Dear Fellow Mothers,
I hope your Mother’s Day was the relaxing day that you needed. I also recognize that, since kids are involved, there was a good chance there was some level of shenanigans that landed anywhere in the range of “isn’t that funny” to “are you freaking kidding me?”
My husband and boys got me new gaming dice and a fun nail polish set I’ve been eyeing. My boys also had little written tributes they had created at school for me. One kid had a beautiful tribute with some bits that made me smile and giggle. The other kiddo had a partially completed book that included a page with words about mom. What wonderful things were included in this written tribute? I “comb my hair” and I am “busy some of the time.”
That last one really rolled a critical hit for a guilt trip attack. Did I also mention this is the child I spent so much of this past school year directly supervising their remote learning? Seriously, kid? Oh yeah, I had more than a few moments of being worried about am I spending enough time with the kids while trying to get things done in a super stressful unprecedented year. Then I remember how much of that time was spent managing remote learning. As for the hair combing thing, given that my hair is thin/fine/short, I’m not sure why the combing of it is so significant. I’m clearly not Rapunzel.
Then the other day, another friend who is also a mom told a group of us fellow moms that their kid had unearthed a crumbled poetic tribute to them, the focus of which was the typical exchange between mom and kiddo when kiddo has tried to crash yet another work-related Zoom meeting and mom is trying to nicely but firmly get them out.
I straight up had to laugh. Then I made sure to let my friend know that I wasn’t laughing about how bad they felt over the Mom Guilt, I was laughing because my own kid had basically done something similar and it’s really nice to know it’s not just me. I couldn’t help but think about how many other moms are out there stewing in Mom Guilt of Mom Embarrassment because their kid fixated on something not entirely complimentary and wrote about it.
One of my kids filled in my favorite drink as “Cherry Pepsi,” but I imagine a few moms are out there wondering what the teacher thinks if their kid put “wine” or “beer.” Is Mom’s favorite thing to watch “shows that are not good for kids”? If you like true crime shows, there’s the making of some interesting comments about what mom likes to watch. I can only imagine what embarrassing and guilt-inducing entries “Mom always says ______” will create or “Mom doesn’t like when Grandma _____.”
Given how much of the last year was spent at home by the whole family, I imagine a few kids wrote things like “Mom dislikes meetings that could have been e-mails” or “Mom loves not having to wear a bra (or pants) to work.” The good news is, if you’re worried you are the World’s Worst Mom, odds are pretty good you are not, even if your kid fixated on something not entirely complementary in their tribute.
I realized my own kid, who often balks at writing assignments, probably got the assignment at the end of the day, was tired, and just wrote whatever random thing he thought of because we’ve told him he just needs to just write something. I mean, on Monday he was tired enough by the end of the day he got nothing done on a report about penguins and, like his brother, he LOVES penguins. Also, I’m glad my romance novels tend to be read in e-book form before my kid wrote “Mom likes to read books with guys with no shirts on.” Never mind that “Mom really likes dice” sounds like a potential gambling habit to those that don’t immediately associate dice with tabletop gaming.
My friend has since provided an update that their kid apologized and wrote a really sweet card. I have not had such luck, but my kid did walk in the next day before class and wrote that penguin paper without any additional fuss, so it didn’t have to come home as an additional homework assignment to stress us all out. Since I have been dealing with a multi-day migraine, I will take that as a win.
So, Moms of the Internet, try to keep this in mind, okay? Chances are your tired kiddo, who wanted to be done with an assignment and go to recess (because recess), just wrote the first thing that came to their mind so that they didn’t get in trouble for having a blank piece of paper without thinking through on how what they wrote came across.
You are not the World’s Worst Mom and you should probably hold on to that slightly guilt-inducing or embarrassing tribute from your kid because, someday, they might have a kid and be on the receiving end of this and then you can pull out the one they made for you and get a good laugh out of it together. In the meantime, it might be worth seeing if the #WorldsOkayestMom Club is accepting applications. If you’re the really daring type, ask on your own social media feed about what sort of awkward/guilt-inducing things other people’s kids wrote, and you may even discover that it happens to so many other moms too.
But, seriously, you are not the World’s Worst Mom, okay?
Elizabeth (the mom who is sometimes busy, combs her hair, and reads books with guys with no shirts on)