Monday, I got the Littlest all ready. Raincoat. Galoshes. Pants. Extra pants for potty probs. Backpack. I told him over and over, “have so much fun on your field trip!!”
I was so on top of my shit it wasn’t even funny.
Except I wasn’t.
His field trip is in a month. That shit that I thought I was on top of… notsomuch. I had misread the email from his very organized teacher. And sent him to school with the expectations of a rainy, sloggy orchard visit. I’m guessing those teachers love me.
Yesterday, the Middlest held his socks in the air after I kindly reminded him in my most-patient voice (ahem…) for the eighteenth time to put them on. They didn’t match. They never do. He goes to school every single day, unmatched socks, tattered shoes because no matter what shoes he wears, he obliterates them. And his shirt and shorts, they rarely match either. Because he prefers to wear blue. Of all different hues. I thought my kids would wear Gap and Sperry’s. But it’s drifit all day, every day.
My Oldest had his first club after school the other day. It got over at 4. I showed up at 4:03. He voiced his displeasure with me being late. I voiced my reality that his Littlest brother was wearing a pull-up and rain galoshes. And no pants. And that is what happened to me being on time.
I’m not the mom with the tissues in my purse. I do likely have four different half-used tubes of the same Buxom lip gloss. I know the mom with the pliers, the bandaids, the wet wipes, the tweezers… and I am so thankful for that mom. But I am not her.
I’m not the mom who is totally on top of things and has pristinely dressed kids. I know that mom though… a lot of them, in fact. They are some of my favorite people.
I’m not the mom who was back in my pre-pregnancy clothes 6 weeks postpartum. In fact, I might still have some of my maternity clothes in my closet and regular rotation of outfits because gosh darn it, they are comfortable. And someday when I’m on What Not to Wear, they can rib me for still having my bump gear. I know some moms who have “bounced back” immediately. And I adore them. But I am not them.
I’m not the mom who has her ducks all lined up in a lovely row. But I do have three little boys chasing each other in circles. And that is the motherhood I know.
I am the mom who dances in the car to Kids Place Live. I am the mom who tells my kids to go outside and play. I am the mom who sometimes cleans my kids’ rooms. And sometimes doesn’t. I am the mom who cherishes school pickup and hearing about their day and their life outside of our house. I am the mom who wanted all new everything for our first-born. And who dons the third via Hand-me-down City. I am the mom who adores dinner time around our table even though I almost simultaneously want to stick my fork in my eye when my kids don’t want to eat. And I am the mom who wasn’t sure if I’d get to always be here. And so, I love that I do.
I am the mom who thinks my kids are the smartest most gorgeous happenings upon this earth.
I’m not the mom that everyone thinks they need to be based on fairytales or social media. I’m not the mom who feels the pressure to keep up with the Joneses or the Smiths because I’ve realized I just am not going to catch them. And I’ve realized that the chase is costly and exhausting.
I am not the mom. The one I thought I’d be. And yet, I think I am the mom I am supposed to be. The mom I know how to be. The mom I’m so happy to be.
I am their mom. These three little humans I’ve been loaned… I am their person. Their mama. And I have realized that really, that’s all I can be. For them, the best thing I can do, is be the mom I know how to be. And grow into motherhood just as they grow into men. I can continuously try to be the mom they expect me to be. But more importantly, wake up and be the mom I was designed to be. Because they don’t actually know about any of the other moms. What they know… what their normal is… is me.
I can be the mom who supports their love for unmatched socks. The mom who shows up three minutes late but still, shows up. The mom who is true to who she is. And loves them for what they are becoming. I am the mom who can love them in a way that no one else can. And that is actually pretty darn powerful.
Because me… it turns out… I happen to be the very mom they need the most.