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LJ9 - Week 7 - No Real Mom

This is my entry for this week of LJ Idol, Season 9. Please check out the entries of my fellow competitors and consider joining the therealljidol community. This week's topic was "No real Scotsman."

My cave drawing of me and KFP.
My drawing of me and KFP

Nearly four years into the adventure of motherhood, I've read enough parenting magazines that I'd like to call shenanigans.

No real mom has time to make each plate into a cute image of a cartoon scene. I'm sure that olives make a lovely set of eyes on somebody else's pizza, but my son won't touch olives. Heck, he won't even eat pizza. The last time I made such fancy food, it was a burger that looked like a monster. My son admired it, and then picked everything off and ate just the bun and the cheese. I'm beginning to suspect he might be vegetarian.

No real mom turns all her used egg cartons, toilet paper rolls and empty coffee cans into adorable craft projects. I will admit, though, that my son and I turned a Xylitol container into a crayon container by sticking on some adhesive sparkly foam and some cupcake stickers he'd chosen. Ironically, if I had offered him one of those cupcakes in real life, there's only a 50 percent chance he'd have eaten them. The percentage is higher, though, than it would be for him eating pizza.

No real mom has the time to follow through on all the makeup tips included in today's hipper parenting mags. I'm not on a reality show; I'm not working in an office. I keep it simple. Most days, I'm lucky if I remember to put on my facial moisturizer. On really special days, I put on my five-minute face. But who cares? My nearly 4-year-old son still tells me I'm pretty.

No real mom has the ability to balance a full-time job, be the perfect mom, work on her relationship with her husband, and keep the house tidy. I barely even have time to read your magazine.

So why do I still subscribe to it, you might ask? Because dreaming is an essential part of our makeup. I pull out recipes and craft ideas and talk my husband's ear off about parenting theories we'll probably never try. Just because my dresser is currently covered with empty toilet paper rolls to make a beautiful flower project that may never come to fruition, just because the stack of kid-friendly recipes gathers dust in the dining room while I roast yet another chicken, just because I have never actually bought any of those cool kids' toys and products that I pull out and keep in a folder, doesn't mean that I won't follow through someday.

I'm a real mom, but maybe someday I'll change the definition of what that means.

No home game entry for kfp_rawr this week, but I've entered a second video in the Duplo "How do you play?" competition, to take a second chance at winning him some awesome Duplo sets. To help us out, go to my video page and click "like" on the video "Master Builder." Voters can opt to be entered in a drawing to win Duplo sets, too!

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( 59 comments — Leave a comment )
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Apr. 28th, 2014 11:46 pm (UTC)
This, all of this. I can relate to so much of this. ;) I believe all the magazines and such come with a built in pair of rose colored glasses.
Apr. 29th, 2014 12:03 am (UTC)
Definitely. They ought to include a pair, but for me it would probably need to be bifocals.
Apr. 29th, 2014 02:09 am (UTC)
Ugh! Story of my life, lol. I work full time, I'm in school part time, with homework, a dog, a husband who is great at times and... not so much at others, friends who expect a piece of my time, and oh yeah... my kids. I feel horrible sometimes for how little time I'm able to spend with them. I miss them, and I want them to know how much I care.
Apr. 29th, 2014 09:24 pm (UTC)
Wow. You've got even more going on than me! I always feel guilty, no matter what I'm doing. When I'm working on writing or other personal stuff, I feel like I ought to be having quality time with KFP. When I'm spending time with KFP, I think I ought to be writing!
(no subject) - mothermelete - Apr. 30th, 2014 12:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alycewilson - Apr. 30th, 2014 12:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mothermelete - Apr. 30th, 2014 12:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cheshire23 - May. 1st, 2014 12:36 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 29th, 2014 02:25 am (UTC)
And I thought I was the only one with an uncontrollable stack of toilet paper tubes!
Apr. 29th, 2014 09:27 pm (UTC)
Well, it started because KFP wanted to use them as "telescopes." He wouldn't let me get rid of any if he saw me carrying them. But recently, I really have been gathering them on person, because I found a really cool art project and intend to do it with him sometime soon (crossing fingers):

Apr. 29th, 2014 02:41 am (UTC)
Heh, I'm another mom that totally relates! Well done, ma'am.
Apr. 29th, 2014 09:29 pm (UTC)
Why, thank you! I thought there might be others who felt the same way. In fact, I'll be surprised if mine is the only entry this week to deal with the topic this way.
Apr. 29th, 2014 03:47 am (UTC)
You sound like the kind of mom that I would be, too! :)
Apr. 29th, 2014 09:29 pm (UTC)
I'm absolutely certain!
Apr. 29th, 2014 01:59 pm (UTC)
I can relate to this as a mom and as a teacher. So many ideas....so little time....sigh....(Waiting for grandparent days so I can have a second chance to catch up!). LOL
Apr. 29th, 2014 09:30 pm (UTC)
Imagine the stack of toilet paper tubes I'll have by the time I'm a grandmom! We'll be able to build a whole playhouse out of them.
Apr. 29th, 2014 02:19 pm (UTC)

No real mom has the ability to balance a full-time job, be the perfect mom, work on her relationship with her husband, and keep the house tidy

I can only do one of those things at a time. (Except the "keep her house tidy" part - never did master that one!)
Apr. 29th, 2014 09:31 pm (UTC)
Even on my best weeks, that part eludes me, too.
(no subject) - cheshire23 - May. 1st, 2014 12:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alycewilson - May. 1st, 2014 12:43 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 29th, 2014 04:23 pm (UTC)
very nice take on the post and as long as your kids are healthy and happy you are a true mom
Apr. 29th, 2014 09:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I thought of approaching it from the POV of responding to the magazines making me feel like I wasn't a real mom but thought I'd turn that idea on its ear. :)
Apr. 29th, 2014 04:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah -- it amazes me, the number of things you're expected to keep up with. I usually figure, anyone who's keeping up with the kid is probably doing pretty well.
Apr. 29th, 2014 09:47 pm (UTC)
Yes, he requires a lot of time, for sure! If you ever wonder why I'm slow on responding to comments, that's a big part of why.
(no subject) - jem0000000 - May. 2nd, 2014 03:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 29th, 2014 07:52 pm (UTC)
I couldn't agree more. And even if it *were* feasible, I still bristle at the idea that a "real" mom or a "good" mom has to do {insert nice-to-do nonessential activity HERE} to earn or retain that status.

Apr. 29th, 2014 09:49 pm (UTC)
Exactly. That's the way I almost ran this piece, talking about the idea that a "real mom" or a "good mom" does this or doesn't do that. The more I thought about it, though, the more that version sounded whiny, and I thought it was more important to come from a place of strength and empowerment. So I thought it would be best to turn those ideas on their ear.
(no subject) - gratefuladdict - Apr. 29th, 2014 09:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alycewilson - Apr. 29th, 2014 10:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 29th, 2014 08:52 pm (UTC)
I wholeheartedly agree that no real mom has time ti do it all. It's nice to feel like I'm not alone in that belief :) great piece.
Apr. 29th, 2014 09:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It makes me appreciate my mom a lot more. I used to think that she didn't spend enough time playing with us and interacting with us when I was little, but now I realize that she did an amazing job of keeping three young children safe, fed, clean, and feeling loved.
Apr. 29th, 2014 09:59 pm (UTC)
I don't even have kids and yet even I look at those parenting magazines sometimes (doctor's offices, etc) and have the exact same thought process you did here, lol.
Apr. 29th, 2014 10:14 pm (UTC)
Oh, cool! I used to look at my mom's magazines and think the same thing. In fact, I asked her once why she bought them, and she told me it was for the recipes.
Apr. 30th, 2014 07:21 am (UTC)
This is really sweet - I love the little moment of "My nearly 4-year-old son still tells me I'm pretty." This would be a great piece to revise and send in to some of those parenting mags :)

Apr. 30th, 2014 09:01 am (UTC)
Well, maybe not this piece, but I actually do have another query I'm putting together for one of them. :)
Apr. 30th, 2014 08:58 am (UTC)
So the thing I've learned as a mother is that you cannot compare yourself to other mothers. Who is a real mom versus who isn't? Deconstructing the issue will leave at least one mom with hurt feelings in the end.

First, it was the "Real moms breastfeed" spiel we were fed or "real moms cloth diaper!" It doesn't matter what your parenting skills are, and unless you're endangering your child, every mom is a real mom.

I think we need to really just stop trying to define what a 'real mom' is, and start believing in ourselves a bit more. Just because you're not doing every single craft with KFP doesn't discredit moms that do with their kids. I actually do have friends who do all of those crafts, and that's fine. We all have our own unique talents.

I do want to say that I liked your piece, because it was thought provoking. It touches on so many things I worry about constantly.

Apr. 30th, 2014 09:03 am (UTC)
Well, in the spirit of the prompt, I was hoping that people could see the fallacy behind my assertions, as much as with the opposite. :)

You're right; there's no right way to be a mom, as long as your kids are being cared for and nurtured. I'm glad that you found it thought-provoking and could identify. It's difficult, as a mom, not to be self-critical. So much is at stake: another person's health and well-being, their entire future as a successful person!
(no subject) - favoritebean - May. 1st, 2014 09:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alycewilson - May. 2nd, 2014 12:33 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 30th, 2014 03:48 pm (UTC)
You sound like the kind of mom that I would be, too! :)
Apr. 30th, 2014 05:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, cool! I remember reading pieces by moms in LJ Idol Season 5, before I had my son, and thinking something similar. :)
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