A couple weeks ago, I was approached and asked if I minded being nominated for Walmart Canada’s Mom of the Year Award. I, of course, said go ahead because, hey, who doesn’t like a chance to win another award? I’m sitting here tonight hearing the commercial on tv, like I have a few times since asked, and thinking about the possible results of being the winner of such a thing though.
Obviously winning this award (or any award) would be absolutely wonderful. Not only are there prizes for the winning mom, there is a charity prize as well. I know that our local children’s hospital (the IWK Children’s Health Centre) could definitely use the prize, and with the amount of time my family has spent there (thankfully less than a lot of people, but more than most), I feel they would be the most worthy of the contribution.
The prizes are just part of it though. The big thing that is won with this prize is the title. Mom of the Year. Sounds huge and awesome, right? But could you imagine holding that title? That would be the difficult part.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I am most certainly not perfect. I get upset with the kids, I yell, I am not right there standing over them all the time to make sure they aren’t beating the crap out of each other. I think I’m doing okay, but I am far from perfect.
The Mom of the Year is supposed to be the ideal mom. She bakes cookies, keeps an immaculate house, has a calm, quiet household, has perfectly behaved children, and still finds the time to have perfect hair and makeup. She cooks a gourmet dinner every night and wakes up smiling and peppy every morning (even pre-caffeine). That is the way I have always thought of Mom of the Year anyways.
All that is also why I know I’m not a real contender for this award. With the exception of my muffin days, I DO NOT bake. I have a mountain of laundry that needs to be folded which never seems to disappear (and don’t get me started on dishes and floors…). My home is never quiet and rarely calm. I think my children’s behavior is good, but they have their moments that disqualify them for the title of “perfectly behaved.” Hair and makeup? I throw my hair into a loose bun every morning, does that count? I also hate cooking, I do it because I have to and my kids know not to try to talk to me more than necessary pre-tea. But, hey, that’s all okay, because I’m not mom of the year, right?
I believe the pressure to hold up the standard of mom of the year would be CRAZY. In my opinion, it is not something I would even ATTEMPT to do. Playing with the kids sometimes (okay, okay, MOST of the time) takes precedence over all that stuff. ANY time I spend with my kids is more important than making sure my hair is styled or preparing a 3 course meal. Kids like the simple things anyways.
While I don’t feel like a true contender for the title, I also feel I am putting my efforts into the things that really matter to my KIDS. My kids don’t care if their clothes are folded as long as they’re clean and they can play in them. They don’t care if I look like I’m ready to head to an important business meeting as long as I have time to let them play on the playground or attend special events. I think doing what matters to them is what makes all of our lives run a little more smoothly.
I, apparently, am not alone in this belief. Today we bussed to L’s soccer game. When we boarded the bus, there was no set of 3 side by side seats, so the boys sat together while I sat nearby. I moved to sit with them 3 stops later. While on that first bus, T was a little excited and got a bit too loud (yes, I did speak to him about using his “indoor voice”), L and T tried to have a water bottle battle (boys will make anything into swords), and there were some “are we there yet” complaints. For the majority of the trip, however, we had conversations, played games, tried tongue twisters, and generally had a good time. My phone did not leave my purse, my book stayed tucked away, the MP3 player was left at home, and the DS was hidden away for later. I interacted with and entertained my children (and other passengers) throughout the trip. It was noticed.
After we had disembarked, one of the other passengers made a beeline for us. She walked right up to the kids and said “excuse me” to get their attention. With their focus on her, she said “I just want to let you guys know that you have an awesome mom.” They, being the “perfectly behaved children” they can sometimes be, beamed and informed her “we know!”
After multiple “thank yous” and the heat from my cheeks began to cool, I thought back on the trip and her comment. I realize how many people would not handle a bus trip with children the way I did. I’ve seen children act crazy on the bus while mom listens to music and sends text messages, and that’s NOT me. Any time I spend doing something with my kids is time well spent.
This may not make me WALMART’S mom of the year, but it does make time spent together fun for my children…and at the end of the day, isn’t that what being a good mom is all about?
No matter how dark the day, the sun is always shining somewhere!