MOMFB – making other mommies feel better

 ah, in this picture we look so neat and tidy.  all my little j’s–jared, jamison, josh, jose (who helped create these beautiful babes), julia, and jonas.  so squared away.  so on top of life.  looks can be deceiving.  don’t for a minute think that a 10 second snapshot captures reality.  just take one step into  my house unannounced.  ask my kids.  ask jose. ask my friends from the refuge. pictures lie.  i love our life. i am happy.  yes, i wish i had someone who could help me clean and cook.  yes, i wish i were more organized and the time between 8 and 3 didn’t elapse quite so quickly.   but my reality is that none of that is going to happen anytime soon.    and what i find when i talk to other moms is that a  pervasive feeling seems to exist, a feeling that we’re never quite good enough.  good mommies play on the floor with their kids all day long, do artsy crafts, make amazingly healthy and balanced meals, and keep everyone’s world spinning ’round.  it’s way too much pressure and the end result is that lots of mommies are left with way too much guilt & shame. 

so my contribution to the world is to make mommies everywhere feel a little better. 

when you’re feeling low, like a loser mom, just take a list at these 10 true and yes, humiliating, things about me that hopefully will make you feel a little better.  trust me, these are just 10 of 100 at the tip of my tongue.  i shared these this weekend at a women’s retreat i facilitated at my dear friend elaine’s church in san diego.  i had a few women ask me for a copy so they could show their husbands and they could get off the hook.  yes, you can now officially feel better about yourselves and i can feel worse…    

 

top 10 humiliating things about me that will make you mommies out there feel better…

10. i often try to cut down the 30 second lullaby i sing to the twins to 10 seconds  because 30 seconds seems like too long. 

9.      every fast food restaurant in town is represented on the floor of my suburban

8. in most families, eating cereal is a treat for dinner. at my house, my kids are like “please, mommy, not cereal again!”

7. one of the twins ears got so dirty that the only way i could really get it clean was to use mary kay eye makeup remover!

6.        i went to the extra fridge to  make room for the leftovers from easter and discovered that the christmas leftovers were still in there!

5.  my father in law (a reminder, jose’s hispanic and an only child!) asked me “kathy, are noodles the only thing you know how to cook?

4.   a while back i accumulated $90 in overdue library book fines (that went over well with jose.  even just a few days ago he went to the library and asked “now how  much am i going to have to pay before i check something out this time?”)

3.   when people come to my house for thanksgiving and christmas sometimes they bring their own cooking utensils.

2.   not once, not twice, but three times we have left one of the twins in the car, gone all the way into our location, been at the party, been in church, before we realized we forgot him.

1.  i once went, no lie, 6 months without vacuuming my house (i swear, it didn’t look as bad as it sounds and it was before we had dogs!)

hope you feel a little better. life’s too short. the one thing i’m learning the most right now is to worry less about stuff like this and care more about loving, laughing, and not taking myself so serious. 

  

Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar co-pastors at The Refuge, a Christian community and mission center in North Denver and is the author of Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart and several other books.

15 Comments

  • 1. I hate doing dishes. Not just hate, but avoid. Anytime I can beg, bribe or cajole my family into doing them, I do. Otherwise, I do then when we run out of counter space.

    2. We also eat cereal for dinner. Waayy too often.

    3. When we don’t eat cereal for dinner, I make waffles.

    I’m sure there are many more…that’s what I can think of at the moment.

    Reply
  • Hey, do they sell corndogs at the carnival in your head? How about Elephant Ears? Funnel Cakes? I’ll have a lemon shake-up and a corndog. Thanks!

    Reply
  • OMG. I nearly peed my pants reading this.
    Just four minutes ago, I slammed (not shut) my bedroom door b/c a six y.o. and an 11 y.o. were preventing me from crucial work – reading blogs. This was an awesome reminder of how we all roll. Not perfect, but good enough. The whole fetishization of motherhood and childhood is such a boring racket. Thanks for a tasty truth treat!

    Reply
  • erin, eggos are are #2 choice!

    beth, glad you stopped by. i’ve been trying to read the updates on churchrater…fun.

    megan, glad you stopped by. i can picture the “slam” and then the banging on the door that follows!

    Reply
  • Oh, you make me laugh! I’ll get my ‘quirky’ post up soon – I keep wanting to be so clever that I keep putting it off. Stupid.

    Reply
  • A great comment I heard from a Mom on a panel at my local MOPS group that I’ll never forget: don’t clean up your house before another Mom comes over. She will feel better about herself if she sees your house as it usually is. It will give her permission

    I only have 2 kids and I have a long list of Mom failures. Kathy I have no idea how someone can manage five! The fact you’re still alive impresses me 🙂

    Reply
  • hey amy, i know, i keep checking for that meme and i haven’t seen it!!!! you are naturally clever, let it rip!

    helen, yeah, doesn’t it help when you go to someone else’s house and it’s not clean? it’s so comforting! i can comfort pretty much anyone, anytime. come on over…

    Reply
  • Kathy – your posts continue to inspire me! I am so thankful that I found your blog. As a Mom who has worked full time outside of the house since my son was 12 weeks old, I often feel like a loser mom. More often than not, I will leave cleaning undone, dishes in the sink and buy take=out pizza just to save those precious hours and minutes to spend quality time with my son.
    As our pastor once said ‘A well kept house is a mis-spent life’. I’m sure that will be carved on my tombstone….

    Thanks Kathy!

    Reply
  • Kathy, I laughed so hard at your list. Our favorite for dinner around here is “Dino-Buddy Chicken Nuggets”. Fortunately. As I’m chastising myself for my failure to provide a healthy meal, I comfort myself that my children are heralding me as the “best mom in the world”!

    Reply
  • hey kate, so fun to hear from you! i hope we can hook up one of these days soon. i like what your pastor said, so good!

    amy, you, too! and isn’t it interesting that our kids don’t care about what we think we are supposed to care about?

    Reply
  • hilarious! Ok, ok, here’s my list:

    1. Once when cleaning the bathroom my kids asked, “Who’s coming over?’ (yeah, that’s revealing. and get this: I own a cleaning service!)

    2. I not only have fast food trash in my car, but I am on a first-name basis with many drive-thru cashiers in my area.

    3. My children usually have to hunt for clean clothes out of the laundry pile in front of the dryer that I haven’t folded or put away.

    4. I have held my three middle fingers up to my 10 year old son and told him to “read between the lines.” Not because I was angry with him, but because I was teaching him vulgar humor. I am my son’s worst crude humor teacher.

    5. At my house farting and burping are forms of entertainment.

    6. We rarely say grace at dinner. We used to, but nowadays I sling it on the table and bark, “Let’s eat. God knows we’re grateful.”

    7. I only change the linens on the beds when it is so gross that I can’t ignore it any longer. It depends on the time of year for how long this might take. A month, six weeks, even two months in the winter time when we are not outside as much and getting sweaty and dirty. I hate changing linens almost as much as Erin hates washing dishes.

    8. I haven’t mopped my floor since Thanksgiving. I keep thinking I need to get around to this. But then I tell myself, “Mom’s coming to visit Feb 29, why not just wait ’til then?”

    9. I said the F word in front of the entire car pool of my daughter’s middleschool classmates. Not at them, but in front of them. Yep, that was an interesting moment when they all went, “OOOOOOOOOOO…..”

    10. I have not taken my kids to the dentist in almost three years. Argh. I know, I know, and I don’t want to talk about it. At least not here, and certainly not now.

    BONUS HUMILIATING FACT:

    I almost forgot to bring the cupcakes and punch for my daughter’s class for her birthday when she was in first grade. I only remembered at the very last minute. When I arrived the teacher said to me, “I wondered if you were coming or not and then I knew you would because you’re one of those moms who wouldn’t forget their kid’s special day at school.” Um, yeah, the shame still hangs over my head whenever I see a brightly colored, overpriced store-bought cupcake. And my daughter still doesn’t know how close I came to totally forgetting about her that day!

    Reply
  • pam, okay, HILARIOUS! your list was sooooo good! have you seen makeesha’s list? i hope nobody turns us in for some of these, ha! check it out if you haven’t already. yours rocked. we can clearly make other mommies feel much, much better!!!

    Reply
  • “good mommies play on the floor with their kids all day long, do artsy crafts, make amazingly healthy and balanced meals, and keep everyone’s world spinning ’round”

    HAHAHAHA I have never heard ‘good mommies’ described like that hehe — but yeah I guess in my mind that is what I have been aiming for in some way hehehehe plus about a million other qualities I pressure myself to have

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *