I received an email the other day reminding me that this spring I would celebrate my tenth anniversary as Mother of the Year. Me! Mother of the Year! Sure it was just from my Mothers of Twins club, and at the time there were maybe only fifty members, but the point is, despite what people think, I was at one time a good mom. So there!
And now, well I’m mainly trying to survive each day without taking meds, offing a child or my spouse, or purposely driving my mini-van into a retaining pond. What’s changed? Certainly the ages of my kids make a huge difference. No one, thank the Lord, is in diapers, everyone sleeps through the night barring illness or Walking Dead-inspired nightmares, and a few can even make a mean meal of mac-n-cheese (I’m also a master of alliteration, thank you very much!). They dress themselves, shower, sometime do homework, and usually complete their chores without too many complaints. By most accounts, they are healthy, happy teens/tweens. But I think we’d all agree, “2014 Mother of the Year” would be a stretch. I do, after all, consistently serve my kids pre-packaged, high-sodium foods and forget to pick them up from track practice (Sorry, Coach!).
But in reality, what makes anyone a good mom? When I was in the throes of stay-at-home motherhood with a newborn, toddler twins and a precocious preschooler, I thought I was a terrible parent. Isolated and alone, I longed to go back to work just so I could have a break from the constant pressure and monotony of keeping said babies alive and well. I certainly did not “feel blessed” to be playing house and Hot Wheels all day long, nor did I truly appreciate the opportunity to spend all of my waking (and unwaking it would seem) moments nurturing and caring for my children. Especially when I attended Twins Club meeting, where many members had struggled with infertility, my schemes for propping a bottle to buy ten minutes for a shower and using Playhouse Disney to babysit while I scarfed down a long-forgotten-in-the-toaster bagel seemed utterly selfish and irresponsible.
As it turns out though, and I also learned this from the amazing mothers at Twins Club, doing the best you can each day is what makes us all good parents. We won’t always succeed, but as long as we are trying, we are all Mothers of the Year. Even me in 2014!
Shameless plug: The Northside Twins and Multiples Club, the very same group that once elected yours truly Mother of the Year, is holding their Children’s Consignment Sale on April 26 at Fisher UMC. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.