At a mom’s group a while back I heard a speaker say that we as parents only really have to be right “40%” of the time. Basically for all of the times that we completely blow it, if we are at least breaking even with our stellar “mom of the year” moments we are good to go. I’ll admit that I found some comfort in the thought. I thought to myself, “If that’s the case, I totally rock. I’m on like 80%, baby.” Who was I kidding? This was all while I had one child who at that point was maybe all of 6 months. Prior to becoming a mom I probably would have been appalled at the notion that moms were allowed that kind of wiggle room. I mean come on ladies, you’re raising the future, aren’t you?
Well, as we all know after we become moms, our “pre-motherhood” and “pre-age or stage” opinions don’t mean jack. When I think about the ways in which I would look at parents and think “I will NEVER do that” before we had kids I almost have to laugh. I don’t care how much you babysit or if you are a full-time nanny, it just isn’t the same. I’ll allow you to offer some “input,” is that fair? The same goes for stages. When BQ was one, I had my opinions about how 2 year olds should and should not behave and how mine would definitely never act like said child over there. Again, I’d never lived or attempted to maintain sanity in the presence of a two year old for more than a couple of hours. I had no clue.
It all goes back to the universal life concept that we truly cannot ever fully grasp another person’s experience or really be in her shoes. Same with kids. Not only are they all so different, regardless of whether or not they share genes or not, but they can have different struggles at different stages. I’ve never had a teenager, so why in the heck would I think I would have any advice to share with a parent who currently has one? Why not instead spend my time listening and LEARNING.
I am hoping that the next time I hear my critical voice turn on in my head that I will be able to remember that I don’t have all the answers and that maybe, just maybe, I am witnessing a mom in her 60%. And, if that’s the case, maybe I should go buy her a latte rather than glare and stare. We have so much to learn on this journey as moms and rather than shooting each other down at every turn, why not lend a hand and encourage each other to keep going. Spur one another on to be the best we can be. I know when I’m down I don’t want the jerk coach up in my grill telling me how much I suck. I want the, “You’ve got this. You’re a winner. You can totally do this,” guy who makes everyone cry and they stand up and do a group fist pump.
So, fists in the air, “Let’s rock, ladies.” And hey, imagine if we all were able to push each other even to be 41%-ers. The possibilities could be endless!!