I fell in love today. Sadly not the kind that makes you lose weight or dress nicely or walk with confidence. No it is the kind where, it makes you want to wear flannel and have a warm blanket and snuggle up with cookies and milk. I had the pleasure of meeting my friend’s babe. All 7 pounds 8 ounces of her with a thick head of hair and lovely California girl tan – OK so its jaundice – but she looks all summery and tan. She sat there all snugly on me and slept. I love that feeling. My kids are teens and WAY PAST the cuddly stage. As I was holding her all I could think is “I had asked for a baby – not teenagers”! So here I am, a mom of big giant people, whose feet are larger than boats and when the stand up straight they become an upper case letter “L’.
Looking at the cute, sweet, adorable baby in contrast to my behemoths reminded me of when they were young. Every mom looks into the face of their baby and has huge dreams for their child. As they grow you learn to let them have their own dreams. Then it dawned on me. My MOM had dreams for me too! wow – I am sure I let the ball drop on that one.
My sister and I have had long conversations about our potential. You know the kind, how successful she is in contrast to me. But in my defense, I am a devoted mom. I always put my kids first, knowing they had what they needed emotionally and physically was so very important to me. I always put myself last and wore that like a badge of honor. Hey….wait a minute…. that might be, in fact, why I feel the way I do now. I don’t regret the “family first always” motto of our clan. But it does impede self discovery and fulfillment. In other words, SELFISH. Shocking for women to hear that word. As a group they are quick to judge and point fingers when your child does not meet “their” standards of excellence. But here is what I have gleaned in my vast expansive years of motherhood:
- you in the Prada Boots, Armani Suit and Choo hand bag, I’m on to you! Your house is a disaster too! Your skill is to quickly put yourself together for public presentation of your family so you “look fabulous” but at home your kitchen is a mess, there is laundry in the washer since last week and you ran out of milk this morning so your kids had Sunny D in their cereal for breakfast.
- you in the pink fluffy “sweater”. I’m on to you! That is not a sweater it is your bathrobe! You wear to drive your kids to school in every morning. So when you go home you have the house to yourself so you can take your time and put your game face on so when you come back to school to volunteer you are the perfect picture of devoted wife and mother. When the reality is you forgot to make lunches because you were reading a romance novel so the kids will get McDonald’s delivered to them at lunch and they call you a hero.
- you in the New Balance and Coolmax T-shirt who runs home after dropping your kids off at school does so because the sheet of cookies you made for your kids is mysteriously gone from the counter. You ate them like potato chips while watching Sleepless in Seattle fantasizing about Tom Hanks. So now you must run off those cookie calories and quickly bake new ones before anyone finds out!
The sad thing is, we all are so competitive that we fail to see that we are all exactly the same. We all feel inadequate when it comes to our neighbor. Just like Jr. High when we weren’t popular. What we fail to realize is that we all feel the same way. That popular girl doesn’t feel so popular, that smart girl doesn’t feel so smart, that beautiful woman feels ugly every morning, that successful working mom feels like she is failing her kids. But lighten up! We are all doing the best we can! I think the hard part is accepting that you are exactly who you need to be. Change happens as you need to change and adapt. I am in the process of needing to change and adapt because my family needs me in a different way and I need them differently. Luckily we all evolve at basically the same rate so we wont leave anyone behind.
So knowing my mom as well as I do, do I really think she is disappointed that her dreams from me didn’t pan out? Naaaw, because she is a mom I know exactly how she feels. It’s the same way I feel about my kids. Because I am her’s, she loves me to bits and is perfectly happy as long as I am happy. That is all the kick in the pants this Edmonton Tourist needs on the road to self fulfillment.