I’m a big fan of humor; there is nothing better in the world than laughing those big belly laughs that make tears stream down your cheeks. I’ve also adopted self-deprecating humor as a way to embrace my flaws. Don’t love something about yourself? Find a way to laugh about it and it doesn’t bother you quite as much — at least that’s how it goes for me. Following that theory, lately I’ve found that I’ve given myself a new label: THAT mom.
Let me give you an example. On the 4th of July, my girls got new bicycles as an early birthday present so that we could practice using them this summer. Of course, I had my hubby take a photo and since this was on the 4th of July, naturally, we were wearing matching outfits. When I sent this photo to my mom tribe, I felt the need to explain it — something cheeky and cute — I called out the matching outfits and said, “Yup, I’m THAT mom.” My friends were excited for me, liked the outfits, and the conversation moved along normally.
But it stuck with me… why did I feel the need to call that out? It’s not like it was a coincidence that we were matching — I bought the dresses last year and had to drag out the sewing machine to alter them so they fit right. Our matching dresses were clearly something I had put time and thought into, but I was afraid of looking cheesy or like I was trying too hard. And that just isn’t sitting well with me. I like trying just a little too hard on the matching outfits; I like perusing Pinterest for playdate ideas; and I am having way too much fun planning their birthday party. Being THAT mom is something I enjoy! It’s something I work hard at! It’s something I am going to embrace!
Being THAT mom goes the other way, too, of course. It applies to things that I’m ashamed of — ashamed of doing myself and ashamed of having judged another mom for at some point. Today I had to fill up my car with gas. No big deal, right? Well, I went through said tank of gas way faster than usual because I’ve adopted a terrible little habit this past week called “nap drives.” You see, my almost-three-year-old twins have been on a nap strike. I know that I’ve been extremely lucky to have had nearly 3 years of solid and semi-predictable nap times, but these little girls still desperately need a nap — like, “turn into totally different kids” still need a nap.
I would rather drive around for over an hour than endure another afternoon/evening with overtired little monsters. I’m ashamed to admit it. I mean, I should have more discipline and make them nap in their room. I should buck-up and let nap time go and be grateful that they napped for as long as then did. But no, instead of doing those things, I drive. I even downloaded an audiobook — this was not a one time thing. I’m ashamed that this is my new reality, but not ashamed enough to stop yet either.
Then I think back to the times that I heard other mamas sharing how the only way their new baby would sleep was to drive around the block. “That’s just crazy!” thought old me. No, you know what IS crazy? Driving to Virginia, MN for no good reason other than to get my girls to take a decent nap.
But you know what? I’m going to embrace being THAT mom, too. I’ll embrace both sides of my mom self. I’m the mom who tries a little too hard on the matching outfits AND the mom who is desperate just to get through the day without losing my sanity. I’m going to stop worrying about what other people think and what I “should” be doing. I’m going to settle into my unique mom self and try to enjoy the ride.
Because I’m pretty sure that if I keep at this, I’ll definitely be the embarrassing mom by the time middle or high school rolls around — and isn’t that really the ultimate goal?