Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mommy Style: A Tongue in Cheek Look at Who We Are

The lady sized me up over her bifocals. She scrutinized my application while phones rang in the background of the busy office.
"So, you are seeking to apply for a specific style of mothering. Is that correct?" she asked.
"That's right. Do you have any available?"
"Well. We need to see what you would best be suited for and then we'll go from there."
"I see."

In my head, the many different kinds of mothers I had observed over the years surrounded me. Where did I fit in?

"Now, I see you are applying to be a Loving, Patient, and Thoughtful mother. Just how did you hear about that position?"
"From Hallmark, the card company. It's their biggest selling card, and I think it fits my skill set."

But that was wishful thinking, and only half the story. Just that morning I had screamed in frustration when the world's fussiest baby quacked for hours for no reason I could discern, and wouldn't even take a nap. Fully convinced I would never be able to get out of my bath robe again, I handled it with as much grace as I could, which turned out to be an amount so small you would need a NASA microscope to see it.

"That's a very competitive style. Many apply, and many don't make it. Do you have any secondary choices?" She refocused her attention on my application.
"Um, yes. Fun mom, or Organized mom."
"Fun mom, you say? What appeals to you about that?"

I thought it would be neat to be the kind of mom who always has fun outings and learning opportunities planned, a constant playmate to my curious little guy. The kind of mom I see sitting on a blanket at the park with her toddler having a blast on a clear sunny day. That looked appealing. That could be me.

"Remember all that energy you had when you were twenty years old? Do you still have any of it?"
"No," I confessed sadly. "I used it all up digging potatoes and writing academic papers."
"Let's think about Organized mom."

Someone told me they heard about it at a place called The Container Store. I'm not only natural a stickler for organization, but I find joy in it. Since becoming a mother, there have been no late night runs to the store because we ran out of something, never a time when I absolutely needed to do the laundry for fear of nothing to wear, never a time when I didn't know where every little errant baby sock in the house was located. Things did slip by the wayside, but never for very long. This could go places.

"Have you ever left the house and forgot to put diapers in your bag?"
"Just once," I admitted, "but I thought some were in there. That never happens now. Never. I spend all morning making sure the diaper bag is well stocked."
"Oh? What happens when you have to be someplace in the morning? Do you do it the night before?"
"No, that would never happen because it's impossible for me to ever leave the house before noon. Physically impossible. Also, I never forget anything except for when I do, which is all the time since I became a mom."
This was going nowhere. "Look, what kind of mom style openings are left?"

The interviewer spun around and tapped the computer keyboard.
"We always have openings for Helicopter mom..."
"I don't know what that is."
"It's where you hover over your child, managing every detail of their life closely and lose yourself in the minutiae of your child's existence. The assignment starts when they become school aged."
Ugh. No way. It sounded noisy and unbalanced.

I thought about the times I try really, really hard with Duckling, doing my best and how sometimes I fall wildly short, and other times exceed beyond my expectations.

Hey, wait a minute.

"Do you have something like a "Doing My Best mom"? Oh sure, it turned out that not only were there many loyal members in the Doing My Best corps, but that many of the best moms were operating in some subdivision of that company. Even better, this Division is always hiring as there is an endless need for this mom-type.

"Congratulations. This position and title are retroactive. Oh, and Happy Mother's Day"


  1. Loved your post today. I heard at church this morning about a friend's sister who has been married for 17 years with no children and then was blessed with twin boys a few weeks ago. Your photo is precious.

    1. That's beautiful, Becka. I am sure that woman is having an amazing day!

  2. This is the best post ever written in the history of postings. Gold star, A+. You have the luckiest little duckling ever and knowing all you already do going into it, you'll do just fine. It's the naive ones that can't cope when things aren't picture-perfect. Happy First Mother's Day to you, sweet friend ~ ♥

  3. How wonderful--such a good post! Thank you for it, and blessings to you, my "Doing-Her-Best Mom!"

  4. What a beautiful picture! Happy Mother's Day!

  5. There should be a support group for those of us that are part of the Doing my best club! 'My best' seems to run dry at about 9:00 a.m. some days......

  6. Love it!!! So.very.true! You nailed it, and then you got me with that picture at the end.

    You've got a gift, my friend. Blessings to you and your little quacker.

  7. Great post! I do believe this IS the support group mentioned above ;-) As the best moms in the world, we do our best and our ducklings grow and learn in spite of us! Squeeze that duckling for me ... but not too hard...

  8. Happy belated mothers day to all! Richard

  9. Hello Monica. I've been remiss in getting around to reading others' blogs. It was really fun catching up on yours. What a beautiful tribute to your grandmother. I love how you placed her passing into the next world within nature. How very beautiful!

    I LOVE this post too! I sure hope it becomes easier for you and your little one. I don't know that I would still be sane if I had babies that couldn't be comforted. I've heard of others who've been through it, and I often wonder how you do it. Parenting is intense even without colicky babies, so I can only imagine what that's like. Blessings to you and your little one... and to the Mister.


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