Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Truly Authentic


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.

42 comments:

Grand Pooba said...

I love your number 5! Nobody is perfect no matter how they try to be the perfect mother, it just isn't possible. The perfect mother does not exist! (Because I'm not a mother yet)

5thsister said...

"Tammy's in Love" is better than "Polly Wolly Doodle All the Day"!

Great post, by the way. A well deserved tag. I like what your kids had to say. I also appreciate #5. After marriage and kids I had to let go of my tendency for perfectionism. And it's a good thing!

Tater Tot Mom said...

That was awesome!

Okay, I have something to admit, I love the Tammy movies! I've seen them all. I usually don't like things like that but I don't know what it is about Tammy!

I love that your kids answered for you and their answers cement you as a true THETA mom! That last answer though said it all! You're amazing!

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

This is great. I love it that your family chimed in! #5 is so true...good enough is good enough. I would think hearing a teenager say "I love being in this family" is as close to perfection as you can get.

Unknown Mami said...

Finally an award for my authenticity. In your face fakers!

How's that for a gracious acceptance.

You my dear are the real deal, always have been, always will be.

MiMi said...

Awesome post! I can't imagine 2 girls on their period at the same time...oh wait. Yes I can. My sister and I lived together forever.

mama-face said...

let's see what to comment on? :) I love that you are jealous of the name Allison; well I guess what I love the most is your explanation!!

Amen to the T.V. too loud but never a concert.

I've been able to tell from the beginning (you know, the beginning of my foray into blogging) that you ARE the real deal in all ways; and your mothering is no different. You share the honest life of a real family. Which makes us friends of yours feel right at home!! I was so the judgmental single girl who said I would NEVER let my children do this or that...haha. I've paid for that. And I should save this for a post...because...

THANK YOU for the tag or the recognition. And I love that you involved your girls...hmmmm

linda said...

The true authentic mom...I love it!

I'm still blown over by Lea's comment! Gotta love a 13 year old who likes her family! Sounds like you're doing a great job as a mom, and raising some kids who appreciate it!

Perfection...I used to try so hard to attain it but the older you get, you realize it's really not that important. Besides, my kids humbled me in that respect! They have a way of doing that don't they!?!

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

i saw your comment on someone else's blog and was like - where the hell has she been? so here i am and you're tagging up with theta mom - i was tagged too - boy that girl gets around, doesn't she? floozy. ha! just kidding TM. anyhoo, i have got to check out house b/c even my dad likes that show and he doesn't like anything..come back to me my 100th follower - come back to me

BONNIE K said...

This is so true. Giving up on the perfection thing is crucial, or we'd all be in psych facilities.

Traci said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Traci said...

Wow, Tammy! I am tickled to be tagged. You are a daily read and I love this post, as always. You are terrifically authentic and I love, Love, LOVE that you thought of me!

I will be proud to pass on this tag.

As to songs -- check out these lyrics:

[Chorus:]
I tried tried tried to trust Tracy
never trust Tracy.. she's not trustworthy
I tried.........
you shouldn't trust...
you shouldn't trust Tracy.

Ironic considering you tagged me for being authentic!
I don't know what Tracy did to this boy but, wow!!!!

blueviolet said...

I love how she said she loves being in the family. You can't get better than that! There really isn't any perfect family, but perfection is boring!

otin said...

That is great letting your family answer! You are very brave and trusting hehe!

At least I knew that I was not getting tagged!

The Grown-Up Child said...

Tammy, you rock. You do know that, right? I love love love your number 5. And that's what I live my life by. I love my household, the good, the bad and the ugly. We are what we are, and the most important thing is that (overall) we are happy.

Thanks for bringing the smile to my face that your posts always seem to do!

Melissa B. said...

You're the best, Mom! And BTW, "Sweet Melissa" by the Allman Bros is my song du jour. Just thought you'd like to know...

kys said...

I love the way you did this. So great to read everyone's take on it.

#5 - Oh yeah. (In my head, I totally said that like in the Koolaid commercials.)

carma said...

Wonderful job! I've been procrastinating and need to get my list together. Probably won't be an Ace Frehley mention in mine, though...

Pam said...

When a 13 year old says she loves being your family, you know your an awesome mom! "Good enough is good enough" is a valuable life philosophy. One I have struggled with in the past. Not only are you a Theta Mom, you are one wise woman!

Swine said...

Fuckin A, Tammy. You rock, plain and simple.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Great job of letting your family help with the post. I love that! Congratulations on your well-deserved award!

And now I will sing 'Tammy's in Love' ALL NIGHT LONG.

xo

WhisperingWriter said...

Congrats on your award!

I'm scared what Natalie is going to be like on her period.

MaryRC said...

did i ever tell you Ace sat in my chair? Not my dog Ace, but THE Ace! Oh yea, for reals.. When I asked why he wasnt adorning the stage with the rest of the band he said... "I dont play with those Rock n Roll clowns anymore"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dws1txTeDXU yes i was in the same room with all these gods of thunder... only a true authentic mom like you (and tom) would appreciate this moment of my life. oh after the show when KISS was coming off stage and walking by the makeup room, i stuck my head out of the door and gave Gene "the horns" and he gave me "the tounge" 1/2 an inch from my face, all my makeup friends were jealous. true story, although the story got out of hand in town, apparently i made out with him... eew have you seen family jewels? he's so not cool without the costume.

Brandy said...

Your song is better than mine though - "Brandy you're a fine girl..." is not really my cup of tea.

Possibly the best post accepting a tag ever.

JennyMac said...

You did a great job on the list. And bless you for the two daughters with periods! haha...My mom barely survived one of those. LOL.

Sassy Chica said...

I too love number 5, perfection is not an option when you are a mother!

Smooches,
Sassy Chica

sheila said...

This is WONDERFUL! lol, very cool post! And yes, life is SO not fair sometimes.

This was very enjoyable post!

Alicia said...

awesome list!! you are totally a theta mom! and i love #4 hahaaa!!! that's hilarious....i'm dreading the day i have to deal with that!

Kristina P. said...

You actually do sound like the perfect mother, which is a mother who knows she's not perfect!

Thanks for visiting my blog!

vixensden said...

Man oh man, that was so perfect. I especially liked number 4, mostly for your response!

Dorothy said...

My first visit this is a cute blog.

Dorothy from grammology
grammology.com

Mammatalk said...

#5 is wonderful. Just what I needed to hear right about now!

Ginger said...

Yes. Tequila.

Er, I mean: Yes. Authenitic Moms.

I'm still trying to define what it means. It is incredibly to stay authentic with that whole nagging human condition of needing to place ourselves in some ranking order - "better than these, but not as good as these."

I've been at this whole mom thing for 17 months (unless you count in utero as motherhood), and I am still not comfortable in that skin. I wonder if I'll ever be (she said, intending to uproot her family, sell all of their belongings, and move them to a different country to "wing it").

Housewife Savant said...

This rocks. You ARE an awesome mom.

Courtney (AKA MommaRoberts) said...

So so true!!! I am only a mother to a 2 year old so no where near the whoas of teenagers (and hope that day comes slowly :/) but I already know and have experienced a lot of the "Being a mom isn't fair". And #5 is so so so so true and it's hard not to think that way still at points, I mean we are human right?? lol Awesome post!

My Lipstick Life said...

You're right - it's not always fair. Great blog & from what I've read you seem authentic to me :) Cheers SITSta!

scrappysue said...

cool tag. i always love hearing what our kids think straight off the cuff! didn't quite catch up with the 50,000 words, but i take my hat off to anyone who can write that much! hope the sits day goes well - i wonder when it'll be my turn!!!

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

I absolutely positively love your number 5! I can SO relate!

How cool is it that your 13 year old loves being part of your family? I'm hoping when Princess Nagger is that age she'll feel the same way about ours... ;)

Persis said...

just passing by ur blog...this post is lovely and funny...ur write really well! have a great SITS Monday! xx.

Courtney (AKA MommaRoberts) said...

HI! I came back :) I love your posts! I love Aerosmith too! Not a die hard fan but I love their music! Did you name your Daughter Liv after Steven Tyler's daughter? Or just coincidence? I can't wait to read more of blog!! Awesome!

And Happy Sits Day!!!

Masala Chica said...

I love this. being an authentic mom is just that - being "real" and leaving behind preconceived notions that we all had about what being a mommy would be like - before we had children who talked back, had stinky poops and drove us insane.

I always imagined me making cookies with my hair perfectly coiffed. like a stepford wife.

if i can brush my teeth most days i'm lucky.

now THAT's authentic. j/k. it's just kinda gross.

Theta Mom said...

Tammy~ This post was nothing short of AWESOME!!! You are such a THETA MOM! I recently moved over to WP and I am desperately trying to catch up...especially on these tags because you guys are rolling out these ridiculously amazing posts! I have been having the best time reading them and it enables me to meet a new blogger or reconnect again...Thank you for playing along and for sharing this post. Simply, you rock!