I’m the half mom. That's my formula. Half of each extreme.
Those hilarious internet videos that talk about the mom who hides from her kids to eat a sandwich in the pantry, that’s half me. The memes about the Pinterest moms who other moms want to run over with their car…sorry, she’s the other half of me. I love throwing elaborate birthday parties. My kids are usually well-dressed, but athleisure-wear is my go-to, often hiding a casualty from breakfast, and there are some days where tears come because I feel like I’d rather get through 21 days on Naked & Afraid than do homework, dinner, bath and bedtime. We’re the family with the amazing holiday card and sometimes my kids eat cereal for dinner. I’m proud that I do my best and have found a balance that I’m ok with and that I’m pretty sure won’t scar my kids for life, even if it's half Bad Mom, half Stepford. You find your own balance. This half and half thing is working for me, even when it feels like it isn’t.
It’s been a summer of traveling, camp, beach weekends, day trips and all sorts of other action-packed things. Summer is always my absolute favorite time of year. Even with the awesomeness, it hasn’t been easy breezy at all. Parenting is HARD. We all know it, but I know enough to know that these are the good 'ole days. Not just because every person over 60 has told me since the birth of my first – even strangers…at Target - but because I can see it myself. We are living amazing family moments and I am soaking them in to the best of my ability (which is short tempered and total chaos half of the time).
I usually think being a self-proclaimed half-er means I can laugh and relate to all of the parenting articles and jokes. So you can imagine I feel sort of conflicted that I’m cannot relate at all to the the mom joke that's that’s all the rage this month. I see the videos, social media posts and memes of moms high fiving, doing the cha cha and celebrating the return of school and I can’t understand it. I run into people I know and ask how their summer was and they tell me, "The best part is going to be the first day of school, you know what I mean?" I nod politely and give a little smile, but no, no I don't. I have no idea what you mean. Seriously. I’m clearly half a weirdo mom. I feel like it’s some club that I could never be a member of.
Is it awful that I loathe school? Not the specific school or the teaching profession or anything like that. I respect it and appreciate it all greatly. I just hate the fact that the kids leave me 5 days a week for almost 8 hours a day. They’re without me, more than they’re with me(THAT IS INSANE TO ME) and they have their whole adult life to be without me. I miss them. I also feel guilty. I feel like we are missing adventures and bonding and the things we could be doing together and as if I’ve dumped them into this rigid environment. Now don’t get me wrong – I need me time. I also work, so I can’t spend every second with them and wouldn’t even if I didn’t work. I’m a big believer that my husband and I are better parents because we do devote time to ourselves as often as we can. I’m the first to run for a quick manicure, read a book alone and beg for sitters for a quick couples getaway. I just sort of wish there was the half school thing, which probably isn’t surprising coming from the half mom. Maybe that’s me…a little black and a little white. I wish school was 3 days a week, leaving us 4 days to learn together or have adventures. I wish we could travel more and not be limited to over crowded and absurdly expensive holiday breaks. I wish school absences were respected for more than just sickness because there is a whole world of things that educate and make kids into incredibly well rounded humans beyond school – as long as they are keeping up academically, of course. I wish that homework was done in school, to give us time for all the other activities and experiences that school doesn’t touch. Also because it’s a form of parental torture I’d like to eradicate.
The last 2 weeks of summer break are always hard for me. I feel like it’s the end of something I want to hold on to. I get a little melancholy and find myself taking more photos to hold on to it all. So while most of the moms (or dads) at the bus stop tomorrow are probably going to throw confetti as the view of the bus fades away, I’m definitely odd mom out. I’ll probably go back inside and cry in my pillow for a few minutes – but after bed time, I’ll definitely meet you for a margarita, that is if I’m not too busy with some odd combo of writing detailed notes in my kids lunches and furiously dialing “The Man” and Santa to report misbehaving children.
What’s your Mom formula?