To the Moms that I can’t possibly relate to

sick child

photo credit: bold.as.love via photopin cc

I usually write about topics that I feel most moms can relate to. I talk about being exhausted, feeling overwhelmed and experiencing things like temper tantrums and anxiety attacks. I support all the moms who go through all these trying scenarios by writing honestly about them and sharing a ‘you’re a good mom’ with them. But what about the moms that I can’t possibly relate to? What about the single moms out there who have struggles that I can’t write about? I can’t possibly know how to write about the heartache and emotions that a mom who’s lost a child goes through. I have no idea what a mother of a child with cancer or other life threatening illnesses goes through. I’ve been thinking about all of this a lot lately. I want all the moms out there to know that while I may have no idea what you are going through, I care and support you.

I think one of the biggest mistakes I used to make as a mom was complaining about my struggles like they were way worse than the next person’s. If someone mentioned that their kid had a nightmare, I felt compelled to share that my son had night terrors to the point where he would projectile vomit everywhere. If a mom said her kid had a sprained ankle, I would chime in how horrible it was to have my son break his collar bone. I thought I was being supportive in my story sharing, until I caught myself doing it to a single mom. I went on and on about how I was feeling like I couldn’t manage our chaotic schedules. It was that moment that I realized how oblivious I was to other moms struggles. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be able to be open and honest about what we are going through with other moms. I’m simply sharing how important it is to understand that some moms have difficulties that others can’t even fathom. To any single moms out there, you’re a good mom! I hope that there are some single moms out there who will share some their experiences here so we can better support one another.

Something else that I still stumble with, is knowing what to say to a mom who’s lost a child. I can’t imagine the heartache that comes with losing a child, and I think it’s important that I don’t try to pretend to know. There are so many moms out there that have experienced this terrible loss and it’s important that even though we might not relate, we need to show our love and support to them. To the moms who’ve lost children, I think of you and all that you’ve been through. I want you to know that you are supported and cared about through this site, even though I myself, cannot always relate. In the months to come I hope to have some posts from moms who can share their stories and support for other moms who’ve been through such a tremendous loss.

I recently visited another mom who’s daughter is battling cancer. While I waited to go up the elevator in the hospital I felt nervous and anxious. I didn’t know what I was going to say or how I could help. I realized as soon as I saw this mom’s face that I didn’t have to do anything else other than be there. I didn’t have to act like I knew what to say. I didn’t have to hold back when I answered her questions about my kids and what was new with them. I was supporting her by being there. So I want to make sure that if you’re a mom who is sitting in that hospital room with your sick child, going through unthinkable challenges, know that you’re supported. You’re doing a great job.

We are all so different and yet one thing brings us all together… motherhood. In the coming weeks I’m hoping to reach out to moms out there with unique situations that may be able to share some stories or articles about topics I am unfamiliar with. Remember to respect each others differences and understand that it’s okay to not always relate with other moms. The most important part is that we support one another despite the different challenges we may face.

To An Invisible Mom

Lea is a writer living in Chicago with her three daughters. She writes about life after cancer, interfaith children, and the hazards of life when outnumbered by toddlers. Excerpts from her failed attempts at perfection can be found at Becoming Supermommy

Mothers are good at finding each other. It doesn’t matter how long ago it happened, the magical moment when something about us fundamentally changed, but we all know it. The moment that we began thinking of ourselves as mothers. And for almost all of us, there is joy and pride in that title. We see other moms at the playground or in the grocery store, and if we can we go a little out of our way to show ourselves. Look over here! I see you, and we’re members of the same club! Look at my badge! Look at my scars! Let me see yours!

We speak the same language. It was an unassisted VBAC! Did you get EI for his SPD?

We watch the same television.  Isn’t Caillou the worst? I always dancey dance. 

We sing the same songs. Twinkle twinkle little star…

But what about the women afraid to raise their hands? Afraid to pin the motherhood badge to their chests and wear it with pride?

There are reasons to be afraid. Not for me, with my children at my side. But for you, my friend, the mother who lost her child before birth.

Mothers seem to spend a lot of time knocking each other down these days. But no matter what choices I make, you always support me. No matter how much I complain about the mundane frustrations of parenthood, you let me know what a great job you think I’m doing. No matter how many thousands of pictures of my kids I put on facebook, you’re always there, hitting “like” a thousand more times.

Every Mother’s Day your heart breaks. Every Christmas, every anticipated birthday. You count the days and years. You believe in your heart that someday, in heaven, a child with your features will greet you with love, with the weight of the missed hugs and kisses of a lifetime.

You became a mother before your child was born. You knew that as you stepped on the scale, compared nausea stories, decorated a nursery. You had plans. You were ready to open your life for the child you hadn’t met. Your heart was as open as the sky.

You are still a mother. You still speak that language you studied so carefully, even if you’re afraid to join in conversation.

And I know why you can’t. Sometimes you feel like a shadow, or a phantom, and you’re afraid of the looks on other mother’s faces if you spoke your story. Afraid of their fear. It’s easier to be invisible.

And all of this, this is more proof that you are a mother. A woman who cares so deeply for the feelings and well being of another person that it pains you. You look at children with love, as parents do. You take pride in your experiences of motherhood. You deserve your joy, you deserve your happiness.

Whether or not you hold your own baby in your arms, squirming with life and constant need, you are still a mother. With the weight of your loss, you are not diminished. You are not other. You are one of us- one of the club.

My heart breaks for you, the mother who has experienced the worst of all motherhood has to offer. And it breaks for you for having missed the most joyful. You have lost your child, as fully and truly as the parent of any lost child. And so many people neglect you, ignore your experience. Tell you that you aren’t a “real” mom.

But you are. I know it. And more importantly, you do. You know you became a mother once, and there is no going back. No un-becoming. No erasing the changes in your heart and soul.

You’re doing a good job, mama. Every day you do more than the rest of us can comprehend- you keep going. You keep loving. You keep giving.

You are a good mom.

Even when you’re the only one who knows it.

Tired of being judged for your child’s temper tantrums?

Toddler screaming

Photo: Ekaterina Nosenko/Getty Images

So discipline at our house this past week has been challenging. Jocelyn (our three year old) has been testing boundaries like it’s nobody’s business. I feel like I’m constantly reminding myself who’s in charge, or at least who’s supposed to be in charge. The thing about discipline, is that children know exactly how to manipulate us. They know that deep down we don’t want to go through the embarrassing spectacle of ‘doing something’ about bad behaviour while in public. The stares and judgemental looks we receive from other moms when enduring such spectacles just make matters worse.  Yesterday I had a pleasant surprise when another mom totally had my back.

After an already long day, I took both the kids to the neighbourhood park. After a few moments I could already tell that Jocelyn was going to be a challenge. She was getting frustrated about having to wait her turn for the swings. Next thing I know I’m intervening a typical sibling fight. I hand out a warning to both of them, but I could tell I had my work cut out for me. I ask them both if they want to leave, and my response is somewhat predictable:

James: ‘I’m sorry. I don’t want to go. Jocelyn can go on the swing.’

Jocelyn: ‘NO! I’m not leaving. NO!’ (insert sand throwing here)

As I looked around the park, I saw that I had about half a dozen mommy eyes on me. I’m sure they were all waiting and wondering what I was going to do. What I want to know is why there is any question at all as to what I’m going to do? Moms are so worried about how they will be viewed if they discipline their children in public, that they often do nothing at all. When we should be pondering how we are going to reprimand our kids, we are busy worrying how our children’s meltdowns will be perceived.

So I had two choices. I could ignore Jocelyn’s attitude and give her yet another warning. Or I could follow through with my disciplinary action, and leave the park. I picked up my daughter and began our walk home. Before even getting more than a few steps I had to put her down because she was having a total fit – kicking, screaming, hitting and scratching. I would have to do the ‘football hold’. I’m sure you know the hold I’m talking about, when you carry them sideways so you cannot be injured by arms or legs swinging and kicking violently.

I thought I knew what was going through all the minds of the mothers who were staring at me. But then, to my surprise, I had a mom support me right when I needed it. She said, ‘I’m so happy to see another mom follow through with discipline. I’m so tired of being judged for my child’s temper tantrums.’ She told me how she felt like she was alone in not tolerating her child’s bad behaviour in public. She applauded me again, as I rushed home with my screaming daughter. This mom, a random stranger, had my back. In her own way, she told me I was a good mom.

Jocelyn screamed bloody murder the whole way home. It totally sucked. I really didn’t want to leave and ruin a perfectly good afternoon. But the fact of the matter is, I am the one that is responsible for teaching my kids what it means to be respectful. I would much rather endure the stare downs from other moms that are judging me because of my kids behaviour, than the long term effects of not disciplining my children. To all the moms out there that have ever felt like an outcast for actually doing something about temper tantrums in public, know that you are not alone. And to the mom that came to my rescue… thanks for having my back and letting me know that I’m a good mom.

When Moms Attack…

animals attack

Photo credit: fPat / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Pretty quickly most of us figure out that we will be attacked by other moms at some point or another. It often happens when we least expect it, suddenly being pounced on and ripped apart like something off of a national geographic special. We all know it’s bound to happen, yet when we are attacked by friends, family or strangers… it often leaves us shocked and speechless. And then we react. Rather than lick our wounds and carry on, we lash out and attack back often letting rage and emotion get the best of us. My question to you is this… when moms attack, how do you react?

Now before I go any further I must say that when my kids are under attack in any way shape or form… look out. I, like most moms, am a force to be reckoned with. But when another mom throws a little animosity my way, I react much differently. In recent days, I just don’t care. A friend once said to me that you can’t control what other people do or say, but you can control how you react to it. When I came under attack by another mom this last week, it felt so amazing to do absolutely nothing. Really. I wasn’t backing down. I didn’t think that their behaviour was acceptable or respectful… but I stayed silent. Why? Because it felt so good to just not care. I could have tore a strip off this other mom, because naturally I have a  lot to say… but saying nothing was so much more gratifying. You can imagine their surprise when I clearly was completely unphased by their behaviour.

A year ago I would have reacted much differently in response to a mommy attack. I would have got my panties all in a bunch over pretty much any negative comment coming my way and then stewed about it until I had a brilliant response for the next time I had a similar encounter. I’m not really sure when my attitude changed, but I would have to guess it was sometime after I met so many wonderful women through this site. So I have to say a big thank you to all the moms who have given me the confidence to just not care about any negativity that may come my way.

So for all you moms who are used to constantly defending yourself, know that you are not alone. I too,was once always playing defense with other moms. You can be sure that any animosity sent your way is triggered by one of three things: jealousy, insecurities or frustration. And none of these things have anything at all to do with you. Having finally figured this out, I find it so satisfying to not react at all to these moms who are so full of judgment and criticism. You can imagine their disappointment when the only response they get is me looking at them like they have a third eye.

I’m not saying that my feelings never get hurt, or that I am never phased by some mommy comments. And trust me, I have been known to lash out on more than one occasion. But… every so often it is so satisfying to just sit back and be comfortable with who I am, regardless of any attacks that might come my way. So to all you moms out there who have felt the wrath of another mom, know that if feels so good to just give a big invisible ‘screw you’ by not reacting at all.

Today will remind me forever of why I tell my kids I love them every day

Today I was driving to a friend’s house when I was reminded why it is so important that we tell our loved ones daily how much we love them. Before I left the house the kids wanted multiple hugs and then of course when I got to the car they yelled, ‘Kiss! You didn’t give us kisses.’ I have to admit that I was slightly annoyed at how long it was taking me to finally get on my way. But, nonetheless, I returned for more hugs and kisses and told them I loved them. I mean, really, being held up for more hugs and kisses is not the end of the world. If ever there is a lesson to be learned, today was one I’ll never forget…

As I drive on the expressway I think about my little munchkins and how I will take them swimming later in the afternoon. As I make plans in my head, I signal to turn at the upcoming light. Of course I just miss the turn light and the car in front of me stops. I go to brake. My pedal loosely goes right to the floor. My heart starts to pound harder. I brake again. I don’t slow down. Oh my god… my brakes aren’t working. I am going to hit this car in front of me going 90 km/hr. I push my four ways on and honk my horn. I have less than a second to decide what to do. I swerve to the right, honk again, and pull into the lane next to me. The fast moving traffic scatters and some of the cars are pushed off the road to avoid me. Miraculously no one is hit. There is no where to pull over because of all the construction going on. Wait a minute… are my brakes working again? Have I completely lost my mind? I pull off the next exit at a snails pace. I receive many warm and friendly middle fingers. Apparently they didn’t get the memo as to what one’s flashing emergency four ways means. I go to stop at the light and I am surprised again with that whole ‘no brakes’ thing. I manage to pull over to the curb and safely turn off the van.

I am trembling. My hands are shaking. I think about my kids. I try not to imagine what could have happened but I can’t help but to think of them losing me. I think of those last few hugs and kisses and how important they were. I start to cry as I remind myself that this is why I tell my kids and hubby that I love them every single day. I pick up my cell phone and dial home. With my voice quivering I tell my husband what happened. I keep it together and tell him I love him and I will see him soon. When I see him pull up with my little ones in the back, I am overwhelmed with emotion. I love them so much. My mind starts to wander as I think of what could have happened if the kids had been with me. The tow truck shows up and our day carries on. We swim. We laugh. I give time outs. The kids don’t listen. I feel exhausted. It’s a normal day to them. But to me, it’s the day that will remind me forever of why I tell my kids I love them every day.

So I share this story with you not to be preachy, but to remind you of those little moments that are so easy to pass up. I almost didn’t go back this morning for those extra kisses because I was running late. To all the moms who are ever faced with this same scenario, go back for the kisses… because you never know what curve balls might be thrown your way.

Give Kate Middleton a break already.

Pregnant KateI can’t help but wonder what is going through Kate Middleton’s head right now. I remember how daunting the weeks leading up to my deliveries were, and I didn’t have to deal with the entire world sticking their nose in my business. I can’t believe the topic of debate is not only if she will breastfeed but whether or not she will do so in public? Why does everything have to be about making a statement? Furthermore why does anyone really care?

Regardless if you are royalty or not there is always going to be someone judging your decisions. I give Kate a lot of credit because she has manages to take it all in stride. If that was me I would have marched out onto the balcony of Buckingham Palace and illustrated what being ‘hormonal’ really looks like by some sort of obscene gesture.

It seems like we are all waiting around to see what ‘Kate’ does so that we can define it as being the new ‘acceptable’. If Kate breastfeeds in public then it must be socially acceptable for us all to do it. If Kate formula feeds her baby than perhaps it will send a message to other moms that this is a more reasonable option. Why do we weigh so many of our decisions on what other moms do?

Talk about pressure. Could you imagine? The entire world is waiting… watching… ready to tweet and message about every single detail surrounding your first born child. I can only imagine how I would have come across to others as I fumbled as a first time mom. And on top of it all she doesn’t just have in-law’s to tell her what they think… she has an entire royal family that sets boundaries for her.

When I think about some of my biggest mommy blunders, I don’t even want to think about how the paparazzi would present them if Kate made the same mistakes. I’m sure she would be on the front page of every tabloid if she was caught picking up a soother off the ground, dragging her child out of a store kicking and screaming or forgetting to put the brake on the stroller only to have it slowly roll away on her. And if her royal child ever fell off or out of ANYTHING could you see the headline?  ‘Kate’s irresponsible behaviour causes innocent child to fall’.

This post is for Kate. Show the girl some love. I know she is royalty and you may not feel bad for her because she is entitled to many luxuries that we many not have had as mothers. But one thing she does have in common with all of us moms out there, is that she is and will continue to be judged. Let’s cut her some slack and as mother’s support her in ALL her decisions whether we agree with them or not. When she announces the birth of her child, let’s show her some love with our posts, tweets and messages. Tell another mom that she is a good mom…  royalty or not she needs to hear those kind words too!

Step away from the INSANE PARTY PLANNING… and the pony.

birthdaypartyI have spent so much time, money and energy on parties for our kids. I’m not exactly sure when I took the plunge into the insanity pool of planning top notch birthday parties, but I can tell you I am officially done with ‘DIY amazing kid parties’. I’m sure you have been there… scouring the internet trying to find SOMETHING that will perhaps keep you in line with all the other perfectly planned parties you’ve been too. It’s really become ridiculous. There is so much wasted on entertaining OTHER people to celebrate our children’s special events. Meanwhile, half the time our kids end up having major meltdowns and refusing to participate in all of our ‘planned’ events anyways. And why is it that we make up loot bags for everyone else’s kids when our kids aren’t even old enough to figure out why all these strange people are forcing them to wear an annoying birthday bib and cone shaped hat? And if you’ve ever considered renting a pony, please stop yourself now. Step away from the computer and simply go to your local grocery store, buy a slab cake and slap some dollar store balloons on the wall.

I’ve been wanting to write a post about this for a while, and it has actually been suggested more than once. I think I was struggling because I hadn’t yet thrown in the towel. Deep down I still wanted to throw picture perfect parties for my kids that looked like pintrest threw up all over my house. And then I had an ‘end of the year’ party for James. Yes… you heard me right. I was feeling a little guilty for taking him out of school for the last week to go camping. The result? Eight wild and out of control five year olds destroying my house and making me question my own sanity.

It started off as just a little crazy. I made really cute custom invitations with hotdogs on them and then sent them home with each of the invited kids from James’s class. I figured with it being a holiday weekend only half would come. WRONG. Each and EVERY single kid replies that they can make it. James is ecstatic. I am stressed. Did I mention that the party was planned the day after we got home from our camping trip? I spend all day cleaning our disaster of a house in case one of the moms decides to stay. Then, I set up a bouncy castle on the front lawn. Yes… this is where you can identify me as ‘that mom’… the crazy one who throws an end of the year party with custom hotdog invitations and then proceeds to set up an ‘accident waiting to happen’ on her front lawn.

The kids arrive and everything is going great until they get tired of the bouncy castle. On to the ‘clown’ game. I have plywood that has been painted with clowns on it with holes for the nose and mouth that you throw bean bags in. (Just for the record I didn’t make this specifically for this party, although it is crazy I even have them). This is where it all turns bad. The kids turn into something off of a horror movie. It’s like they are suddenly possessed and their heads are on the verge of spinning around. They are whipping the bean bags everywhere and have absolutely no respect for authority. Okay… there were a few listeners, but they were lost in all the madness that was going on. After threatening to call every kid’s parents, the little monsters respond with, ‘I don’t have to listen to you.’ ‘You’re not my mom’ and ‘This party sucks’. These are five year olds!!! My son eventually starts crying that no one is listening and gets whacked in the face with a bean bag. WORST. PARTY. EVER.

Long story short, after one of the kids starts hitting my hubby in the stomach and telling him that he is a ‘fatso’… it’s time to call for backup. I phone my mom to come over to help while hubby barbeques. I resort to putting teenage mutant ninja turtles on and my mom and I referee while karate moves sporadically come about. Apparently they aren’t tired from the half hour obstacle course I made them all do. Finally, after three long never ending hours, the parents pick up their kids. Hallelujah. I have lived to tell about the worst party ever.

The next time you are thinking of throwing the most amazing party of all time for your child, take a step back. Remember what you may think is necessary, may in fact be the most insane idea thought up… EVER.  Your child isn’t going to remember all the craziness you did to make their party ‘perfect’, they’re just going to know that you made them feel special by even having a celebration. And finally, if you are like me in the fact that it has taken you YEARS to figure this all out… don’t worry you still have another decade of parties to make up for it.

Supermom Syndrome… do you suffer from it?

wonderwoman

photo credit: jeangenie via photopin cc

I am a definitely what you would call a ‘yes’ mom. No, I don’t let my kids have whatever they want… actually they rarely hear the word ‘yes’ come from me. So who do I say this dreaded little word to? I agree to playdates that I can’t fit into my schedule. I say yes to doing charity work that I can’t possibly manage without taking away from the sparse six hours of sleep I typically get. I never decline family events or parties. I always offer to bring things even though I can barely get to the grocery store to fill my own cupboard. I always offer to attend the school field trip. I am constantly volunteered for the most time consuming daunting tasks you can imagine. Why? Because I say ‘yes’. I have what I refer to as super mom syndrome.

What is supermom syndrome? I will tell you my dear mommy friends. It is the constant need to say yes… to do it all… to make motherhood look effortless. Why is it so hard to just say ‘NO’? And the funniest part of this syndrome that I suffer from, is that when I should be saying yes, it’s as if the word has magically disappears from my vocabulary. I very rarely agree to let others help me. I will never ask for help. When I should be reaching out to my support systems, I feel like I am somehow less of a mother. I suffer daily from my condition, and unfortunately I don’t think that I’m the only one.

I read this book recently that describes North American mothers as the least likely to accept or ask for help. We apparently think that we can ‘do it all’. Why is this? I know that I don’t ask for help because I feel like none of the other moms do. How insane is that? I often think that if everyone else is doing it all, then why shouldn’t I be able to manage by myself. It’s like being the only kid in the class that needs to have a tutor to help them with their homework. Am I less of a mother if I admit to needing help? Do we really need to feel guilty about saying ‘no’ to things that we know will add unwarranted stress to our lives? Seriously, is selling those ridiculous tubs of muffin mix and penciling playdates on my barely legible calendar going to make me a good mom? I think not.

Before I go any further I need to clarify one thing. I don’t say ‘yes’ so that I can compete or outdo other moms. I say ‘yes’ out of guilt. I feel guilty about being honest and saying that I can’t take on anymore. And I don’t turn down help because I want to be able to SAY that I can do it all. I am embarrassed that I can’t do what other moms seem to do effortlessly.

Today is the day that I start my recovery. I will no longer be the ‘yes’ mom. I refuse to suffer from supermom syndrome. I will only take on tasks that will NOT take away from my family. I will say no to events and responsibilities that will take away from what little sleep I already get. I will happily receive and help that is given. And more importantly I will stop feeling bad about any of this. I am a mom. Not a super mom. I am a real mom that is struggling to ‘do it all’. To all you moms out there that are suffering from supermom syndrome… take off the cape and be okay with not being able to ‘do it all’. You’ll thank yourself one day… and so will your family.

The funny things that bring us together… diarrhea?

So the other day I found myself beaming proudly while the kids finally stopped fighting and were actually laughing and getting along. What provoked this rare moment in time? Diarrhea. You heard me. I never thought that I would be excited over something so disgusting in my life… but after a day of kicking, screaming and biting one another, I will gladly deal with a little bathroom blunder if it means my kids are getting along. This magical moment in time occurred on a Sunday afternoon…

Only one more block to go. I’m never running on a full stomach again. I don’t know if I can make it… maybe I should stop and walk. Nope. Definitely need to make it home. RIGHT. NOW. I rush through the front doors, fly past the kids and make a mad dash for the toilet. Phew. I made it. Anyone who is a runner can probably relate to needing to use a washroom and being 5 km away from one.

I make it out alive and the kids are already asking a million questions. ‘Why are you still wearing your shoes?’ ‘Why were you running in the house?’ ‘Why is the bathroom so stinky?’ I finally just break down and tell them, ‘Mommy has diarrhea.’ Oh my goodness. You would think I had just dressed up as a clown and pied someone in the face. The kids are hysterical. ‘Ha! Mom diarrhea’d in her pants! I’m going to tell the kids at school that my mom pooped her pants.’ After ensuring that doesn’t happen, I leave the room for a minute before I hear ‘Uh oh..’

Both kids now have the squirts. A family that craps together laughs together. I think I should get a bumper sticker with that made. Now the kids are furiously fighting over which toilet they are going to use. They each get settled and I toggle back and forth between the bathrooms. Despite the situation the kids are still laughing and are now singing the diarrhea song through the wall to each other (the two bathrooms actually share a wall so they can hear one another).

‘When you’re running in the hall and you feel something fall… diarrhea. diarrhea,’ James squeals hysterically.

‘When you feel a belly ache and you have to have a poo… diarrhea. diarrhea,’ Jocelyn replies (she hasn’t quite figured out the rhyming thing yet.)

This goes on for a half an hour until we are finally prepared to step away from the toilet. Although any normal person may cringe at the thought of dealing with two children with the the runs, I am more relieved than anything else. After a terrible day of fighting and feeling like a referee, the kids are not just getting along… they are laughing and supporting one another. They are actually working together to figure out how they are going to embarrass me about almost pooping my pants on my run.

 
So I guess the moral of the story is, you never know what disgusting moments are going to bring you closer together. What may seem like the worst scenario ever, could end up being a memory that your kids are going to look back on forever and laugh. Or, better yet, it will make for a wonderful story at their weddings. So the next time you are at your wits ends and ready to go off the deep end… just know that there may be one of these rare moments of insanity that might just bring you back from the edge. After all… doesn’t the diarrhea song make everything better?

There’s no perfect recipe for raising kids…

baking mom

photo credit: Sarahnaut via photopin cc

With so much hype these days surrounding the mommy wars, I thought it only fitting to write a post on the perfect recipe for raising children. Alright, so anyone who’s been following for a while will know that there is a huge side of sarcasm with that line. Of course there’s no perfect recipe for raising kids… what works for me I can guarantee you probably won’t translate well for any other mom. It’s because it’s MY perfect recipe and no one else’s. Sure, I’m willing to share my secret card with other moms, but realistically all my tips and tricks relate to the chaos and dynamics of my family.

So why are we all trying to follow the exact recipe in a desperate attempt to end up with a perfect loaf of ‘best mom ever’? I’m sure that we all have our own recipes for brownies, banana bread and gravy… so why can’t we have the same different approaches to feeding, disciplining and caring for our children? I feel like we are trying so hard to do everything the ‘right’ way, that we forget that sometimes doing things a little differently might just provide us with that secret ingredient we’ve been searching for.

As a new mom I was determined to follow all the rules and guidelines perfectly and in turn I expected that I would have a perfectly well balance happy household. I read every book, listened to ALL the advice of other moms… and then failed miserably and certainly didn’t end up with my perfect loaf of ‘happily ever after’. It wasn’t until I had a mommy revelation that I began to lift my head from the fog. Our family is different from everyone else’s. We have different personalities, schedules, opinions, and likes/dislikes. I hated many things about motherhood that other moms beamed about. I enjoyed doing things that other moms complained about.

Everyday I’m reading a new article on what is the ‘best way’ to do this, that or the other. It’s comical really. I would love to get the specialists that are constantly coming up with new studies and statistics every damn week to come for a visit. Could you imagine the results of that study? Honestly some of these studies are so ridiculous I’m not even going to try to explain why you should ignore them. No wonder moms are constantly trying to do everything the ‘right’ way. We’ve all been led to believe that if we don’t follow the guidelines, our children will end up constantly sick, having smaller brains and potentially end up on America’s most wanted.  If you haven’t figured it out yet, the studies and statistics don’t really have much premise on my perfect recipe for raising kids.

So to wrap it all up, if you have a recipe that works that’s great. If not, throw out that card and start with a clean one. Seriously… only a mother knows what the right ingredients, the perfect temperature and ideal amount of blending a family needs. Let’s stop trying to all mimic what we think will crown us as the ‘best mom ever’, and simply create our own batch of ‘whatever freaking works’. To all you moms out there that have ever tried to follow a perfect recipe for motherhood… know that sometimes we all just need to find our own special ingredients.