Friday, June 15, 2012

Lower The Bar, Moms!

I'm jealous of my husband.  He gets to be Dad.  When you're Dad you get credit just for showing up.   And that's setting the bar pretty low when it comes to any kind of parenting, but it sets the standard nicely for getting plenty of extra credit when you go above and beyond just showing up.

So why are the standards for being Mom so impossibly high?

You have to control your emotions 100% of the time.  You can never lose your cool to the point of yelling and swearing.  In fact, swearing is strictly verboten  regardless of your tone of voice.  Instead you must exercise limitless patience and love and understanding.  You get judged on what you feed your kids, how they're dressed, the length of their hair, when and how they sleep, how much freedom they have, how little freedom they have, how they behave in public, how you behave in public, their performance in school and, ultimately, how they turn out as adults. 

Being the avant-garde trendsetter that I am I have decided to set a new standard.  It's time to lower the bar so we all get to win.

1.  Are you currently raising children?  Congratulations!  You're a good Mom.

2.  Are you doing your best to meet the needs of your child (food, shelter, medicine, clothing, etc.)?  Then you're a good Mom.  Even if you fall short of meeting those needs sometimes you're still a good Mom.  We're all just doing the best we can.

3.  Did you get your child to eat at least one food from each food group over the course of the day?  Then you're a good Mom.  And even if you didn't, you're still a good Mom.  You know what they say: you can lead a horse to water but you can't strap it down and force feed it vegetables.

4.  Did you not reciprocate when your child punched/bit/spit on/slapped/otherwise intentionally injured you?  Then you're a good Mom.  Just because you really, really wanted to reciprocate does not mean that you're a bad Mom.  It just means your kid is acting like an bunghole.

5.  Did your child arrive at school fully dressed?  Then you're a good Mom.  It doesn't matter that his clothes are backwards, mismatched and dirty.  He can learn just as well in that as he can in clean matching clothes.   Shoes + Shirt + Pants = My Kid Has a Right to an Education.

6.  Did your child come home today without a police escort?  Then you're a good Mom.  There will come a time when the police will come to visit, but that's okay.  Statistically speaking, that represents a highly insignificant number compared to all the times he didn't.  That makes you 99.9% Good Mom.

7.  Do you still have the capacity to love your children to the point that you would die for them even though they put you through all of this craziness?  Not only are you a good Mom, you're a superhero!

Let's all high-five each other for the good game that we're playing and stop getting so down on ourselves about every little failure.  You get bonus points for just "showing up" each and every day.