Goals, we all have them. But I'm an average, doing-the-best-that-I-can-on-five-hours-of-sleep mom and my parenting goals are about as average as they come.
I blame social media for that. I love Facebook and Instagram as much as the next mom, but those wonderful platforms give us too many opportunities to see how others are doing it better and prettier. Right?
The truth is, I don’t aspire to be a Pinterest mom. I don’t have the patience or the enthusiasm for hand crafting a cake in the shape of the newest “Paw Patrol” pup just so a room full of children can decimate it in 20 minutes. But I still feel like a slacker most of the time because I don’t aspire to better and prettier. Some days, I just aspire to survive until bedtime without losing my shit.
Clearly my parenting goals are modest. I like to think they're simply realistic and feel pretty good if I can achieve half of them half the time:
1. Feed my children something nutritious at least once a day.
Nutrition is important to me, so I strive to create a balanced diet of nutritious foods whenever I can. Yes, chicken nuggets, granola bars and fruit snacks count as nutritious. And ketchup is a vegetable.
2. Encourage my kids to have fun while maintaining some semblance of a clean house.
Any paint or glitter you see on the furniture is merely part of my quirky decorating style. And pushing the LEGO blocks and Matchbox cars under the furniture is a space-saving alternative to toy boxes.
3. Make sure I exercise regularly because a healthy mommy is a happy mommy.
Mommy brain is real, but not to fear: it can work in your favor. My Baby and Me exercise class consisted of me carrying my baby on my hip up and down the stairs 10 times because I kept forgetting where I left my phone.
The minute I start feeling over confident and like I’m winning at this parenting gig and decide I need to up my game, I will open Pinterest or Instagram or Facebook and be reminded that it’s OK to be average.
4. Plan fun and educational family vacations.
OK, this is a future goal. Right now, I’m good with the beach and Disney World. Don’t tell me Epcot isn’t educational!
5. Remember that I am more than a mother, I am my own person with a rich, full life and interests outside my children.
This can be achieved easily with a clean outfit, a new novel and a trip to a coffee shop outside my neighborhood where they won’t ask me, “Where are the kids today?”
6. To answer my children’s questions honestly and openly and without embarrassment.
Even when my 5-year-old asks—again—in a public restroom, “Why do I have to wipe my butt every time?”
7. Make sure my children go to bed at a reasonable hour to insure a good night’s sleep.
I do this by issuing many warnings, yelling, threatening to take away privileges and reminding myself that their bedtime means my own quiet time to cry quietly, drink wine and plot a better tomorrow.
8. Remain humble and realistic in my parenting goals.
The minute I start feeling over confident and like I’m winning at this parenting gig and decide I need to up my game, I will open Pinterest or Instagram or Facebook and be reminded that it’s OK to be average. Really.
And isn't celebrating mom wins so much better than drowning in mom guilt?