We all know who the “Mom of the Year” is—or at least, who she’s supposed to be.
I’d much rather hold the “Not Mom of the Year” title.
The woman who is Not Mom of the Year is real. Her life is messy. She loves deeply and laughs loudly. She understands that there’s more to life than a shining kitchen floor or a well-organized closet.
She abandons the dishes in the sink in favor of a water fight.
She shows her children how to make mud pies, joins them in the kiddy pool and helps them create masterpieces in chalk.
She occasionally loses her cool. Her children see her cry, yell and even drop the occasional f-bomb. But it’s okay, because they see her pick up the pieces afterward and move on.
She makes sure her husband knows he is loved. She knows that an unexpected kiss or an unasked for compliment goes a long way toward making up for all the burnt dinners and unnecessary growls.
She often feels guilty. She wishes she could be everywhere and do everything. She longs for more time with her children, but sometimes has a hard time pulling herself away from work. Wherever she is, whatever she’s doing, she feels like she should be doing more.
She takes time out for herself. She holes up somewhere to read a book or heads outside to yank weeds in silence. Then she rejoins her family, refreshed and ready to handle the chaos.
She is a terrible housekeeper. She lets laundry pile up, vacuuming go undone and dust accumulate into bunny armies.
She is a wonderful hugger. She always has time to snuggle with her baby, to read her books and rock her to sleep.
She reads every parenting book she can get her hands on, and worries she’s not doing anything right.
She looks at her daughter and smiles, knowing that so far, she seems to be doing something right.
She loves her children more than she ever dreamed possible and feels lucky to be able to call herself Mom.
She is beautiful, conflicted, outrageous and loyal.
She is me, and all the women around me.
She is Not Mom of the Year. And that? Is a pretty special thing to be.