Thursday, October 23, 2014

Guest Posting at Ripped Jeans and Bifocals

Its official.  Somebody other than my mother thinks I occasionally write something worth sharing.

My foster-in-law (Does Hallmark make cards for that?) Jill asked me to guest post on her blog "Ripped Jeans and Bifocals" for a series she put together asking others "What they wish they knew".  How lucky am I that I get to be featured on a wildly popular blog written by a super funny lady?  There may be some nepotism involved, but I'll take it.

While you're over there, you will want to check out some of her other posts.  Warning - they can be addicting.  Be sure you have fed and watered your children because you'll most likely binge-read it to the neglect of home and family.


Here's the link to the blog post:   Ripped Jeans and Bifocals



photo credit: www.pixabay.com
Photo credit:  www.pixabay.com



Thursday, October 2, 2014

Mommy Badges

A few weeks ago, I ran into a mommy friend at the library.  I was driving my van.  I don't mean I ran into her literally, like a potentially lethal bump, but the figurative ran into.

Side note - I had seen this particular friend several times in the course of a few weeks at the library and Target.  I think she might be stalking me.  I'm sure she is reading this, confirming the stalking.  Its a good thing she would be a nice stalker to have or I might have to run into her with my van literally. 

Anyway, I bragged to her about how my 15-passenger van parking has improved and I was able to pull into the parking space perfectly, on the first try.  Perhaps I felt the need to talk-up my Driving 101 accomplishments because nobody else sees them except a few kids who don't know how tough it is.

That got us talking about how many awesome things moms do that never get any recognition.  In light of this, I have decided that we parents need the opportunity to earn Mommy Badges in the same tradition as scouting badges.

Perhaps there would be a monthly award ceremony (alcohol optional) where we mommies could get together to congratulate each other for all the skills we have learned and all the hard work we have put into parenting, most of which is unseen and unappreciated.  Let's encourage each other.

I think I still have my Brownie sash somewhere.  I considered searching through a box or two looking for it so I could post the picture here, but then it seemed like too much work.  I think I deserve a badge for lowering my standards.


Here are some of my suggestions:

The "We arrived on Time" badge - Did you successfully get all of your brood someplace on time?  Did each child have matching footwear?  Bonus points if you arrived after getting everyone in snow boats, coats, mittens, hats, etc.  You can use more than one motivational technique - bribery, threats, yelling, pleading, angry face, physically carrying child, etc. 

The "Completely Caught up on Laundry" badge - This badge has rarely been earned by anyone with children.  This badge is inevitably and ironically followed up with the following badge.

The "Vomit in the Bed Clean Up" Badge - Criteria for this badge requires that the vomit affect at least a half dozen stuffed animals, too.  Be prepared for your child to cry hysterically enough for the puked on animals that you have the opportunity to earn the badge a second time.

The "I Listened to a Retelling of a Television Show that Lasted Longer than the Show Itself" Badge - There is flexibility in the earning of this badge.  Whether your child describes in excruciating, monotonous detail a television show, movie, or video game you must listen with a vague impression of interest on your face.  Encouraging your child to act out the scenes results in extra credit.

The "I only bought what was on my list at Target" Badge - You only planned on going in for diapers and didn't ended up with a half cart full of groceries, superhero undies and several packs of light bulbs?  Well done.  This badge cannot be used with a trip to Wal-Mart because there is more of a temptation to exit the facility immediately as that is where hopes and dreams go to die.

The "Anti-Pintrest Birthday Party" Badge - You must not follow a theme.  You must not make heirloom quality decorations that will be ruined as soon as little Johnny throws his carefully selected goody bag at the wall in a fit of rage induced by any cowboy/clown/princess/Elvis impersonator professionals hired for the event's entertainment.  Food must contain high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, and artificial colors, however a token bowl of baby carrots may be offered.  Food must be served on disposable plates.  You may not spend the equivalent of a semester of college on any aspect of the festivities. And for heaven's sake, you may not post any crafts involved on Pintrest to increase expectations for other parents.

The "Unapologetic Trashing of Artwork" Badge - This badge is recommended for seasoned parents only.  Have you stuck your child's eighty-thousandth scribbled craft in the recycling in front of your child?  It takes a certain amount of steeled nerves to show appropriate appreciation for the half-hearted, 20 second effort your child put into the art project and still let them know the recycling man will be hauling it away.

The "I'm Good Enough" Badge - This is the badge I hope all my Mom friends get.  To earn it, you must be willing to laugh at your parenting flubs and ideally share them with me on Mom's Night Out.  (Yes, you need to prioritize yourself enough to take time out for yourself and your grown-up friends.)   You will have learned that nobody's life is as amazing as Facebook makes it out to be.  You will contribute to the betterment of all Moms by stopping trying to portray a perfect family life on social media or in person.  You will know that your best effort is all that can be asked.  You will know that a disappointed child does not mean you fail as a parent.  And you will learn that your children will thrive when you stop trying to be perfect and settle into the lower pressure goal of "Good Enough".