As part of the From Left to Write book club this month, I received a free copy of the (very entertaining) Exploiting My Baby which was the inspiration for this post. While Teresa feared being like her mom, I dreamed I would be…
As most of you probably know, Valentine’s Day was on Monday. Me? I knew it, but quite honestly, I couldn’t do it. Between juggling new work assignments, house projects and coming down off of Lenny’s birthday (which was last Friday…and not all that impressive on my part either), it got lost in the shuffle. I didn’t make heart pancakes, decorate with cute little heart animals a friend had blogged about or even sign the store-bought cards I bought for my family.
I did buy some pre-made cookie dough at the grocery store and told the boys and our nanny that they could bake ‘em up during the day. I also spent an hour or so helping Big get his name written on the 23 Toy Story cards he needed to take to school for his party on Tuesday—even inserted the tattoos he accidentally ripped to pieces. (Heck, I did them all twice when I realized I did them wrong the first time because I wasn’t paying attention.)
And after this crazed day with very little hoopla, I just kept thinking, this isn’t the kind of mom I thought I’d be. You see, when I was younger, I didn’t dream of white dresses and prince charming (though arguably I scored big on both fronts). I dreamed of being a mom. (And given the mom I grew up with, I figured being good at it was in my genes.) I dreamed of finding inspiring ideas for homemade cards and wowing all the other moms with
my my kids’ creativity. I dreamed of leaving little love notes around the house for my family to discover throughout the day. I dreamed of cooking a delicious homemade dinner that we’d all gather around the table to enjoy.
But alas, I have a couple years worth of parenting magazines collecting dust. I have a binder full of recipes yet to be attempted (which my family is actually probably grateful for). And I have yet to impress any moms at the preschool.
As I was beating myself up for all of this, I realized that while all of these “dreams” might have made for a more entertaining day, my kids honestly didn’t care. Big didn’t even seem to notice that the Valentines he gave out were scrappy little things among the amazing loot he brought home from school. He did notice that we all said, “I love you!” a bit more that day. Even Little got in on the extra hugs and cuddles. And they both went to bed exhausted and thrilled after a serious game of tackle football with Lenny.
So maybe I am closer to being the mom I hoped I’d be than I realized. Because, in my mind, all those perfect little touches led to giggling kids and a happiness all around. And while each of us has room for improvement—especially me—I’m so in love with all my Valentines and the best part is, I know they love me right back—just the way I am.