December Madness, fueled by sugar cookies
I'd like to settle in for my long winter's nap now

In which Maggie needs to remember what she's good at. Again.

 

 

I just wrote this massive blog post in which I reached the conclusion: some things are not my jam, and that's okay. 

I guess sometimes you just really have to write a massive blog post! But I won't put you through the misery of reading it. How nice of me. 

This stems from a tiny bit of Mom Insecurity which appears to be leftover from when my big kids were babies and toddlers, the time when Mom Insecurity ran high. I wasn't insecure about being a MOM, more like there were a lot of things I thought I was supposed to do or enjoy or be as a Public Mom that I... didn't want to do. Like be in a PEPS group. Seattle people know what this is. PEPS is an organization that groups new parents by neighborhood and their babies' age, so I ended up in a group of women who lived near me and whose kids were all born within a few weeks of mine. They were great! I know people who found their best friends in PEPS! But I still didn't like being in the organized group, for a number of reasons, and I felt guilty and what-is-wrong-with-me when I slowly and unofficially stopped going. 

Or things like outings. I hate outings. All of my friends were constantly going to the zoo and the aquarium and big parks and I kept wondering why we couldn't all just visit each other in our houses and drink mimosas while the kids entertained each other. 

My kids are older now which means I have to do less stuff with them and therefore have to spend less time with other women I don't know very well and their children. So the insecurity opportunities are less. But recently I wonder if the opportunities are just DIFFERENT. Like the PTA. I am doing the one thing I am half decent at for the PTA (newsletters and social media, heh), but I still feel lame because I don't know enough people, don't volunteer at school for anything, and DON'T WANT TO. Aren't I at stay at home mom with tons of time?! 

There's an extra level of Church Mom Insecurity. Am I involved in the right way? Am I participating in the right things? Are my kids sufficiently holy? Am I demonstrating to the people with influence that I am worthy of friendship? (Oh wait, is my Three showing?)

Chatting with the preschool moms? PLEASE DON'T MAKE ME. They are all great, they really are, but I have other friends and I want to use up every last drop of preschool time to do stuff FOR ME. As soon as my kid walks in the door I RUN to the car for ME TIME.

Crafting costumes for the Christmas play? IF I MUST. But I will suck at it and also get really annoyed and frustrated with the disorganization and mess, EVEN THOUGH we get it done in half the time and with tons of help. 

Girl Scouts? That's not something I can just drop her off at, right? 

Co-op preschool? SNORT.

And possibly worst of all, I have yet to sign my kids up for a sports team. There is no soccer every Saturday morning for the Cheung kids, no gymnastics, no martial arts at night, no dance recitals. They take piano, because Chinese grandparents (also half-musical parents) and swimming in the summers because their mom is deathly afraid of water. But otherwise... honestly, just the day when I do preschool and piano is exhausting. 

I guess you can just read this as LAZY. LAZY MOM. But you guys, I am not lazy. I may flee in the face of the volunteer form and have the housekeeping abilities of a frat boy, but you should see me work on my stupid little business. You should see the hours I put in tying stupid perfect bows on those cookie boxes. The time I devote to making sure the people in whom I'm already invested are well loved. The work I do to keep our family on track. The weeknights I give to the church ministry where my gifts are best used and most welcome - which has nothing to do with children or families specifically. The time I will put in this week to give my friends a kick ass time at our holiday party on Saturday. 

That stuff isn't Public Mom stuff, so sometimes I feel like it doesn't count. You know? I think I'm have a stretch of Public Mom Failure. (All brought on by myself, of course. AS PER USUAL.)

It's made me think: maybe I shouldn't BE a stay at home mom! SAHMs are supposed to be a certain way! Crafty, creative, whizzes at time management! The truth is that I AM all those things, just not when it comes to my KIDS. I can think of one single time that I pulled it together and was SAHM Awesome and that's when I instituted Homeschool Art Class. But that was born of desperation, folks. My public schoolers didn't know about impressionism. UNACCEPTABLE. 

But... I already wrote a blog post about this, I don't need to write another one. (TOO LATE.) I think it's time for another round of...

THINGS MAGGIE IS AMAZING AT

  • Avoiding phone calls for the bakery. Email me, people! EMAIL IS BEAUTIFUL.
  • Planning vacations. You guys, I booked us a Hawaii vacation in one night, using frequent flyer miles from 2 different airlines, in coordination with out of state friends. BOOM.
  • Holding bakery customer hands. It doesn't seem like it would be a thing, but you'd be surprised.
  • Having a filing cabinet. 
  • Making cookies that TASTE good, even if they are not necessarily good-looking.
  • Making my kids laugh. Right now I have two phrases that make them bust up every time. This won't last forever, but I am MILKING IT.
  • Knowing when to put a war book down. 
  • Eyeshadow. Okay, maybe not AMAZING, but I'm getting better. 
  • Initiating time with friends without kids. 
  • Making it possible for my husband to have friends-with-no-kids time. 

I MEAN, THOSE ARE SOME PRETTY AMAZING THINGS RIGHT THERE. And now it is time for me to make dinner, which is something I am decidedly un-awesome at, but the whole point of this post was up there at the top: I just wasn't MADE to be an amazing dinner maker.

 

Comments

Sheila

My kids are in ZERO extracurricular activities, Maggie. Sunday School is a stretch. I'm even thinking of pulling Rebekkah from her half-day preschool program in January, bc the logistics are a nightmare AND result in no helpful kid-free time for me.

Also. I think you're a rockstar, and I LOVE that you're not the perfect Public Mom.

El-e-e

Am dying to know the 2 funny phrases!

Elizabeth

My mother made sure we had swimming lessons and learned to swim *because* she was afraid of water. All three of her kids and her grandkids love swimming and water. It was one of the best things she ever did for us.

(She also took us to music/ballet/art lessons over the years, and to church. I feel like all that was more than enough, really. You know your children, after all. )

Also - being in touch with friends without kids? Amazing!

april

That is a fantastic list.

Carrie

I refuse to sign my kids up for anything that takes place on a weekend morning. Or past 5 pm in the afternoons. We did/do swimming, because I think that's an important skill, but I refuse to do that in the winter when it's dark so early. :)

You're doing a good job! Your kids are great and there's a lot to be said for not overscheduling them and just letting them be kids!

Also, I'm a SAHM and my big accomplishment this week has been watching lots of old episodes of Gilmore Girls. GG for the win!

Carla (@charliesue)

Basically, I think you're the shit. That list right there? BOOM.

Ariel

DO NOT FEEL BADLY ABOUT NOT SIGNING UP FOR SPORTS. ever. Especially if your kids are not asking for it, and especially when they are this young.It will only add crazy to your life, and crazy sports parents are another breed entirely.

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