Monday, January 27, 2014

Perfect ... ly Comfortable

"I am perfectly comfortable being an 'average' mom.  My kids ride the bus; they eat school food.  They are encouraged to explore extra-curricular activities - one at a time.  Time (& money) I would spend making lunches, driving around, making chaotic schedules work, buying more 'stuff,' we spend making memories.  House wide Nerf gun fights.  Dinners for 6 around the dinner table opened with prayer.  Movie nights with popcorn.  We may not eat organic and be on trend with the latest fad, but we are happy. And I won't feel guilty about it."

If this sounds a bit familiar, you may read my Facebook updates from time to time.  Or, at least last night about 8:00pm to be exact.  Where did this come from, you might ask?  At least my husband did.  He was in the other room watching the pro-bowl.  I had just put the 2 year old to bed and sent the three bigs to their rooms for winding down hour.  I wasn't ready to start Downton Abbey yet, so I checked Facebook - as I often do...

Sometimes, Facebook is so incredibly useful!  I have found great bargains, learned of impending nuptials and heard about future little ones to join the world.  I can keep in contact with my cousins and friends spread from Oregon to Kansas to Virginia and Boston to New York City.  I have life long friends, brand new friends, Twin Mommy friends, and mommas of babies born in May 2002.  Sorority Sisters, Life Group members, My brother's college buddies, and friends of my parents.  INCREDIBLE.  I can learn about things I never dreamed of - and watch videos that I wish I could un-see.  But a lot of times, I have to admit,  I feel bullied by other moms.  Now, I know some of this is self-induced.  I should be able to pull up my big (and I mean BIG!) girl panties and blow it off.  But a lot of what I see just makes me want to scream.  And log off.  For a long time.  But, I can't.  Not for long anyway.  I have to have my personal account to manage my small business account.  And oh yeah!  My regular paying job is in social media. Yup - can't neglect that! I have to get better at filtering out the stuff that makes me bang my head against the wall.

So, I was a bit fed up with feeling like a bad mom last night for probably having BPA laden plastic-wear in my fridge with last week's left over chili in it.  Chili made with beef.  Beef that I have no idea about where it was grown or what the cattle were fed.  And I probably cleaned my kitchen counter top that it was prepared on with something someone somewhere has labeled as a poison to children everywhere!  But you know what?  That chili was GREAT!  The kids loved it, hubby loved it, I LOVED IT.  Got told it was the "Best Chili Ever" by an 11 year old tween girl.  HIGH PRAISE!  If you have raised the breed, you know...

So, yes.  My girls ride to school (almost) every day on a big, stinky, bumpy yellow school bus.  Both ways.  My oldest son walks 5 blocks.  Both ways.  Unless it's cold.  Or he is slow moving, then he gets a ride from Dad.  I leave for work long before they all go to school, and the 1st grader is just lucky the school is on Dad's way to work.  And they all 3 eat school lunches.  At a reduced price, too.  YUP!  We're that family!  I don't know a Bento box from a window box.  And Idon'tevencare.  They get a good, nutritious lunch.  And a lesson in life.  All paid for by my tax dollars.  Works for us.  And, I'm OK with their public education.  I have several homeschooling friends.  To them I say, "Good on ya!"  I don't have the patience or desire for it.  And my baby?  In my opinion he goes to the best darned Mother's Day Out pre-school in town 2 days a week and has the BEST Nana on the planet for the other 3.  But, I didn't look at all the reports or do extensive interviewing to find out.  I just went with my gut.  And biology.  :)

I am also perfectly OK with my perfectly comfortable kids.  While my girls both made honor roll last semester, I wouldn't be surprised if that doesn't happen this time around.  School is harder for some kids than others.  Testing makes some anxious while others take it all in stride.  I read an article someone had posted on Facebook last week about how college isn't meant for everyone.  Some kids will go to trade school.  Or be an apprentice somewhere.  Who will be the next generation's plumbers and hair stylists?  Maybe one or more of my kids.  And I would be so proud.  Or maybe they all go to college.  I want to encourage them, but not push them beyond their abilities - just to compete with the "Joneses."  Same with the extra activities.  While I'm pretty sure I don't have the next piano prodigy or sports superstar, I want them to do what they like and want to offer them the opportunities I can, while keeping them balanced .  Each child can do 1 "extra" thing at a time.  I have a dancer, a volleyball player, and a sports enthusiast that plays each sport in season as long as they don't overlap.  The baby's pass-time is going to doctor appointments.  *sigh* But, at this stage in life, they just need to be kids.  Have time to find out what they like.  Play with the neighbors.  After all, Eli and Peyton didn't play football until 8th or 9th grade...

So, Facebook.  I turn the other cheek.  I am not going to let the mom bullying get to me anymore.  I am a good mom.  My 4 kids have enough.  They get to see my husband and I live, love, fight and make-up.  We are all under the same roof every night, and we eat dinner as a family at least 6 nights a week - at a table with mismatched chairs.  We pray together, laugh together, love together, and hurt together.  WE ALL have been extremely blessed.  We're all in this together.  The kids know they have to look out for each other and help us around the house - without complaining.  And without an allowance or any other payment for that matter.  They have 8 very busy hands.  Dad and I have 4 full time working hands, that do the very best they can at home to keep everyone clean, healthy, fed, educated and entertained.  Our calendar is busy, and we like it that way.  But, we also like knowing down time is coming.  And we can just breathe.  And be a family.  Without trying to out-do anyone, prove anything, or achieve unrealistic goals.  God is our provider, and our judge.  We live our lives in a way that (we pray) is pleasing to Him, and that's all that should matter. And we are HAPPY!

If you got this far, you deserve a cookie.  Or a brownie.  Or WINE!  Yes, Wine...  And here is my disclaimer... I am not bashing anyone who does any of the things I don't.  Good for you!  Just know every family has to make decisions that are best for them.  And we each have the things we are passionate about.  In this season of my family's journey, the only thing I am passionate about besides shining Jesus' light is SURVIVAL.  Maybe next season I will have a second and I can research a Bento box...


  1. I was OK with it until the mismatched chairs. ;)

    And if anyone in MY house gets a bento box, it will be me and not the children. "School lunch" here at our workplace is FAR more expensive than it is at THEIR schools. ;)

    Here's one I pull out when I need it...

    1. The chairs used to match. One broke, Another needs a little attention... Know any free furniture repair men?

    2. I'd rather them be mis-matched!! They are like our family - all different and unique!!