Monday, February 7, 2011

If it were up to me...

If it were up to me, my washer wouldn't have died on Saturday leaving me with slim pickin's in my underwear drawer this morning.

If it were up to me, I would be on the floor creating an ingenious toddler craft with my kids right now instead of trying desperately to clean my house so that I could SEE my floor.

If it were up to me, I would bring in a nice supplemental income so that we could repair or replace that darn washing machine without breaking a sweat.

If it were up to me, I wouldn't turn to mini Cadbury Eggs every time I feel overwhelmed. I would just make a plan, adjust my goals, and go to bed earlier. (I wish I liked going to bed early; it just makes me feel like I'm being punished.)

And if it were up to me, I would hang out with other moms all day long so that I could pick their brains and laugh at what their kid did the other day. I was on the phone with a dear friend a while ago and found myself lowering my voice as I told her about one of my worst mothering moments that had occurred that week (a night that ended with me yelling up the stairs "We're having family night tonight, dammit!"). I had to laugh when my (nearly perfect) friend responded with, "Well, listen to this..."

The "super mom" is an imaginary mantle that we place upon the shoulders of strangers. We read her blog and assume that behind those pictures is a clean floor, an empty laundry basket, and a nutritious meal simmering in the crock pot. But I guarantee that very mom has a closet full of guilt, tears and the occasional expletive, just like the rest of us.

We need each other. Just the other day, a thirty-something mother of three answered a question I had about breastfeeding, dispelled my (current) worries about my three year old's unique and headstrong behavior, and told me how to cut oranges for my kids in a way that is more fun and less mess--all during our daughters' ballet class. Because she's been there.

If it were up to me, I'd gather all the tidbits of wisdom I could from good moms around the world and make it a part of me.

What is your tidbit? Please, do share.

p.s. My friend from ballet cuts the oranges horizontally into round slices, like a tomato, and tells her kids they're eating sunshine. How cute is that.
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  1. Just what I needed to read after a frustrating day babysitting the (nearly perfect) children of a (nearly perfect) friend. :) It's always nice to know that nobody else is perfect, we're all just doing the best we can!

  2. Hi Janelle,
    You don't know me personally but I read your blog because it is SO nice to know that there are other moms out there that go through the same things that I go through=)
    One of the best tidbits of information that I was ever given was from one of my aunts, who has raised four children of her own. She called before coming over to visit one day and I had asked her to give me just a few moments to tidy up. Her words to me, "You will have all the time in the world to clean when your children are grown up and moved out."
    So push the things that are the floor out of the way and do a craft...guilt free =)
    And thank you for making so many of us moms feel normal!!!

  3. You said it so well! I totally agree, have been there, feel your pain, have the same thoughts and struggles - though luckily my washing machine still works ):
    When I read "And if it were up to me, I would hang out with other moms all day long so that I could pick their brains and laugh at what their kid did the other day." it was like you were writing my thoughts. That is exactly what I think the ideal mothering life would be. Spending it with other Moms all day and learning from each other.
    Mothering can be lonely without other Moms who can relate.
    Unfortunately there are naps, meals that holds us from doing that all the time - but I love it when I can hang out and learn from you (:
    You're amazing Janelle Phipps!

    ps my Mom always cut our apples and oranges that way - they make STARS and sunshines(: