Am I Really A So-So Parent?


We live in a world of super moms and overachievers. Those individuals who work full time, volunteer out the waazoo, have multiple children, and good hair. People who really excel at this parenting game.

I am not one of those people.

Mother’s Day was this past Sunday, and a certain gift got me thinking about what it means to be a mom.

My seven year old gave me a homemade Mother’s Day card. I cannot tell you how much I adore this card.

Here’s what I learned: My daughter thinks I am the best cook ever.

Because I make hot dogs.

No, not cookies, not even spaghetti, but hot dogs. I’m pretty sure franks are one step away from Fritos.

If that’s not mailing it in then I don’t know what is.

Last week, NBA MVP recipient, Kevin Durant tearfully thanked his mom. She was a young, single parent, raising two boys. She kept her kids off the street and made sure they always ate, even if she went to bed hungry.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a MOM.

I have one child. I often worry about all the screwing up I do because there are no take backs. That’s it. There is no number two, or three child for me to perfect my parenting skills. It’s like trying to qualify for the Olympics: I have one chance, if I don’t get it right the first time – Game Over people.

I often think if my daughter ever writes a tell-all book, the title will most likely be: “The Scurvy Diaries. Never Tried A Tangelo – Mom Said It Wasn’t Worth the Argument to Eat My Fruit.”

Proof. Never mind the age up top.

Proof. Never mind the age up top.

Allow me to illustrate my parental mediocrity:

Diet/Cooking: I will never be known for my homemade meatballs or tasty knish. (Please see frankfurter reference above.)

Discipline: I’m all over the place with this one. Sometimes, I’m fair and she receives a consequence for the wrong behavior. No yelling. Other times I take it personally if she doesn’t make her bed/talks back to me/acts like she is seven. I usually end up re-enacting a scene from Days of Our Lives, “How could you do this?! Why, oh God, Why?” Followed by some melodramatic hands over the face. No consequence. Usually because I over-exerted myself from my dramatic performance.

Appearance: I cannot tell you how thankful I am she has to wear a uniform. When she does have the opportunity to wear layman’s clothes, people stare at me as if they are about to call CPS. Plaids, combined with stripes, with some polka dots mixed in. At one point I almost brought her to the Ophthalmologist to get her eyesight looked at. I have actually uttered the words, “I can’t let you leave the house like this.” More often, I just go with it. If she’s happy wearing something off the Bozo the Clown line, so be it.

Hair: So many moms are good at hair. I see French Braids and up-dos and cute pony tails. I gave up a long time ago. My daughter looks like Janice Joplin at a hair brush burning event…after she ran through a forest. For special events, the best I can do is use hot rollers on her mop. Also, the rollers are mine from the 80s.

TV/Computer Time: Most families have set television and computer times. Our television is on Sam and Cat 24/7. Oh we have rules, we just forget them a couple days later.

Homework/Academics: Right now her homework is like my homework too. I usually need to explain and go over things with her. This is not a complaint, I like working with her, but I have never uttered the words, “Let’s find some extra math work online. Maybe logarithms!” That Tiger Mom lady would have a stroke if she ever came over to our house.

Even though I won’t be nominated for any parenting awards, I love motherhood. If it weren’t for that one small, feisty child, I wouldn’t be fortunate enough to write about how average I am. Luckily, my little person seems pretty content with me too.

So maybe I will try a little harder, go that extra parenting mile with crafts, chore charts, and books on “gentle” rule setting.

Right after I get these hot dogs in the microwave. Since I forgot to defrost the chicken. Again.

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