Yesterday evening, I saw many friends at the pool. Our kids were swimming at a mock meet. Kristin, Sarah, Amy, and I were in conversation and somehow the topic turned to the foods we feed our families while leading busy lives. I was complimenting Amy, a work-at-an-office mom, because her husband had just passed on a half eaten granola bar to her. It jarred my memory of the healthy snacks that I had intended to pack for my family also, but we were fresh out of them just as we were rushing to leave home for the pool. No problem, I thought! Tonight, we would just buy pizza since there’s a Little Caesar’s just within a few miles of the meet.
I tell the ladies my immediate observations as we reached the family waiting area –people were sprawled out on lawn mats and folding chairs. Parents were seen with their picnic foods enjoying dinner with their kids. I saw neatly packed fruit trays and salads on disposable plates. Another friend, also named Amy, had brought cut up veggies with dip. I complimented her for being so organized and healthy with her dinner choice. She quickly whispered that she had potato chips tucked in one of her bags just in case the kids would not eat the choice food. Smart!
Kristin, a work-from-home mom of three bio and two adopted kids, upon hearing my wistful sentiments said, “Hey, you are feeding your family. It doesn’t matter what food it is. I just happened to have made pasta salad yesterday, so that’s what we brought.”
Sarah, another stay-at-home but really work-at-home mom of four added, “Sometimes, I’m a pizza mom and sometimes I’m a neatly cut up fruit and veggies mom. It just depends on the day.” Amy (the first one) made some funny comment about her used granola bar. Kristin joked, “We should all wear these reversible t-shirts that say ‘Mediocre Mom’s Club’ on one side,” and Sarah continued, “Whatever Day” (or something like that, don’t quote me) on the other side. Amy quipped, “I would so love a mug that says ‘Meanest Mom Today’ on it!”Don’t you just love moms? We support each other, encourage each other, make each other laugh, all the while leading busy lives taking care of young kids. In many cases, we take care of partners and in some cases aging parents also. Without long sob stories (although sometimes we engage in those, too), we just instinctively get one another. Whether it is at a swim meet, a soccer game, or a kid’s birthday party, moms all across America find ways to connect. While our children do their thing, we moms depend on conversation to survive and thrive. None of us are perfect, can do it all well, or do it alone. Yet, we are strong, resilient, and loving.
Later that evening, after volunteering, feeding kids, cheering them on, Kristin and I made contact again. She caught me standing next to my oldest son, a newly minted teenager, and smiled. He had just returned from the pool looking for his beach towel. She mused about the Mediocre Mom’s Club shirts a second time. Now don’t let these types of humble, down to Earth parents fool you. I know first hand how they go through thick and thin to take care of the adopted kids’ special needs until these kids function like they don’t have special needs. Many, like Kristin, do this work while tending to their bio kids’ developmental needs as well. This time, I responded, “No, it’s gotta be Super Moms” to which she nodded in agreement. My boy turned to me and said that he wanted to be in the Super Club, too! Building confidence in children? Check.
Mediocre or Super Mom? Same difference. Happy Mother’s Day to you!