Tuesday, November 17, 2009
My new buddy Allison at Life of a Tater Tot Mom has tagged me as a Theta Mom - that is, THE True Authentic Mom. Ok, first of all, I'm always jealous of people named Allison, because they get that awesome Elvis Costello song and I just get that stupid 'Tammy's in Love' business. She gets "Alison, I know this world is killing you" and I get "The ole hootie owl hootie-hoo's to the dove - Tammy, Tammy, Tammy's in love".... and that is just patently unfair.
Part of being a True Authentic Mom is realizing that things aren't always fair all the time.
Sometimes you might want to go see Ace Frehley, but you go see a Jr. High orchestra concert instead, because you're a mom. Sometimes you want to see Aerosmith and KISS share a frackin' stage, but you send your kid to college instead, because you're a mom. (Because holy man! Have you SEEN how much tickets for a show like that cost?) Sometimes you want to drink martini's on a Friday night, but you take your kids to see New Moon instead, because you're a mom. (Ok, that one's totally not true. I'm totally going to drink martini's Friday night, because I'm the mom and I said so, dammit! But that just means I'll have to take them the next afternoon with a potential hangover. And I will. Because I'm a mom.)
See? Things aren't always fair.
Now, being tagged as a Theta Mom has some responsibilities and one of them is that I share five experiences that have shaped me as a true authentic mom. The other is that I tag five other folks who I think bring a certain sense of authenticity to the title of mom - and I will - I'll do that - just be patient. Sometimes you just have to be patient, whether it's fair or not.
I decided that, rather than write my own list, I'd turn it over to the folks who made me a mom in the first place. They didn't necessarily choose particular experiences, but rather generalizations. I figured that was close enough for rock and roll. Tom was the first person responsible for my motherhood, so he got the first shot (my comments are parenthetical and italicized.)
1. She gives up a lot for the family. She gave up her career. (and my youth and my beauty and travel and money and manicures, but never tequila...)
Lea was next to throw something into the pot:
2. She lets us go to concerts...even ones she doesn't like that much...and that are loud. (oh, bless your heart. I would NEVER take you a concert for a band I didn't like that much. And FYI? The TV can be too loud, but a concert really can't. Thanks, though, for thinking that's a sacrifice!)
Liv threw in the third one:
3. She lets me play my loud drums and not let it annoy her. (I admit it. I'm a saint.)
The girls came up with the next one together:
4. She always understands when we're on our periods. (due in large part to the fact that I never gave up tequila.)
Then they left, because they had more important things to do than stroke my ego (tell me more about my eyes...) and also because House was coming on and Dr. House always trumps me. So I was left to come up with the fifth one on my own.
5. I think being a true, authentic mom means giving up on perfection. Good thing I'd never really been much of a perfectionist in the first place. My heart hurts for those moms who are. Sometimes good enough just needs to be good enough. Before I had kids I did a lot of home visits in the course of my job and I always thought, smugly, that I could do it better. My kids would never ________, my house would always ________. Whatever you filled those blanks in with was probably right. But guess what? My kids aren't perfect and my house isn't perfect and I am far, far, far from perfect. But Lea said to me the other day (she said), "I love being in our family." Now Lea is thirteen and just about as ornery as the day is long. She has raised eye-rolling to an art form. I would not have been surprised if she'd said, "I hate this family!" (hurt, but not surprised). But she loves being a part of us, in all our imperfection. In all our true authenticity, if you will. So I guess I'm saying that I think being a true authentic mom has to do with accepting your true authentic family, warts and all.
Now for the tagging part. I find the following moms to be very true and authentic, so, tag! You're it!
Mamaface at Blog-Ignoramous
Unknown Mami at, um, Unknown Mami
Traci at 38 and Growing
Tiffany at ElastaMom's Excerpts
Mandy at Mandy's Life After 30
Aaaaaaand this is the reason I don't do many awards - I hate the passing on part - I always feel like I'm leaving someone important out and I hate, hate, hate that. Hate it. But this isn't an award, it's a tag. So I feel a little better about that. It's unfair that I had to choose only five out of all of my great mom friends. But, like we've already established, this mom thing isn't always fair.