Right now, as I’m typing this, I’m in the McDonald’s drive-thru line. It is 5:19pm.
Tonight marks the second time this week I’m feeding my kids Grade A, Unadulterated Crap.
I had already started making a “healthy” meal of sweet potatoes and rice when the kids started sumo-slamming each other on the couch and arguing over who got to use the “ski slope” (AKA the cushions stacked on top of one another on our couch) when I decided that, you know what? I quit this bitch. Happy Meals, here we come!
Sometimes, the thought of doing the “right thing” is enough to make you crazy.
There was a time when I would have cared about lowering my standards, when I would have fought a little harder to fit the mold of “good mom.”
But not anymore. Now, not only am I okay with not being a standard-issue “good mom” all the time, but I also embrace it. My lack of caring is kind of freeing.
I do care, of course, about the Big Things: The kids’ happiness. Their nutrition (a solid 80 percent of the time).
I care about stoking the flames of their curiosity so they’re engaged learners.
I care about fulfilling their regular need for couch cuddles (each Big Kid gets an arm!).
I care about their safety and their health and that they know that Kind is more important than Important.
But I’m so, so far from that textbook “good mom” stuff sometimes, it’s kinda crazy.
I lose my temper and don’t hold my tongue. But after I do, I apologize.
I could be stricter and probably dish out fewer desserts, but then again I never say no when they ask to sleep with me.
I brush and floss their teeth patiently every night, but I also completely lose my crap when I have to ask them for the fourteenth time to put their shoes on to go to school.
I’m a makeup-less mess at school dropoff some days; other days I’m glammed to the nines.
I sometimes worry about what other moms think of me; do I fit in? On the other hand, I couldn’t care less what they think.
I am a strict disciplinarian and I am a total softie.
I’m usually the one my kids run to, and sometimes the one they run from.
I am the calming stroke on their soft foreheads at night and also and the wrestling riler-upper before bedtime.
I am freakin’ awesome at my job as a stay-at-home mom, and I am also total crap at it.
I am all of it, often all at once—frustrated and exhilarated; right on top of it and drowning in it; ready to scream and ready to cry with joy—on any given day, at any given minute.
And chances are, you are too.
Because as today reminded me, sometimes I’m the Martha Stewart of moms; other days I’m the damn McDonald’s.
And all of that adds up to this: I’m no one’s definition of perfect. But yet somehow I am, to them.
And I’m pretty sure that’s all that matters.