When Jimmy was little, I was the over-the-top kind of Mom. I wanted to do it all. Be it all. Have it all.
For Jimmy’s first turn being “snack person” in preschool I made an entire solar system out of ball shaped cupcakes for crying out loud (I will post a photo when I find it.). If there was a volunteer need at school, my hand was the first one up. Birthday party themes were meticulously planned from the plates to the games down to the piece of junk toy in the goody bag. I wouldn’t think of having a meal without a vegetable. (And if we went somewhere where there weren’t veggies, you could be sure I’d shove a carrot in Jimmy’s mouth when we got home). We had TV “coupons” that had to be earned for any screen time. I bought cute mix and match outfits from Little Me. And so on.
The problem was, I set the bar so high there was no way I could sustain that level. I stood on my tippy toes for as long as I could, trying to keep it up there. But I quickly realized I was in over my head.
The bar slowly slipped down, down, down.
Now the bar is just laying on the floor. I didn’t drop the ball, I dropped the bar. Now I’m completely a slacker Mom.
I feel bad that Greg never got to see the Mom who pole vaulted that bar. Without a pole.
He gets the Mom that was secretly relieved when the school stopped allowing class snacks to be brought in. The Mom that isn’t in his classroom frequently enough to know his classmates’ names. He didn’t even have a party for his past two birthdays. When the doctor asked at one of his check-ups how often he eats vegetables, he answered “Hmmm. I don’t know. Maybe once a week.” (It’s really not THAT bad. He got quite a glare.) Video games are his babysitter some days. He wears wrinkled/stained/torn hand me downs because I haven’t shopped. (Sometimes they even fit.)
I don’t really WANT to go back to how I was when Jimmy was little. I’ve realized that I wasted many, many hours then obsessing over things that didn’t really matter in the long run (like a solar system that was eaten in 30 seconds.). The earth didn’t stop spinning when I stopped doing those things (See what I did there? And come to think of it, I’m surprised I didn’t make the planet cupcakes rotate around the sun cupcake…).
BUT I also don’t want to be the bare minimum Mom anymore. I want to do the things that make me a good Mom. Not the best Mom. Not the worst Mom.
I need to figure out a way to pick that bar up off the ground.
I may not be able to jump over it anymore. But maybe I can limbo under it.
Now THAT is the kind of Mom I want to be.
The easy-breezy-don’t-worry-be-happy-life’s-a-party Limbo Mom.
The Limbo Mom: Where lowering the bar is a good thing.
(Not too low though. My back will go out.)
After I wrote this, I read “I used to be that Mom“ on Our Small Moments. It is a beautifully written piece that you should go read also. And Courtney is going through a very rough time right now so she could definitely use some easy breezy vibes sent her way!