Yes, it’s true, I’m a good mother.
I don’t helicopter over them. I let them get dirty. I try not to stress over the little things.
I let them pick their own clothes for all but the most formal of events. And yes, this means that frequently Chip goes to school in an old army hat, a jean jacket (no shirt), shorts, sandals and a rain coat.
I tell them ‘no’ because they need to hear it, not because it makes my day any easier. I know all their details right down to their souls. I know how to make each one of them feel safe in the way they need it.
I know how to bring Mike down from a spiraling tantrum that he gets stuck in and doesn’t know how to get out of. I know when Robbie needs to cuddle with me quietly on the couch. I know when Chip needs a nap and how to make him think it was his idea.
I know what parts of the future to not worry about, because details have a way of working themselves out. I’m a great Mom. And yep, it feels weird to type that out. And I’m already feeling a little weirded-out about publishing this post in a minute.
If you haven’t read Rebecca‘s call to stop putting ourselves down and owning up to being good parents, you really should check it out. The best, and most quoted line is “Claiming to be bad parents is the new “I’m fat” for even the thinnest of women.”
But. The best post I’ve seen on this topic is over at Her Bad Mother. And she’s absolutely right: it is terribly hard to bring the funny or at least be interesting if all you do is recount the parts of your day that went as planned. The parts where no one screamed “I hate you mommy!” at the top of their lungs. When no one kicked you in the shins because you wouldn’t let them watch the fucking Wonderpets one more time.
I am most inspired as a writer – yes, inspired – by my moments of fear and confusion, my weaknesses, my mistakes. So most of my writing – as it appears on this blog – addresses itself, or seems to address itself, to my consideration of myself as a bad mother. As Her Bad Mother. Not Her Bad-ASS Mother – Her Bad Mother