MOVarazzi

Thursday, May 24, 2012

780. Mommy Guilt

“You’re the Best Mom Ever,” enthuses Tall sometimes, usually after I let him eat a huge bag of chips right before dinner ... 

... or allow him to watch three back-to-back episodes of “Pokemon: The Dark Avengers Battle” on a Saturday morning ... 

... or don’t stop him and his pals from smearing massive amounts of mud all themselves while they emulate combat Army soldiers in the fierce suburban jungle that is our backyard. 




Best Mom Ever does not have the positive connotations it once did.  Best Mom Ever is kinda synonymous with lazy.    


I think back to a happy, airbrushed time, a time when I was pregnant with Tall and dreaming of what our future life together would look like. 






My fondest wish was that my baby would someday look up at me, give me a hug full of gratitude, and whisper, “You’re the Best Mom Ever.” 




This honor would be earned after I had built an entire train set out of toothpicks ...




... or made three hundred cupcakes from scratch for the school fundraiser ...










... or turned in all my frequent flier miles to fly my child to Rome to study ancient ruins.  In short, the special words (Best Mom Ever) would not merely be given to me to assuage the ramifications of my distinct lack of parenting skills.  In my pre-baby haze, I had hoped the shiny title would actually be hard-won. 
After eight years on the parenting front, I have grown accustomed to the moniker of Worst Mom Ever.  Worst Mom Ever forces the kids do their homework, make their beds, brush their teeth, write thank you notes.  Worst Mom Ever is all about good judgment, no cavities, and a perpetual ban on fun.  Worst Mom Ever does not waste money on action figures placed seductively at child's eye level at Target. 
Worst Mom Ever has pretty much taken up permanent residence in our household.    
I struggle with the latent Mommy Guilt associated with Worst Mom Ever.  Who wants to be the one everybody hates?  It is so much easier to be Best Mom Ever and let the kids have ice-cream for breakfast. 

Who matters most in this scenario—me or them?  My feelings or their well-being? 


“Eat your carrots, Short.” 


“I hate you, Mommy!” 



Ah, yes, the familiar anthem of motherhood.  I adjust my Worst Mom Ever tiara, and smile. 




MOV 

42 comments:

  1. Are you sure you're the worst mom ever? Because my daughters assure me that she lives at my house.

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  2. MOV, Just to let you know...the moms that are the "Worst Moms Ever" now, become the BEST MOM THAT EVER WALKED ON THE EARTH when her kids are grown and have their own kids. I know this for a fact.

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    Replies
    1. Cheryl, you speaketh the truth.

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    2. Thanks, Cheryl!

      Thanks, Jayne!

      But my kids are only 5 and 8, so that feels like a long time to be Worst Mom Ever.

      Delete
  3. Would you believe I came to my desk to see what you were up to just after I'd been called the MEANEST mom ever because I made my own "Short" put away some toys in the living room so I could vacuum. I explained that "MEANEST mom ever" would have thrown the toys away, not asked him nicely to put them where they belonged. I love when I hear that I'm the best mom ever, but I feel most successful when I'm called the meanest! It means I'm doing my job! ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Ha! Love it.

      I say to my kids, "Please clean up your toys." If they don't, I go get a Hefty trash bag and walk quietly past them. They jump up and ask what I am doing, and I reply, "Oh, don't worry about it-- I will help you clean up." They know anything that goes in the trash bag goes out in the trash. This is great motivation.

      (I have only had to throw one or two things away to show I am serious..........)

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  4. This comment really has nothing to do with your dialogue and everything to do with one picture. Umpqua Ice Cream? Really? That's my favorite ice cream and it's made in Oregon.

    The blog is cute, but give me the ice cream and no one gets hurt!

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    Replies
    1. Hi daxkitten,

      Now you are making me hungry for ice cream!

      Delete
  5. Right there with you. And I wear my crown with pride.

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    Replies
    1. That is exactly how I feel.

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    2. Thanks, Marianne!

      Thanks, Couse!

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  6. You're the coolest mom ever. I wish my mom had blogged.

    She actually hates the fact that I blog and quite discourages it.

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    Replies
    1. My kids will say (if something funny happens), "Is that going in your BLOG?"

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  7. "This hurts me more than it hurts you..."
    Now I know that it actually did.

    "You'll thank me someday.."
    And I do. They will, too.

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    Replies
    1. Wisdom. I could use some of that. :) Thanks, Jayne.

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  8. I can so relate to this. All of it. Where can I order me one of those tiaras?

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    Replies
    1. My sons made my tiara! ask your kids, I am sure they will make you one!

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  9. Very true, but then, on Mother's Day, my boys write unabashedly sentimental and sweet notes to me, and that's when I know the worst mom ever isn't really true!
    Catherine Stine’s Idea City

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  10. Before I smeared sunscreen all over my elementary-schooler's face this morning because it's Field Day and they will be outside for 3 hours, I asked her if she'd washed her face. She forgot. I made her go do it. Then I smeared sunscreen EVERYWHERE as she groaned and complained.

    Worst/best Mom Ever words I use daily: "You will thank me for this when you're 40 and your skin is flawless." "You will thank me for this when you're 40 and everyone else has eaten ice cream for dinner for years but you actually had some vegetable product." "You will thank me for this when your teeth haven't rotted out of your mouth."

    She hasn't thanked me yet. But I am counting down. I just hope I'm still alive when she says it.

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  11. Oh. I just read your comment thingie. My blog is: http://annewoodman.wordpress.com. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Anne! And I checked out your wonderful blog.

      Delete
  12. It's amazing how smart mothers get by the time the kid turns 40. MOV, just hang around long enough, and you can wear a crown:
    " I'm a Smart Mommy, told'ya so!" ":)

    www.incomingbytes.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. 40?! I have to wait until they are 40?!

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  13. I read all these blogs but when they come by email there is no easy way to click on them to comment [is it poss to put web link in the body of the blog?]. I have decided to bite the bullet today and find you in my followers!! Love this - so true and sorry to say it won't get any better as you pass through to teenage years and adulthood. But at least you will have that amazing sense of humour to keep you sane!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your lovely words, Susan!

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  14. It's funny as they get older how they start admitting all the stuff they got by with and how they deserved more paddlings than they got.

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  15. My son swears up and down that my every thrill is tormenting and punishing him. What I want to know is...how does he know that?

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  16. MOV one of mine use to say "Mom, I'll be your bestest friend ever if you let me (fill in the blank)" I was rarely her best friend but now that she is grown up I can truly say we consider each other best friends. She told me on the phone the other night, she lives in Nashville now, how much she misses me and was begging me to move there because I am her everything, her best friend, her Mom, her confidant, her partner in crime, her doctor and her just hang out buddy. That will warm your heart fast!

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    Replies
    1. Love this! I hope I have that relationship with my kids when they are older.

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  17. I have one that is home from college this summer. He said he didn't realize how much he loves me until he wasn't there anymore. I have another one who graduates in a few weeks just itching to get out from under this torment!!! He'll see =)

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    Replies
    1. Puts it in perspective, right?

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  18. I have two sons 15 and 8 so I've been the worst mom ever for a while. I think maybe girls are harder though!

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    Replies
    1. My friends with daughters say it is. They lie.

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  19. Such a good point - I'd completely forgotten that I once was foolish enough to think I'd get to enjoy Best Mom Ever. I was such a silly girl then. (Also, love your pics!)

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  20. I've been labeled the worst Dad in the world. That's OK. At least my son has a sense of humor. If I hadn't been there the kid may as well have been a pet rock. My main contribution was not smacking him and sticking around, which in my opinion is ten times the parents I had. (I have a lot of scars.) So if that doesn't make you feel more valuable as a parent I don't know what will.

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    Replies
    1. We can celebrate at the Worst Parent Pary. I will buy the first round.

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When you write a comment, it makes me feel like I won the lottery or at the very least like I ate an ice-cream sundae. (This has nothing to do with the fact that I did just eat an ice-cream sundae.)