“MOM, CAN YOU PLEASE STOP AT THE FRONT DESK OF THE DAYCARE AND ASK THE LADY HOW THEY MAKE THE TOAST HERE? THEY MAKE IT BETTER, I DON’T LIKE YOUR TOAST.”
I met this update with surprising humility. It turns out, I am okay at being sub-par at making toast. Or really, this pure “out of the mouth of babes” moment helped me take to heart something about motherhood. Some people do things better.
This is an important lesson I learned first in the workplace. By all means, strive to do your best. Realistically, the best kind of workplace is made up of different people who do different things well. You probably don’t ask the staff accountant to drum up new sales, the HR specialist to fix a leaking roof, or the junior sales guy to balance the company books. It could happen, but it just may not end well.
Why then, as moms, do we expect ourselves to cover all aspects of motherhood well all the time? I really enjoy my job. I don’t always like people. This doesn’t shock me or freak me out. I can take a deep breath, re-evaluate, and go again. Sometimes I tap another’s brain. I emerge from the experience better.
Right before our son was born, I had a full out emotional meltdown because I was convinced our boy would be born and not like me. I remember waddling around the outdoor gardening section at Lowe’s with swollen eyes from half crying/half self coaching myself that I could overcome the rejection of an infant and bounce back on my feet. (Seconds into holding him on the birth day, I realized this was total hormonal/sleep-deprivation lunacy.) And now we, he – and – I are traversing the toddler years together and we frequently have moments where we don’t really like each other. I can take a deep breath, re-evaluate, and go again. I can tap another’s brain. I can emerge from the experience better.
So, in reflecting on my opportunities for growth (like toast), tonight I salute the areas that make me a little quirky, the areas of motherhood that other people do better. (This is big for my former type-A performance driven self). I would say join me in pouring yourself a glass of wine in this salute, but who am I kidding? Half a glass puts me to bed which already presents challenges in our household ~ see below).
a) Bedtimes: in our house, the joke is “kids, put your mother to bed.” I am just not a real big fan of being awake after 7:30. I would love for it to become law that everyone must sleep 10 hours a night. I would totally vote for that. I have night owl children. I’m done by 9:30p. You can imagine nights at our house are interesting.
b) Baking: I am partially into this endeavor: I like eating icing out of the container. I did recently have a freak rash incident of two and half successful banana bread creations. Beyond that, this art is lost on me.
c) Magazine-esque dressed children: I can’t stand matching socks. So I don’t. Yesterday our son wore a camouflage outfit with one of his sister’s pink fringed socks. Not ideal but it worked. I’m not a hater now, I admire this gift in others. Some kids literally look like they have just walked out of Gap Kids factory. If you’ve got it honey, work it. I just don’t and have learned to be okay with this.
I guess what I am saying, Mom, is don’t stress those areas that others seem to have it so together. Stop expecting yourself to be awesome all the time. You’re special because you are you. Even if that next lady makes toast better 🙂