Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Youngest Son Sets Ambitious Goal and Ends Up with Lollipop

Andrea, Denise and more are right: I'm not a horrible Mom for letting my three-year-old ride his bike to Ben Franklin yesterday. Listen to Andrea:

"We all need to rethink "bad" mommy. You listened to what your child felt ready to do, that is not bad. He fell down, you helped him back up, that is not bad. You chose to leave the offending bike behind and tend to your child, return at a later time to retrieve the bike; again, nothing bad."

It was Andrea, in fact, who suggested an alternate name for yesterday's post (which you see posted up at the top today).

She's right, of course. So many of us, I think, fall into negative thinking when things go less-than-perfectly. So many of us assume that's all up to US: that if we just did everything right, our kids would be polite, happy and intelligent, our careers and marriages would be thriving and our homes, sparkling refuges from the reality of the cold world.

Or maybe that's just me.

Andrea's right: Good Mom doesn't mean "perfect." Good Mom doesn't mean "nothing bad happens to my kids." Good Mom means that we do the best we can with reality as its presented to us.

Good Mom doesn't mean beating yourself up for what you "should have known" (like I did yesterday). Good Mom means accepting and embracing the fact that you're human too.

Of course, entire books have been written about this subject. I think I need to check out Good Enough Mother: The Perfectly Imperfect Guide to Parenting, by Rene Syler. I love this quote:

"In an ideal world, mothers would have time to hand-sew their kids' costumes for the school play, prepare all-organic meals, and volunteer in the classroom at the drop of a hat. In reality, most moms have to settle for plopping their little ones in front of SpongeBob so that they can prepare yet another chicken nugget-based dinner, guiltily convinced they're falling down on the job. "

Yup. That's me.

Another book I need to look up is by fellow writer and boy-mom Jen Singer. Her hilarious book, You're a Good Mom (and Your Kids Aren't So Bad Either) might be just what I need.


  1. That's the type of book I need to read. :)

  2. I think so many moms are too hard on themselves. We want so badly to get it all right, but we are making one huge assumption: that we can control everything, when in reality, we only control about 10% of what happens in our everyday life! I am trying to accept that things aren't always going to go "right" and not to get stressed out every time something goes "wrong." As one friend reminded me recently, adversity is a part of life, so are disappointment and frustration. Not only do we need to teach our kids how to handle these things, but we also need to model it ourselves! "Water off a duck's back" is one of my new mantras...

  3. Wow, thanks for the compliment! Imagine my surprise!

    I do like the look of the blog. I am a bit (more than a bit) envious, because I have no idea how you did it, and I've been dying to change the look of mine!

  4. You're more than welcome, Andrea. Thanks for some food for thought and a great title for a blog post. (Also, you spared me the trouble of having to come up with something new to write about).

    As for the "look" -- scroll down to the bottom of my blog, and you'll see a graphic for Template Mama. Click on it and it'll take you to her site. She has some cute ones there (free) and believe me, it's EASY. If I could do it...