The short answer is no – and yes. You see, I have been all kinds of different moms. I was a “working mom” for many years, in fact my older boys were really co-raised by their daycare provider and I am thankful for her, to this day. I’ve been a “stay-at-home mom” when our fifth son was born and I pretty much threw in the career towel because honestly …. How much more could I do in 24 hours?? I’ve been a mom who felt lost, a mom who was trying to find herself AGAIN, (and for Christ’s sake how many times do we have to wrestle THAT demon?!?! I was told I would “find myself” shortly after college and that would be a wrap…. I could go on forever more safe in my knowledge of being “found”) ** cough, cough – that’s bullshit – cough, cough**. I’ve been a young mom. I have been a wise mom. But have also been a mom who found passion for life again, who found new things to share, who found her “why.” And yes, I am now the Essential Ninja Mom.
Sometimes your idea of what kind of mom you are gets a kick in the pants though. I was cleaning out my gym bag yesterday and chatting with my 11 year old.. an old soul in a little body and I rarely see him let down his guard but when he does it’s beautiful and he is wise. So any way, I’m chatting with the little asshole and I was telling him about the workout I did with my trainer, and how sore I was, and why I had a Tupperware container with food in it, in my bag (see last post for the nutrition plan I’m on) and he was genuinely listening. And then he said this to me, “Mom, I don’t know why you do this to yourself. I think you look good. It’s OK to just be a mom you know.” ****** crickets were heard on my end******** And that’s when it hit me. No matter how much we think that we are the most amazing moms for all that we do (OK we are pretty amazing) …… it’s OK to be “just a mom.”
In that one moment my son stated the sentiment of every kid ever…. They just want us to be “mom.” All of the searching and working and whatever else we do is just a bonus aside from being their mom. But hey… that doesn’t pay the bills right? Nope it doesn’t. It also doesn’t fill those small moments we get when we are alone and need to know we can control something when we can’t seem to control the passing of time, or what our teenagers might do when they are out of our sight. It also doesn’t help when you realize that *gasp* they won’t need you forever. We need passion yes, but we need to feel in control of something… even if it’s just as simple as our own body and the food we put in it.
So what is my point in all of this? My point is simply this; you gotta do you girl. Every mom that reads this would do ANYTHING for their kids. What we all need to do is cut each other some slack. Working moms Vs. Stay-at-Home moms is a played out theme, ok? I’ve been both. They both suck at times and they both have benefits at times. They are BOTH hard. THE END. But I’m looking at something deeper in us ….. where is that passion, girl? When your kid looks you dead in the eye and wants to know “why you do this” – what are you going to say? I know what I said, and he stuck around for another hour or so just to find out more.
It’s OK to have a hobby, passion, fitness goal. You are a great mom who is just doing a little something for you. When I told my son why I love to work out and that I love the challenge of doing something hard… like 12 weeks of restrictive (healthy) nutrition, he learned something new about his mom. He felt like I included him in my life and I wasn’t just talking to him about his. It was a pretty amazing moment and I challenge you to find a small place in your life for you, for your passions. You may surprise even the most “hardened” of your kids and that their “just a mom” might me just a little bit more.
Like a serious bad ass …without them ever knowing.