I’m a mom.
A pretty good one, at that. My daughter dresses like a diva, most of the time her face is clean, she says please and thank you, and doesn’t fall to the ground in super tantrums in the middle of Target.
But, for some people this isn’t enough.
Now, I am not talking about the actual children and how smart, talented, beautiful they are…. I am talking about the actual task of momming.
The Competitive World of Mommyhood
When I first started attending play groups and hanging with other preschool-children-having women, I’ll admit I got wrapped up in the game.
Whose kid will have the healthiest snack?
Which kid has the most educational toys?
Who makes the best halloween costume?
Now, if you don’t believe me that these little “mom contests” exist, well, that’s because you never met gingham checked picnic basket mom.
I met gingham basket one day when I took my daughter to run in the fountains next to my house. I arrived with my kid, some water shoes, and swimsuit.
I did forgot a towel, and had to dry her off with napkins from the nearby Mexican restaurant, but whatever. That’s just how it goes sometimes.
My kid was making friends, running through the water and generally having a great time.
I was feeling pretty good about myself as a mom. Checking off all the boxes, if you will.
And that’s when Gingham Basket showed up.
Look, you already know what kind of mom I am talking about.
She was wearing freshly ironed, khaki capris (I don’t even know where my iron is), a white button up shirt (WTF I haven’t bought anything white since I got boobs in the sixth grade and they turned into my own personal food shelf) and sporty canvas tennis shoes (I was of course, wearing flip flops…this is Texas and it’s 119 degrees out here).
Ugh, I instantly hate this woman.
I smile and watch her pull out home made granola (In my mind, though she just opened up some Quaker Granola bars and broke them up into her little snack packs) from her picnic basket. Her children munch on their fancy snack, and I offer my kid some of my frappuccino. (What? It didn’t have any caffeine in it.)
Then she whips out homemade bubble wands complete with cookie trays and organic bubble solution. (She told us it was organic. I am not even sure what that means, but she made a big thing out of it.)
That’s the very second I realized that I was out. I can’t compete with that, and more to the point–I just won’t. I am just going to be the best damn mom I can be. And that’s when I realized I was hating her for all the wrong reasons.
She did nothing wrong. All she did was show up to the fountains, do her very best, and instead of hating her for that I should be celebrating her. Heck, my kid now has bubbles to play with, doesn’t she?
So next time you hate her, next time you are mad at that other mom for doing her best, instead give her a thumbs up. She worked hard on that stuff, and a thumbs up just might be the only praise she gets all day.