Monday, March 12, 2012
I once witnessed two moms in a debate (well, it was more like a screaming match) about who had it harder: the stay-at-home mom or the mom with a job outside the house. How could they be so ridiculous? It's the work-from-home moms that have it the hardest...Duh!
Truth is, being a mom is hard for ALL of us. It's not that we'd trade our kids for an easier life, it's just that there's no immediate sense of accomplishment. Dishes done? Yeah, well, it's time to do them again. Made dinner for your family? Tough luck, kiddo, they're going to expect you to do again tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. Don't forget to make it healthy AND tasty. If you can do it for a buck-fifty, that would be great, too.
So why all the hating? If anyone knows what it takes to be a mom, it's another mom. We're nurturing people, right? Not so much when it comes to ourselves and our fellow moms. Can we all agree to call a truce? We're moms! We're the ones tasked with "making it all better" and this is definitely a boo-boo worth kissing. I have some tips to get us started:
Give REAL Compliments...
Skip the 'thanks-for-making-the-rest-of-us-look-bad' compliments. You've heard them - probably even given them. They go something like this: "Wow, the cupcakes you made for the bake sale are beautiful. I could never make cupcakes like that. I don't have any talent and I am always so busy doing 'important' things." Really? What should her response be? "Thank you"? Or, "I'm so sorry for your troubles. I must have been wrong to think it was time well spent, but I'll try to stink at it next time, so you don't have to feel bad." Give a REAL compliment! Don't worry, the other mom won't likely get a big head from a sincere compliment. Chances are, even if she manages a polite "thank you", in her head she probably has a list of things she could have done better. (I should have made more, packaged them better, added fiber, etc.)
Cut Yourself Some Slack
Crumple and burn your 'could have done it better' list. Give yourself credit for what you did do. Why do we always compare ourselves to the Martha's of the world like it's some sort of competition and we're in last place? If you're going to compare, do it to make yourself feel better, not worse. When was the last time you had a bad day and told yourself, "Well, at least I didn't forget my baby at the crack house like that chick on the news."? We all have strengths and weakness. Pay attention to the good stuff and shake off the other. After all, Martha built an empire with the things she does well, but she's had her own set of troubles outside the kitchen.
Play to Your Strengths
If you're a Martha, stop apologizing. You keep on rocking it, girlfriend! If you're not, figure out what you're good at and do that. Are you bossy? Good. That's a talent that is useful to coordinate all of us aimless volunteers at the bake sale. Good with numbers? Man the sales table. And if you bake beautiful cupcakes, bake them! (Even if you are making all the rest of us look bad!)