tots group my son and I had recently joined, quickly turned in a scene straight out of JAWS. Complete with the theatrical screaming, running, chaos and terror. "Biter!" moms yelled. "My daughter was bit!" another mom hollered, ghastly horrified. I found myself frantically looking through the crowd to find my kid. Grabbing him and hurriedly checking over his body for any signs of injury, I slowly began to realize the horror of the situation. My toddler was the shark. And the hunters were on the prowl.
The walk back to the van was a slow walk of shame, friends.
I apologized repeatedly to everyone and anyone that was brave enough to make eye contact with me. Not surprisingly, the group kindly requested, through email, that we refrained from anymore organized outings until my Great White had been dentally trained. It was a new "mommy low" for me and my hopes of finding fellow mom friends was extinguished quicker than a birthday candle on an ice cream cake. For fear of a repeat of this nightmare, we pretty much remained indoors for the following 6 months. I kept the shark in the tank, so to speak, until the threat of attack was no longer evident.
Obviously, we all know having a biter or not having a biter is not really the fault of the mother. Sometimes there's a reason why a child bites, other times there's no explanation at all. But, this day was the first day I remember referring to myself a Sucktastic Mom. It seemed fitting to me. I was fantastically sucky at being a Club Mom. I mean, props to my kid and I from being expelled the first day. That's got to be a record, right? And now this memory from years ago serves as a funny tale that can be laughed about at our dinner table.
But, seriously, aren't we all just a group of Sucktastic Moms? We are all fantastically sucky at something. Awesome sites like Pinterest give us crazy cool over-the-top mandatory birthday party ideas to ensure our kids' childhoods are complete with the happiness they so much deserve as well as fully detailed step-by-step instructions with pictures for weaving a better, more fulfilled life existence using simple everyday supplies like yarn, chalk and white glue. Okay, I totally made that DIY up, but you get the idea. Just because you aren't Martha Stewart-ish doesn't mean you're not a good mom. I may be good at something that you stink at. And you may be awesome at something that I am horrible at. And none of these talents will dictate the limits of our children's talents.
So, let's just be honest with ourselves. Let's own our Sucktastic-ness and lift one another up for everyone's own individual talents and abilities. I think these are the true instructions for a content mom life.