I’m glad books are a part of our bedtime ritual, but sometimes, I just want the ritual part to be over so Mom’s happyhourbedtime can begin.
I love awards. I love the shiny gleam of trophies and medals. I love seeing my name printed on a piece of paper that says “well done!” I’ve racked up lots of awards in my lifetime: I’ve gotten awards for music, running, and scouting.
Despite a rocky academic start, I even managed a Summa Cum Laude in college, although I think my high school guidance counselor would probably want to inspect my diploma with great skepticism, just to make sure I didn’t buy it on eBay (I swear it’s real.)
I’ve received performance awards at work. Somewhere in my boxes of childhood memorabilia is a tattered red ribbon I won for second place in a potato sack race.
But there is one award that doesn’t grace my trophy shelf: Mother of the Year.
And I’m OK with that. I mean…I’m a mostly good mom. My kids are still alive, so there’s that. I haven’t ever forgotten my kids entirely, but all three kids have held the shameful title of “Last Kid Picked Up” a time or two. Or 10, whatever, I’ve never completely forgotten them.
While I don’t totally suck as a mom all the time, here are some reasons the MOTY award committee probably won’t stop at my house:
1. I pit my kids against each other:
My kids are all about those gummy vitamin thingies, but for some reason unknown to man they are bat shit crazy about the yellow ones. I’ve learned something else: Purple is never an acceptable color for supplements.
Of course I don’t let vitamins go to waste but I have to endure significant protesting from my small humans when they’re forced to choke down a vitamin of the purple persuasion. When doling out yellow vitamins, I ensure equality. Except when it suits me to manipulate them just a little bit…
“We’re leaving in five minutes. Five minutes, I say. Whoever isn’t down here with shoes on in five minutes gets the purple vitamin.”
It amazes me how fast those little legs can move sometimes.
2. I lie to my kids:
They don’t really need to know what I’m doing behind that door. Maybe Pinterest, maybe cookies. It’s the only time that’s truly my own and even then, I have to fight with my kids about Mom’s right to potty privacy.
Oooh, that’s broken, sweetie
The beauty of this phrase is in the versatility. My favorite thing to use it on is those annoying kid-sized helicopters and ponies positioned conveniently outside of every Wal-Mart on the planet. I’m shopping. I’m shopping with my kids. I want to get in and out and I don’t have time to stop and explain why we can’t spend $2.50 in change I don’t have so that they can pretend they’re at Disney World. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
3. I can’t dress my kids for the weather:
I have it together enough to where my kids don’t wear parkas in July or tank tops in January, but during those times of iffy, in-between temperatures, I never get shit right.
4. I skip pages:
If I could get away with “Once upon a time they lived happily ever after” I probably would. Sometimes. It’s not that I don’t love reading or that I don’t appreciate telling the story of Oakey the Bunny 794 gazillion times. I’m glad books are a part of our bedtime ritual, but sometimes, I just want the ritual part to be over so Mom’s happyhourbedtime can begin.
I love new books because the kids haven’t memorized the sequence yet, making it easier to get away with page skipping…and yes, I know the shelf-life on this is about to expire.
5. I let my kids eat frozen (non-organic) chicken nuggets and drink Diet Coke:
There isn’t much I can say about this. I believe in healthy meals…and sometimes I make them. Other times, the day gets away from me and the frozen food section at Costco (or the pizza guy) saves dinner.
6. Dirty socks:
I have two small boys and keeping their little socks organized is a battle I’ve just stopped fighting. I’ve managed to segregate the socks into the clean pile and the dirty pile, but I can’t keep straight which pile is which. On any given day, my kids have a 50 percent chance of wearing clean socks. That’s OK, right?
7. Birthday parties:
I hate kids’ parties. I hate going to them and I hate giving them. I swear I’m not a big ole funsucking party pooper. I like parties just fine when they involve wine and cheese instead of Satan’s dust or goody bags…and by Satan’s dust, yes…I mean glitter.
We are just starting to dip our toes into the water of birthday party hosting. So far, so good, but I’m pretty sure my kids are going to end up in therapy later because of my refusal to have anything to do with printables or goody bags.
What’s a printable, anyway?
8. Screen time is golden:
We all know about the evils of screen time, blah blah blah. My kids are probably too attached to the screen too much of the time and you know what? Apples don’t fall far from the tree. Ahem. Not all screen time is bad, though. Some kid shows (annoying as they may be) actually teach phonics, kindness, and diversity. My 4-year-old can count in Spanish because of a Dora app, so there.
So no…I’m not Mother of the Year and probably won’t ever be. If the selection committee were to come to my house, they’d probably question whether or not I’m actually signed up for a Pinterest account (I am.) The lure of a shiny award is strong, but I’m OK with sitting this one out, although a pat on the back and a “hey let me buy you a Starbucks” every now and then would be good.
Make mine a Venti.
Jill Robbins is a wannabe wine snob and sometime runner from San Antonio, Texas. She has a degree in social psychology which has so far been unhelpful in understanding the behavior of her husband and three children. She writes about adoption, motherhood and midlife on her blog, Ripped Jeans and Bifocals. Jill is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, Blunt Moms Babble, and Mamalode. She’s also been published in The Washington Post’s On Parenting and is a proud member of the 2015 cast of Listen to Your Mother, Austin. Her work has also been featured on Scary Mommy, Mamapedia Voices, In the Powder Room, SheKnows Parenting, Midlife Boulevard, Beyond Your Blog and other places around the internet. Her print publications include the December 2014 issue of Mamalode and three upcoming anthologies about motherhood. She someday hopes to write the books that are living in her head. You can follow Jill on Facebook and Twitter.
This originally appeared on Ripped Jeans & Bifocals. Republished here with permission.