Yes, it’s true. I’ve been trying to hide my identity all these years.
For a long time I thought the title of SuperMom was exclusively reserved for those Moms who fit back into their pre-pregnancy clothes upon returning from the hospital; The Moms whose babies slept through the night within the first few months; The Moms who have never blanked out on a doctor’s appointment; The Moms who have the prettiest cupcakes for the bake sale, who find the time to have a shower every day, whose kids were reciting Shakespeare in kindergarten, whose kids have never tasted the delight of nitrates nor the rapture of msg. I.e. Not me. Let’s just say, there have been times where I’ve considered buying stock in Kraft and Schneider’s.
There were a lot of growing pains. Parenting “mistakes” caused by overconfidence and callousness, by boredom and, yes, laziness. I’ve occasionally spent more time absorbed in a book, allowing the kids to run rampant, than I’d care to admit. My dishes aren’t always cleaned as quickly as they ought to be and the clothes have often sat too long in the dryer before being folded – hell, when Josie (nearly two) was a baby I didn’t even bother folding them. They got sorted and were lucky if they made it into the drawers!
But, it’s a process. When James (now six years old) was a baby, I was much more slovenly that I am now and I imagine six years down the road I’ll be that much more tidy and organized than I am now. As most parents do, I work hard for my kids. We put in the time, day and night, for our kids to have the best lives we can give them. For me and most other moms and dads, parenting is less about how clean my house is, less about how pretty I look on a given day, less about being the most organized homemaker on the block, less about having genius babies and more about just simply having fun and being good role models for our kids. It’s about running when you feel like sitting; about hardening yourself and letting them cry, even in front of strangers, if it means being a shrewd disciplinarian; it means being as consistent as you can be, even when every bone in your body screams otherwise. So why are we so hard on ourselves? Well, I believe the goal is perfection (a lofty goal indeed). Who can argue that our kids deserve less than perfection? Since perfection is an impossible goal, we can only settle for constant and consistent improvement.
I figure, if every single day I talk to my kids… I mean really talk to them and get to understand their innermost feelings; if I get down on the floor to play with them and let them use me as a jungle gym; if I put music on and dance like a maniac with them; if I read them a book or two and sing a few songs, snuggle with them, feed them reasonably healthy foods, encourage socialization and keeping an active lifestyle, if I discipline them as required… If I do all these things and make a point to do them every day, and if I continue to discipline myself to improve as a parent, wife and human being, then yes, I am SuperMom. And you probably are too. (Unless, of course, you’re SuperDad.)
There’s no such thing as a perfect parent. Here’s to hoping our kids forgive us for the majority of our parenting sins.
P.S. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!