If you know, you know. But if you don’t, I’ll explain . . .
There’s this movie. It’s pretty cheeky, very funny, and totally relatable to every woman who has ever experienced high school drama and the fake, self-absorbed party girls that come with the territory.
The movie is titled Mean Girls. The rating is a 10/10. Highly recommend.
In this movie, there’s a scene where those self-absorbed party girls bring an outsider into their friend group and invite her to the home of their puppet master, if you will—aka Regina George. When they arrive at Regina’s house, they are greeted by Regina’s mom. It’s clear based on their surroundings and the way Regina’s mother is speaking to them she is a pretty loose goose and doesn’t have much of a moral compass. She initiates conversation with the new outsider her daughter befriended and tells her “…if you need anything, don’t be shy […] there are no rules in this house. I’m not like a regular mom. I’m a cool mom.”
The first time I watched this movie as a young, 12-year-old girl I thought to myself, How cool would that be!? To not have a REGULAR mom!
The several times I watched it as a maturing, yet still young, 17-18-year old, I thought to myself, How funny. This is so exaggerated. Quality entertainment. I love this.
And then, at 22 years old, I became a mom. And I don’t think I knew it immediately, but I later discovered I wasn’t a regular mom, either. And the question I never cared to ask at 12 or 18 years old was this . . . What is a regular mom?
Does she use those disinfecting wipes that they provide to her at the grocery store entrance to clean her cart handle? Does she sit back in her lawn chair unbothered as her toddler tries to mow the grass with his mouth? Does she buy everything organic or does she buy everything in the daily saver add to pinch another penny? Does she mop every day or one day every two months? Do these things have any impact on the verdict of whether or not you are considered a regular mom?
What about the way she brought her baby into the world? What about the way that she didn’t bring her baby into the world? Did she have her baby vaginally? Did she have a cesarean? Did she ask for an epidural? Did she give birth at home? Did she adopt them from a family member? What about a different country? Is she a foster mom?
What is a regular mom, anyway?
From what I can gather, all moms stay up late to check their child’s breathing sometimes. They forfeit nights and weekends with the girls. They forfeit steamy time in the bedroom with their husbands. They don’t drink hot coffee, and it’s not because they ordered it at Starbucks and asked for it to be served blended or on ice.
They don’t take showers long enough to exfoliate their skin or shave their legs if they are also having to wash their hair. That’s either two separate showers or crawling into bed at night with your leg hair catching on the sheets. They don’t eat their meals hot because it always gets cold in the process of making plates for little people and hungry husbands. But she has plenty of leftovers to find room for in the fridge since her kids usually don’t eat what she’s cooked anyway.
I’ve sat here in my toy cluttered living room, on my juice pouch stained couch, asking myself all of these things. What does it mean to be a regular mom? How do you become one? Is there a club? Are there Facebook groups? Does it make life easier to be a regular mom? In this case, is the word regular just another way to say normal? Because if it is, then I think I’ve figured it all out . . .
There’s just no such thing.
There is nothing regular about being in labor for hours on end and pushing a 6- to 10-pound baby out of your lady parts, or spending years waiting and praying, weeping and crying, for the day you’ll finally sign the last paper in the process of finding someone to call you mommy.
There is nothing normal about not sleeping through the night because some new-found anxiety tells you to watch for your baby’s chest to make sure that it keeps moving. There is nothing casual or nonchalant about being a human tote bag or an on-call, unqualified nurse for every stumped toe that is yet to be bruised. It’s not whatever to be overprotective of small people or to set boundaries in order to keep them safe.
Mom’s aren’t normal. Mom’s aren’t ordinary.
They show up every day and every night, for every important and unimportant thing they can. They love with all they have and they give more than they have to give.
So, no matter what type of apple juice I put in my kid’s sippy cup or how many cuts I put a Band-Aid on, no matter how many tears I wipe or how many heads I tap against the car door while getting someone into a car seat . . . I’m not a regular mom.
I’m not a regular mom, and neither are you.
If we all care and we all love and we all strive every minute for our kids to have the best childhood they could ever grow to happily look back on . . . then within us, regular moms don’t exist. But really, really good ones do.