Last night, from about 9:15pm until 10:00, I know I was a good mom.
No. Screw that. I was a great mom.
And I don’t care if I come off conceited saying that, and it is my sincerest belief that those of us in this horrible, wonderful, emotionally draining “momhood” should say those words a lot more often than we do.
Because mommy friends, when we spend our days judging ourselves, questioning our parenting skills or actions, or tirelessly comparing ourselves to that perfect pinterest Mom none of us could ever really be, we are likely focusing on the ten percent of our day where, yes, perhaps we could have “been better” or “done better.”
But what we often forget to focus on is the ninety percent.
Those tiny moments, instances, and situations in which we truthfully, kill it.
Like Jason Bourne meets John McCain style kill it.
Tonight, one of my “ninety percent” moments made me reflect on just how important it is for us to take the time to say, “Damn, I’m a good mom”- aloud, in your head, or to the cashier at Target.
And what I did? Nothing miraculous, and yet, so miraculous all at the same time.
Because as I was downstairs in my room, binging on old ER episodes after having put the kids to bed, I suddenly heard my six-year-old daughter crying for me from the top of the stairs. Like legit, “something is definitely wrong” crying.
I quickly made my way there, to find her hysterically sobbing, near hyperventilating, and with massive amounts of snot running from her nose. I began with immediate consoling and then, of course, asker her what was wrong as I used my t-shirt to wipe her nose.
I led her into her bedroom and spent the next five minutes trying to decipher the most bizarre and random reason for her sudden mental breakdown.
In between sobbing and deep breaths, and as I brushed her hair back with my fingers and wiped tears from her cheeks, she was able to finally explain to me that she had suddenly remembered she “had Daddy kill a spider” they found in her room once. And even though Daddy said it was probably a good spider who kept the bad bugs away, she still made him kill it and flush it down the toilet. And now she felt really bad about that, and couldn’t stop thinking about it. Because it was just a good spider who was helping keep her room safe from other bad bugs, and she had it killed. And now it was dead, and never coming back. And what had she been thinking?!?!
Oh sweet mother of drama and emotion.
This girl FEEEEEEEEELS life people, and it sometimes comes in the form of random 9p.m. insect-murder-guilt in bed.
And so, it was in the midst of us talking out this pure tragedy, and as I exercised the patience, love, and grace of Mother Theresa (again, no sarcasm there- I fully admit I crushed this parenting moment), that I heard my three-year-old son crying from his room.
He was mumbling, “I want Kinsley to spend the night with me” between tears.
Kinsley is his cousin he had just seen that night and this little breakdown was following a similar one from that afternoon in which he had spent a half hour crying and begging to know why he couldn’t spend the night with Bella and Cooper, my best friend’s kids who are closer in age to my daughter.
Because as his older sister reaches the “sleepover/playdate/birthday parties with friends” age, little man is struggling to understand why he doesn’t get the same. We had already had a rough afternoon in which I had to explain he was younger than Zoe, and that when he got older he would get to have those things, so I thought we had moved past it.
But alas, we hadn’t, and so I left my somewhat calmer daughter and retreated to my son’s room, where it took rocking to calm him, and then singing “Rock-a-bye Baby” (his song I’ve sung him since he was a baby) about 30 times as I rubbed his back in his bed. He fell asleep as I sang, and I kissed his sweet little cheeks and tucked him in before heading back to my daughter’s room.
There, she requested HER song (“My Favorite Things” from Sound of Music), and we exchanged “I love you”s before I kissed her, tucked her in, and left her room with a heavy sigh.
Shew, I thought as I collapsed back into my own bed. Why in the world are these dramatic nights seemingly always saved for when only Mommy is home for bedtime?!
And then I quite literally smiled, all alone and to myself.
Because despite the fact that I would have preferred a peaceful and drama-free bedtime and a little more 1990s George Clooney, I think I needed that sweet mess of a half hour with my babies.
My smile was the realization that for the past half hour, I was a great Mom. I was everything a Mom should be, and everything I hope every child in the world has.
Because despite generally spending far more time focusing on when I’m not a great, perfect, or “model” mom, the truth is, I’m a great mom far more than I realize.
And it’s about damn time I gave myself some credit for that on a regular basis.
And you should, too.
So from one great mom to another, can I ask you to take a deep breath at the end of the day, and instead of focusing on the little moments where you failed, focus on the little moments that slid right by where you absolutely crushed it.
I’d be willing to bet there are far more of the latter, and that given a similar insect-murder-guilt tragedy of your own, you would also hit it out of the ball park and could mic drop yourself a stuffed animal Mickey on your way down the steps.
Oh tootles girl. We’re some great Moms.