“You’re such a good Mom!!!”

I sometimes cringe when I hear that.  I know I am hard on myself…harder than I have to be, I know, I know.  But I look around and see the other things Moms (and Dads) are doing for their kids that I am just not getting to. It’s hard not to feel like a you are falling short.  What makes a good Mom?

My kids are fed well, kind of a passion of mine.  Ask them. I could crumble like a cookie at the thought that they might be hungry (like for a snack…not malnourished) or didn’t have healthy food offered.  I have no idea where this obsession comes from.  You’d think I had been starved as a child, but I was provided for very well…I am just kind of nuts when it comes to this.  I remember Mackenzie coming home with her lunch still in her lunch box on her first day of kindergarten.  She didn’t know to grab it at lunch time from the class and went to the cafeteria without it.  I think someone gave her a snack or something…but I will never forget that feeling of panic that she was sitting there hungry while the others ate!  It stayed with me for days and days.  I’ve chilled a bit since then…but bottom line is my kids are well nourished with square meals.

My kids are loved.  I don’t need to get too much into this.  I love them, they love me.  Most the time anyway.  I enjoy their company and we do fun things.  Not like Disney or trips to the Grand Canyon or touring Europe, but we fly kites, go for hikes and enjoy beaches and picnics.  You know, free stuff.

They are clothed.  Clean clothes.  Despite my constant attempts to do laundry…I am always behind.  They have their favorite jeans and favorite shirts…and I will make sure they are cleaned and folded for them.  Who am I kidding, sometimes they are folded…if not they are “in the dryer or in the basket in front of it”. That’s almost always the answer to “Mom!  Where are my skinny jeans?!”.  My own laundry gets done eventually…but not today.  To prove it I am wearing my own skinny jeans…commando.   Yup.  Not one pair of underwear clean.  Not the boy shorts I reserve for “that week” or my pretty thongs.  When you saw Momma today rocking these skinny jeans and riding boots…no undies. Thankfully, my Friday night date cancelled so I can catch up on my laundry…I’ll be wearing underwear tomorrow.

Now those are the basics.  Check, check, check.

Beyond that is where I struggle.  The frills.  When I say frills I mean that rooms are tidy and organized.  Carpets are replaced (or better, hard wood floors are present) because they are the same ones since the house was built.  All the chores are done.  The lawn is mowed…weed whacking done and hedges trimmed.   Garden weeded and mulch is in place.  The driveway is newly sealed and the pool is open and cleaned.  The basement is organized so it’s not chaos to go into…and the shed door would be fixed and re-attached. Now that all that is done, more frills would be a double income so that vacations would be had,  bills would be paid on time and there would be a vehicle that’s not falling apart before our eyes in that newly sealed driveway!

Frills.  I feel a really good Mom gives those things to her kids.

Meanwhile, I was observing the kids tonight.  My 3 year old was proudly chewing with his mouth closed and wiping pizza sauce off his cheek with a NAPKIN (not his shoulder or sleeve!). I see my 12 year old including her little bro in a game of hide and seek with her friends to keep him happy, unasked.  I witness my 15 year old branching out with his friends and politely and respectfully arguing his point that he is now old enough and mature enough to be handling the responsibility he is asking for, and proving he is right.  I see my adult son taking his wife on a date night this evening, making her happy…and she, herself, wishing me a fantastic day out of the blue earlier.  Not too shabby for not having too many of the frills.

For now, I will plug away and feed, love and clothe my kids….and get to the frills when I possibly can…hopefully with clean underwear.