Written by Gabi
So, one day, I showed up at my therapist’s office, devastated, sure I was probably the worst mother on the planet. It had been one of those mornings that sedative commercials are made of – me scrambling around trying to find two matching shoes, while trying to cook breakfast, make lunches and beg my children to get dressed. “And I’m not asking again!” Only, as we all know, I did. No success.
So I did what any terrible mother would do. I bribed them with a ding dong. Yep, that’s what they ate for breakfast. I lured their finally clothed bodies out of the house by walking backwards with the ding dongs in hand, coaxing them like wild stallions.
Worked like a charm.
I kinda always thought I would be a more perfect mom. Steamed vegetables, all organic food, lovely dinner settings and a meal ritual that would bring us all closer together. I’ve seen the studies on obesity and how dinner time at the table ensures that we will all raise geniuses.
And I gave it up. After working all day and practically tying my children to a chair in order to get them to do their homework, after returning calls and answering the new ones and cleaning up the kitchen from the meal I made last, well, I don’t always want to sit at the table with my kids. I’d like to take 20 minutes to myself while they nibble on some chemical-laden box food in front of the television. Occasionally, I announce that we have to prove we’re not barbarians, and I make them eat dinner with me at the table. It’s fine I guess, but it’s not when we have our closest moments.
Don’t get me wrong. We have a ton of one-on-one time. We talk about our days and our troubles and our joys. We just don’t do it at the table.
See, that’s the thing. I think we all have something – or lots of things – we just have to let go. Whether it’s perfectly made beds or clean living rooms, or bedtimes that really should be earlier, or more extracurricular activities, or fewer extracurricular activities. Whatever it is, I think we need to give ourselves permission to just accept that being a single mom doesn’t always allow us to give our kids the lives we first envisioned for them.
So just once, just for one day, let it go and know you’re still wonderful.
Let em’ eat ding dongs.