The other week I read an incredible blog post from a parent who was outing herself as a “not fun mom.” It was honest, real and thought-provoking, especially to someone like me.
I am someone who has been called a “fun mom” before.
The part of the blog that was most challenging to me was that this mother felt that she needed to hide the fact that she was, what she deemed to be, a “not-fun” mom. I felt that maybe she felt judgment and shame in the past for not measuring up to what society has said is a “fun mom.”
I looked up “fun mom” on the Internet to see what might pop up. Do you know what happened? I got about a hundred hits of blog posts and Reddit threads where other mothers were outing themselves as “not-fun moms.” I was pretty shocked and sad. This entire group of parents seemed to be living their day to day lives with this weight on their shoulders.
They found it challenging to play with their children or got upset a little more easily about messes and they were secretly thinking that they weren’t good parents because they weren’t “fun moms.”
Through this sea of secreted not- fun moms, I found no one calling themselves out as a fun mom. There were no blogs or entries for people who felt they were fun and talked about how their life feels for them. So here goes. I want to even the playing field and tell you that even though I consider myself a “fun mom” by society’s standards, I too have things that I am self-conscious about and things that make me feel like I’m falling short of achieving my parenting ideals.
Okay not-fun moms, feel free to judge me.
This has been a big sticking point for me and I am trying to fix it. But it’s hard. It’s hard to change how you have been eating for six years. I LOVE fast, convenient dinners. I don’t stress over sodium or sugar intake as much as I should. Pasta is our friend at our house and breakfast for dinner ends up happening a lot more than I can even say. Why you might ask? Please continue to number two.
I have terrible, terrible, terrible time management skills
There, I said it. I can be completely involved doing something with my kids and I lose track of time and there goes all of the time I had planned for making something more than what we end up having… pasta with some sort of frozen veggies on the side. Oh, and did I mention we only have one car? So, guess what happens on the days that we have to pick up my husband from work or when my son has a piano lesson, yup, we are late a lot of the time.
I am not great at managing money
In many ways, I have the mind of a child. I see something. I want it, and I forget that we don’t need the brand new set of sand toys in the middle of winter, even though these ones are bright green and can dual action as a water slide marble maze and have bells that sound when the marble passes through and I am standing in the store thinking about the hours of joy my children will get out of these toys when we take them to the beach… If summer ever gets its butt here. I love toys and games… probably more than my kids… and so, when I see a cool one, I have an instant urge to get it. I had this problem before having kids, but the urge took the form of sneaker buying and eating out. Now it’s toys, games, and outerwear. I have had to breathe deeply and put numerous things back on the shelf before leaving a store countless times.
This year, we are planning to purchase our first house. Guess who was and is completely confused by the process and has really tried to wrap her mind around mortgages, interest rates, and property taxes, but still can’t seem to get a grip on the whole thing? That’s right. Me. Experiences like this can be terrifying to me because I know I am supposed to be guiding my own children through adulthood and if their own mother is baffled by so much of adulthood, how am I ever going to be able to help them?
I am absent minded
I lose everything! EVERYTHING! I’ve sent my kids to school in winter without mittens. Lost my wallet right before a flight. Lost keys, phones and countless brain cells. It becomes very hard for me to try to instill in my children the importance of keeping track of their things when I have the hardest time doing it myself.
But, the one thing I know I shine at is playing with my kids. I love playing with them and because of how my mind is wired, it’s very easy for me. In many ways, I feel like a child trapped in the body of a 36-year-old and adulthood was something that was forced on me and not something I ever asked for. I can’t change the way I am. I simply am this way. I have strengths with my kids and weaknesses.
I am neither a fun mom or a non fun mom. I simply am a mother.
There is so much pressure on mothers nowadays. It saddens me to think that there are so many moms out there feeling bad about the way they are wired. None of us can help the genes we are handed. We have this grace with our children all the time, and let them be who they are. But we never turn that grace on ourselves. Let us be who we are. We don’t need the labels. We have the most important one already. Mother.
That label and that word is enough for any of us to step up to the plate. Mother.
I find myself constantly trying and struggling to understand the adult world. The same as some parents try each day to give their child one on one playtime attention. One thing is easy for you but hard for me, and vice versa.