I’m going celebrate my little life.
I’m going to be proud of trying to be a good mother. Trying to be a good housekeeper, a good wife, a good PTA president, a good member of my community, a good writer, a good daughter, sister, friend. (What else am I? I try to be good at all of those other things too.)
Here’s what I did today: PTA meeting, another PTA meeting, return ill-fitting children’s clothes at TJ Maxx, pick up flag football uniforms, send 1,000 emails, drafted a blog post, made two content creation deals, 2 loads of laundry, put out Christmas decorations, fed the kids a snack, drove the kids to flag football practice, cold-called a local bank for a PTA donation, cleaned the kitchen, made the beds.
It looks quite like any other day. Unless it’s a weekend. Then there’s much more togetherness with the kids and husband. So much more.
It’s not big. It’s not glamorous. I do get little splashes of adventure and glamor and excitement here and there, but otherwise that’s my life.
I fill out permission slips. I put the kids’ projects on my to-do list. I make sure they get to school on time, in (mostly) intact outfits. I make their lunches and drop them off at school if they forget.
I also love them very much.
Here’s why I’m telling you this. There are many very popular blogs and other websites that celebrate the slacker parent. “We’re imperfect!” they cry. “We suck at this!” Or worse “My kids are assholes!” or “Here are a ton of pictures of kids in embarrassing situations!” And people laugh and you think it’s funny because it’s not you.
I’m kind of over it. It’s a backlash against the backlash against good parenting.
I get it – it’s irreverent and funny and if you can’t make fun of yourself you will go crazy. I’ve also made fun of the perfect photo-spread-worthy birthday parties and the Pinterest boards and the Hallmark-card-ready family stories. But that doesn’t mean I have to swing far in the other direction, smugly declaring how much of a slacker I am, to make myself feel better.
I can feel good about my pathetic attempts at crafty projects because at least I tried. I can feel good about choosing to stay home with my children instead of running a network show and juggling work/life balance. I can be proud of making dinner most nights and wanting the kids to eat more vegetables.
A few weeks ago a friend texted me. “What do you call those people who look past you when they find out you’re a stay at home mom, like you have nothing to offer to the conversation?” she asked.
“Douchebags,” I answered. I didn’t know there was a term for them. Maybe that’s the one.
A lot of us feel like we have to justify our choices or make fun of them. I’m over that too. Can’t this just be my life? Can’t I just have this, without forming an argument in support of it?
Go ahead, argue with me. I’m not even going to engage. Because that’s the experiment: I’m just being proud of who I am and what I do, instead of feeling inferior because this other woman works and is a great mom, or she runs a business and is a great mom, or she is a celebrated artist and is a great mom.
Right now that’s my gig, man. I’m a mom. And I’m doing the best I can. That’s something to be proud of. Anything else I accomplish is icing on the cake.
Because this is my little life. I know I’m not changing the world.
Or maybe I am.