Me, Mommy

Mom Not-Fails

Last week I grilled hamburgers on the indoor electric grill. Why? Well, it was raining, we have no propane in the outside grill and I’m terrified to use it anyway, so you can just pick one. Anyway, it has a grease tray. The tray was full and I bumped it.

Not so bad, except I bumped it and then it spilled into the open silverware/ junk drawer. (I’m special, I have more than one junk drawer.) I highly recommend never doing this. I spent my Friday night dinner picking out pens, highlighters, chapstick, spoons, forks, rubber bands, chopsticks, chargers, keys (I’ve been looking for that one!) and whatever else was coated in the nasty, sticky, gooey grease, while my family ate. There may have been a few tears. Lesson learned. Always, always shut the drawers. Also, if it’s not worth cleaning grease off to save it, don’t keep it around in a drawer.

Actual footage of my immaculate drawer. (Seriously though, you guys do know me, right?)

The day after grease flood, my kid decided to find immense humor in noises made with the mouth and arm. I explained repeatedly that it was not funny and it’s rude and not to do it. Then, he created a noise so profound I had to turn away to hide my surprise. After he so proudly stated that one was “epic”, my laughter could no longer be contained. That very second, the flatulence noise debate was forever ended as he now saw that mommy found the humor. Mom lesson learned, never let them see you laugh at inappropriate things. You’ll forever lose the argument. (Or, don’t be such a prude, let them have fun and hope the phase ends quickly. Still figuring that one out.)

When things like this happen I think about these “mom fail” memes and stories I’ve seen. While funny and typically relatable, I’m not thrilled about the name. I don’t see them as failures. Yeah, yeah I know, it’s just what it’s called. Still, I think moms can feel like they’ve failed enough sometimes without being told the things they do (that many other moms also do) are fails. That word means unsuccessful. These things don’t make us unsuccessful, they make us real moms. Moms trying our best and being very successful, most of the time.

There are food and craft fails. The”nailed it” pictures and shows are actually pretty hilarious. Those I’m ok with. It’s different because there’s an actual trained chef or professional cake decorator or skilled crafter that people are trying to mimic. Sure, if you’ve never put icing on a cake or carved a watermelon sculpture in your life, your outcome will be drastically different than the person who has done it hundreds of times! I try constantly to make cute little desserts for Easter or Thanksgiving. Most look identical to this amazing creation. (That would be a lie.)

Being a mom is different. Others may have children and know a thing or two, but it’s not something you can or should compare. Each mom or dad or caregiver has to make the best decision they can about their child at the time. Each situation is so different and unique. They just can’t be called “mom fails.”

I like “mom moments” better. Moments because they’re usually just small pieces to the greater puzzle. Moments because that can encompass all the times, the good parts and not so good. It’s little lessons we’re learning, especially through mistakes. Always finding what works, what doesn’t, how to do it better, that we’re actually doing a great job, that everyone else is learning too (even if they act like they know it all.)

I’ve forgotten important papers, socks, diapers, extra clothes. I’ve used cinnamon instead of chili powder (they should really make the containers look a little more different, come on now.) I’ve been pooped and peed on, more than once. A kid ate toothpaste once, a kid collected “raisins” in the yard (turns out we had a bunny, thankfully it was not injested.)

I’ve skipped baths, yelled when I should have just hugged, burned dinner and forgot to plug in the toaster all in the same night, brought sanity suckers to the grocery, almost served frozen waffles (we were out of coffee, so not my fault.) That’s just the few of the mom moments I can think of currently. Trust me, there’s plenty more.

You get the picture though. We mess up sometimes, we do silly things sometimes, we choose options others may not. Are they failures? Absolutely not. They’re all of us learning and doing the best we can. As long as our kids are truly loved and know they are, the other things will just be things. Stories to laugh about later, lessons to learn from and never do again, or choices we can stand by.

If you’ve read all this and have no clue what I’m trying to say, at least remember this. Never. Ever. Never. Let hamburger grease spill in a drawer. You’re welcome.

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