Survival Tip: Choose to Not Be a Super Mom (Join Me!)

Let’s actively set the bar low. Let’s take the pressure off crafting and scheduling and having clean houses. Let’s just play and be spontaneous and not feel bad when we do less because we’re tired or having a bad day. I won’t make you feel bad about it. And you won’t make me feel bad about it. Deal?

Then there are the little voices in our heads. Let’s shut them up with a good massage or a trashy novel. I give you permission.

As I’m sitting down to write this, I’m pondering a nap. My child is home sick with the flu but after an active morning (bouncing and jumping and happy to be home all day), they’ve passed out on the couch in a spontaneous flu body crash.

The ultimate busy parent question: Do I now nap? Or do I fall prey to the “dirty laundry, night school homework, filing and starting my taxes” list in my head? So I’m writing my blog. I should nap.

So here’s what I’m proposing. There are not enough hours in the day. We’re all feeling badly about not being “super mom”. I’m not going to feel bad about it anymore. If my kid is alive and fed and relatively happy by the end of the day, check mark for me. Next time someone tells me “You are amazing”, or “I don’t know how you do it, being a single mom”, I’m going to take the compliment (grudgingly) but don’t you dare compare yourself to me. My bar is set low. And I’m going to let my “anti-super-mom” flag fly.



Top Six Tips for the Anti-Super-Mom (aka Realistic Expectation Parent)

  1. Thinking about the dirty laundry? Check the back of the drawer for that last pair of clean pants. Or put the laundry in the machine (the tidy effect), but don’t turn it on.
  1. Can’t decide if you should grocery shop or wash the floor? Go for a pedicure. It’s a good deal for approximately $25 and you get to sit in a massage chair for an hour.
  1. Burnt out on cooking dinner? I always double proportions and throw some in the freezer. Options!
  1. Having a bad day? Feeling exhausted? Turn off the phone and go to bed with your kid in the early evening. Nothing like a 10 hour sleep to give some perspective. It’s not too bad!
  1. You and the kids are out of sync? Too much difficult behaviour and too many petty quarrels? Crank up some music and have a dance party. Everyone gets to burn off steam and be silly together. Music makes everything better.
  1. Don’t know what activities a super-mom would have prepared? Don’t prepare! Go outside! A walk down the street leads to all kind of adventures. You can meet some neighbours together, find an old wasp nest, pet a dog, build a snow fort/twig fort. No prep work required!

Update: Now Allie is watching TV and blowing their nose. I just took frozen leftovers out of the freezer and made more coffee. Everyone is good. Below is my messy corner. Boxes of things to be filed, sorted, sent to the second hand store. Honestly I never get to it. But it’s in the corner. I rarely look at it. I will not be shamed. Neither should you if you have one too.

 

IMG_20150204_150344_edit

Advertisements

Lessons I Tried Not to Learn from Gilmore Girls

Polyamory has always appealed to me because I agree love shouldn’t be a commodity. It shouldn’t be a scarce resource that is protected and hoarded. However, life is complicated with kids.

We all have U-Haul tendencies when we meet someone who gets those butterflies fluttering. That someone who makes you laugh. And brings you take-out when you are too burnt out to make dinner, again.

Add in the idea of shortage of childcare. A live-in lover sounds swell in principle. But them I’m not desperate…or am I?

I’m being careful. Lorelai Gilmore sacrificed her love life until Rory grew up. She tried to keep things separate. You know you are possibly lonely (and desperate) when you are drinking a glass of wine on a Friday night and sobbing along to Gilmore Girls. “It’s so hard to be a single parent– this show gets it – wahhhh!”

The tough job is creating a balance. As I tell my child, “Mummy is better at being a mummy when I can go out once in awhile with other grownups. When you are grown up, you will need time too. “

So right now, I’m dating some lovely people. Trying to enjoy some quality grown-up time without falling in love or calling 1-800-Uhaul in the middle of the night. Ironically, I have to limit these dates based on how much I can afford to pay the babysitter or how many friends I can willingly entice for Allie time.

Love is not in short supply when I have a 4 year-old buddy curled up in my bed every night. But love is not so easily defined.

Yes, they come first. Be warned. You may not want to date me if you aren’t super busy yourself because I’m pretty busy being the best hero to my sidekick I can be.

Creating Space for a Cacophony of Gender Adventures

Today at school my son Allie wore a dress to school.

Now being a queer-identified gender-fluid person myself I didn’t expect to be upset by this. I’ve raised this boy child in a world where they know some girls have penises and some boys have vaginas. Girls can be any kind of girl and boys can be any kind of boy. Their best boyfriend wears nail polish and pink jeans.

Early on there were lots of discussions about hair length. It seems weird to me this is how young children seem to grapple with the gender rules. Girls have long hair and boys have short hair. They seem surprised when we point out the error in this with direct examples of friends and family members who identify differently and have the “wrong” corresponding hair length.

I wear big boots and rarely wear make-up. I’ve always broken the gender rules. I decided a long time ago that gender is arbitrary and I would be whatever damn person I wanted to be. I didn’t need a fixed gender identity. I’ve had short hair. I’ve had long hair. I never wear dresses.

And here I am buying a pink and purple dress for my child, as requested (possibly for “dress-up”). But then they decide it is the most beautiful dress and they will wear it to school. And dropping Allie off that day terrified me.

“Great, no problem I said”. Dropping them off at school, I whisper to the teacher. “Please don’t let them be bullied”.

Earlier in the week, the teachers had told me that Allie had said, “I’m a girl.”

Picking out skis, the clerk turns to me and says “Is Allie a she or he?” They loudly state, “I’m a she, SHE!” So there we have it. And the teachers shockingly were great. They said they just told Allie it was fine to be a girl.

But then I worried about their classmates. Allie asks me “ do I look like a girl now?, with my dress?”.

Again I say (although at this point I’m mostly just agreeing that yes you are a girl),“Some boys wear dresses and some girls wear dresses. I don’t really know what a girl or boy looks like. You look like Allie to me, with a beautiful pink and purple dress.”

il_340x270.704660283_p9gg

At lunchtime, I arrive to help out in the classroom. There is Allie sitting in the middle of the classroom. They are super cute in their pink dress and so happy to see me. Allie is eating lunch with a friend Nora, “Nora knows I’m a girl. “ Nora smiles and nods, “Allie is a girl”.

Tonight they tell me they want to be a boy named Isabella. “I can change my name right, if I want a girl name and my mummy says it’s okay”. I said, “of course it’s okay”.
Wherever we go on this journey with my sidekick. gender will be a bumpy part of the road. As I told Allie tonight, “Boy or girl, I will love you no matter who you are. Makes no difference to me. “