Staying Stylish in Suburbia

Bad Mama Monday

Monday, November 11, 2013


A friend of mine recently opened up a cafe. One of the signature pastries that she bakes and sells there is called the "Bad Mama Cupcake." They are, as she jokingly explains, for the rushed mother who swings by the cafe to feed her kids cupcakes for breakfast on the way to school.

The name is funny but it also rings true. How many times a day do we as mothers tell ourselves that we are not living up to some perfect standard? Whether it's because we feed our kids cupcakes instead of cereal one morning or because we feel that we lack the patience we aught to have. As mother's we are often the first to criticize ourselves, readily offering up our mistakes as evidence of our shortcomings. Just listen in on any conversation between two mothers and it's bound to be sprinkled with at least a pinch of self deprecation. Think about it. When was the last time you heard another mother say to anybody that she excelled at raising kids? "Oh yes. I'm the absolute best." We can talk ourselves up when it comes to other work. Throw us into to a job interview and we can spout off all kinds of reasons why we are the best at what we do. But bring it back around to motherhood (one of the most important jobs in the world) and we begin to publicly berate ourselves. Why is that do you think? Perhaps it is because unlike other fields of work (and let's not kid ourselves it is work) there is no real preparation for motherhood other than motherhood itself. Talk about on the job training. Sometimes it feels as though I've been hired for a job I know nothing about. Only failure isn't an option in motherhood. We can't just throw up our hands and quit. We can't even take a brake and go back to school or switch fields. Once we pop those little suckers out there is no turning back. Not that we would want to. There is no greater privilege either. No greater gift than our children themselves. Maybe that's why we tend to feel so ill equipped to handle the situations thrown at us. Shaping a life is no small feat after all. Who are we to claim proficiency at it? Especially when the skill sets needed are constantly changing. We finally get the baby thing down and it's on to toddlerhood. We manage to get through toddlerhood and they suddenly become kids. From kids to preteens and preteens to teenagers. It's never ending. Intimidating? Yes. Humbling? Absolutely. But equally exciting and wonderful? Yes! Yes! Yes!

The other day I accidentally shut Esmae's finger in the door. It happened so quickly. She yelled out and started to cry. It wasn't the normal I just need a little comfort kind of a cry either. But the kind of honest to God sobbing that takes your breath away. I felt terrible. She recovered quickly of course and was soon totally occupied with her play again. Her little finger stayed red though and I couldn't shake the guilt of my careless mistake having caused her actual physical pain. Later that day a friend stopped over to say hello. She asked how I was doing and I showed her my daughters hand, bracing myself for shock and dismay. Instead she shrugged. "That's nothing. My daughter fell out of the car today," She said. I laughed. It was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. In one fell swoop she had relinquished of my mama's guilt. It was the perfect reminder that we are all in this "bad mama" thing together. I wouldn't have judged her for what I had done so why couldn't I let myself off the hook?

Which reminded me of this video. Have you heard about it? A group of mother's were asked to describe themselves as mothers. There children were then interviewed separately and asked to describe their mothers as well.  The difference in perception was telling.

 

I am under no illusion that I am the perfect mom. I know that I make mistakes on a daily basis and will continue to throughout their lives. I also know that I will forever strive to do better. To rectify my mistakes and right my wrongs. I am not perfect but I as the saying goes, ya gotta fake it till' ya make it! Negativity only feeds insecurity which then leads to more self doubt and negative chatter. But what if we could change the mantra in our heads. What would that even sound like? Here, I'll give it a try first. My name is Juniper and I am a damn good mom. The best damn mom in fact when it comes to my two little girls. There is no better woman for the job.. No better mama for them than me. There. I said it. I meant it too. Now you go. Give it a try. I'm telling you it feels pretty good. Almost as good as a"Bad Mama" cupcake tastes. xoxo

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2 comments :

  1. Oh how i could use one of those cupcakes today..but as you suggested I declared I am the best mama these kids could have.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I guarantee that you are. Hang in there, mama! xoxo

    ReplyDelete