Gifts for Dad ➔

I am the mom who avoids carpool small talk with other moms like the plague.

I am the mom who tries to feed her children organic and whole foods as much as possible but am not above packing Lunchables or picking up fast food to save her sanity.

I am the mom who flies by the seat of her pants, who has a planner and a giant calendar on the fridge but often forgets to write important things down.

I am the mom who sometimes volunteers at school, but not for all the things.

I am the mom who throws small, unimpressive birthday parties at home.

I am the mom who keeps a messy home and has endless piles of laundry.

I am the mom who sneaks off to the bathroom and sometimes hides in the closet (or car) to catch a moment of reprieve from the chaos in the house.

I am the mom who sometimes forgets to send in a snack or sign important papers.

I am the mom who occasionally deletes emails from the teacher or school without reading them (on purpose or by mistake . . . the jury is still out).

I am the mom who forgets when it’s crazy sock day or dress up day or spirit day.

I am the mom who skips out on “moms’ night out” with the other moms from school.

I am the mom who doesn’t allow her kids play all the sports or do all the extracurricular activities.

I am the mom who has an aversion to Play-Doh, crafts, and slime.

I am the mom sends in practical items like napkins, plates, or prepackaged goodies for the class parties.

I am the mom whose kids think “baking cookies” means plopping premade cookie dough onto the tray.

I am the mom who quit Pinterest because everything ended up as a fail.

I am the mom who has an infinite number of photos of her children but has never compiled them into a baby book.

I am the mom who wears no makeup, wears her hair in a ponytail, and wears clothes that are unfashionable.

I used to be the mom who felt inadequate compared to moms—until I realized I’m not against them and they are not against me.

Some moms throw epic birthday parties.

Some volunteer for everything at school. Some can whip up cookies from scratch and icing them to perfection.

Some moms have color-coded planners and are always on top of things.

Some moms happily cart their children from football to dance to basketball to gymnastics to swimming to golf to piano lessons and back again.

Some moms send in cheese sticks turned into witches’ brooms with pretzel sticks and patience or mandarin oranges with jack-o-lantern faces or donuts with monster teeth and edible googly eyes.

Some moms find their sanity by talking with the other moms at carpool and by going out for dinner together. Some moms can’t function if their household isn’t tidy or the laundry isn’t finished.

Some moms have all the ingredients for slime on-hand for when their children ask to make it.

There is enough room in this world for all kinds of moms. God gave each of us a unique set of skills and talents and our very own personalities. We may be different in countless ways, but we all love our children fiercely and want the best for them. Our children love us unabashedly in return, whether we cut their sandwiches into cute little dinosaur shapes or not.

So instead of feeling inferior to other moms, let’s celebrate them for who they are and what they bring to the table (or the classroom or the playground). Instead of feeling guilty or pressured to be who we are not, let’s own who we are as moms. And let’s help each other along the way.

Perhaps you can help me learn how to color-code my calendar and I’ll show you how liberating it is to press the delete button on that school email.

I’ll be grateful for the beautifully decorated and cleverly-themed snacks at our kids’ class party and you can be grateful there were plates to put it all on.

You can encourage me to get to know the other moms and I’ll encourage you to let your kids run around freely and unstructured in the backyard.

You can text me the night before crazy hair day and I can show you how to make your child feel special on his birthday without spending a fortune or stressing yourself out.

I’ll invite your kids over and we’ll have a board game marathon. And when my kids start begging to make slime, I’ll send them over to you.

I am finally the mom who is comfortable in her own skin and confident in her capabilities and choices. I hope you already are—or will learn—to be that mom, too.

Leanne Willen

Leanne Willen is a wife, mother of four, writer, and teacher. She writes about motherhood, faith, finding joy, and grief. Her blog Life Happens When encourages and challenges others (and herself) to embrace the ordinary amid the everyday chaos of life. 

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