Forget "Super Mom" . . . I’d Be Happy with "Mediocre Mom"

After Boys #1 and #2 were born, I went back to working full-time. For a year and a half, I even left my house at 5:00 am so I could drive an hour and start working at 6:00. That way I could get off at 3:00 and be home by a little after 4:00. Whew!

My middle sister watched the boys for me until they were old enough to go to school, and even then she would help me take and/or pick up her nephews. It wasn’t easy, but I did it.

Was my house always clean at the time? Definitely not. Did we always have the laundry caught up? Heck no! But at least I had an excuse (or so I thought): I work full-time away from home.

After getting pregnant with Boy #3, I had a bit of what we’ll refer to as a “freak-out” as the thought of working full-time seemed a bit too much for this mom to handle. I knew other moms did it all the time, and did it well. But I also knew I was not “that mom.”

So I worked at a more flexible job as a freelance writer for a marketing agency. I went in to the office most days, and some weeks I worked more than 40 hours, but at least I could go in the evenings or work at home if I needed to. It was better, most of the time.

Fast-forward two years and the agency I was working for decided to close up shop. Fortunately, the company I previously worked for full-time was looking to hire for the same position I had held, only part-time. Perfect. I started out committing to 32 hours a week. Less than 40 but enough to make it worth my while to drive there four days a week. I could do it, I reasoned. After all, my kids were all older now. I had officially been a parent for nearly a decade. I had it under control, right?

Uh, right . . .

I started finding it harder and harder to make 32 hours a week . . . then 20 hours . . . and now I’m struggling to show my face in the office 15 hours each week. Between sick kids, inservice days, and staggered elementary and middle school schedules, it seems that I’m always having to juggle my work schedule to be there for my kids.

Take this week, for instance. I’m on Day 2 of Operation Home With Kids after Boys #1 and #2 both sustained injuries at baseball on Sunday. (If you haven’t already, read why I feel guilty about this.)

Okay, so I’ve been home for two days, and the kids aren’t sick enough to be needing constant attention. I should be able to handle my mom duties, right? I should be able to do everything those “Super Moms” I envy do every day when they’re home with their kids.

But, alas. Weigh, if you will, the evidence: laundry is still stacked halfway to the ceiling in our bathroom, two of the boys have been in their underwear for two days (yep, the same pair), and Boy #3’s main food groups today have been “chocolate” and “peanut butter.”

I have pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I will never be “Super Mom,” but at this point I’m thinking that “Mediocre Mom” or “Hasn’t-Gotten-Her-Children-Taken-Away-Yet Mom” is looking like a lofty goal.

So, is it me? Is it just my personality, or is it something more? Can I blame it on the fact that I’m closer to 40 than 30? Can I blame it on my dilapidated thyroid, or my self-diagnosed ADD? Or should I just quit looking for excuses, suck it up, and try harder? Does everyone else find parenting this hard, or I am just too darn tired?

And if you are one of those “Super Moms,” could you tell me how you do it? (In an effort to be nondiscriminatory, this blog will accept advice both of the legal and illegal kind.) Thank you.

Cute image courtesy of mommytrack’d