When I told my husband that I wanted to start a blog called “Your Average Mom” he said, “But you’re not an average mom – you’re an extraordinary mom!” Umm, that’s sweet and while I will gladly take any compliments about my momming, to help explain this to him, I compared myself to our downstairs neighbor. She has three kids and MAKES FRESH SQUEEZED JUICE EVERY MORNING. Now that is an extraordinary mom. I can barely even find time to eat breakfast myself in the morning, much less make fresh squeezed juice for the entire family (do you know how many oranges that takes?!?)…which has led to my new habit of picking up doughnuts on the way home from dropping my baby off at daycare.
I’m not a bad mom by any means. I think I do some stuff amazingly, and other stuff terribly or not at all. So I’m pretty sure that averages out to…well…average. Mostly, I’m just trying to keep my head above water – and some days, I’m barely even doing that.
I make some food from scratch and buy or order in the rest. I’m proficient with a glue gun, but haven’t picked up a needle and thread since Home Ec class in 7th grade. (I do, however, still own a sewing box which has moved with me to NINE different apartments, including across the country…twice.) I planned a Halloween party for 80 people and 40 babies, but complain about not having time to make it to the gym. It took me 8 months to set up the nursery…after the baby was born. I purchased an Instant Pot a year ago and it’s still sitting in the box. I drink wine at least 3 nights per week. Ok more like 5, but who’s counting. Ok maybe closer to 7.
When my baby was 3 months old, I bought a book to give me ideas on what types of activities to do with her. It was like, “Now just sew together these finger puppets…” Um, excuse me? I was looking for something more like, “Play peek-a-boo” and “Tickle her with scarves.” I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself to do all these enriching activities with her and teach her all kinds of new skills ahead of schedule. (What is the schedule, by the way?!?) I was very proud that she started waving at a mere 7 months, but am totally stressed that she’s now 9 months and not crawling yet. WHAT IF SHE NEVER CRAWLS AND JUST ROLLS AROUND ON THE FLOOR UNTIL SHE’S 12?!?
My husband frequently reminds me that it all shakes out by the time they’re 5. Maybe earlier. I mean, would I like my daughter to be able to sign her name in cursive and play “Twinkle Twinkle” on the piano by the time she’s 3? Yes. Will I actually try to teach her those things by that age? Probably not. Although I did look on Amazon recently at toy pianos, so hey, you never know. On my to-do list, in between “Return stuff to Container Store” and “Schedule haircut” is literally the item: “Teach baby colors and body parts.” But then I keep forgetting, so occasionally I’ll just be like, “Hey, by the way, this is red!” When it comes to body parts, I’m probably just confusing her more, because I keep going down tangents: “These are your feet! But if you’re only talking about one, it’s called a ‘foot’ – and then there’s your left foot and right foot. They’re attached to your legs. Oh and can’t forget about the ankles! And KNEES. Knees are so weird. They make your legs bend. And your ankles make your feet bend. Oh and there are also 5 toes on each foot. 10 on both of your FEET, plural. Get it?”
There’s a mom I know with a baby the same age as mine, and everything she posts about her daughter makes her seem like a prodigy, both mentally and physically. She’ll recommend a toy that I can’t even imagine my daughter playing with until she’s 3. “I just got her this 100-piece jigsaw puzzle, and not only did she NOT try to put all of the pieces into her mouth at the same time, but she actually finished the whole thing in under 30 minutes!” Oh my god, what am I doing wrong. Then I remind myself that you can make anything seem like anything over social media. I could set my baby up holding a pencil over a multiplication table and be like, “Oh my gosh, she already knows basic math! I just asked her what 4 times 7 is and she pointed to 28. Guess we’ll be ready to start in on geometry soon with this one!” But really what would be happening behind the scenes is that I would be trying to snap a staged photo while preventing her from either stabbing herself in the eye with the pencil or eating it, lead end first. Oh, social media, how I love and hate thee.
So, yeah, I would say I’m your average mom. When I read the blogs of full-time, do-everything, stay-at-home moms, I feel simultaneously inspired and bad about myself. Some days I feel like I’m killing it, and other days I feel like I’m hopelessly behind and everything is out of control. But at the end of the day, I make sure my baby is fed, safe, comfortable, happy, clothed (most of the time), and loved. And I try not to worry TOO much about whether I’m making her meatballs or buying them at Trader Joe’s, and whether she will be able to count to ten before she can even speak.