Some of you may have seen the badge over there ——————-> for the Theta Mom community and said “Hmmm…wonder what that is?” and then never clicked it. Well, let me tell you.
The original Theta Mom is a mom who said “You know, sometimes this being a mom thing is harder than anyone ever knows, and where can I go to talk about that!?”
So she started a blog.
And then a community formed up around her under the banner of being The True, Authentic Moms–Theta Moms. And that’s certainly what I strive to be around here.
Shakespeare wrote “God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.” And I think that’s what moms have tried to do for too long.
We’ve seen the images of the perfect housewife who has dinner ready on time (balanced, nutritious, and from scratch!) and perfectly scrubbed children and well-coiffed hair and high heels and we’re all “THAT’S WHAT I’M SUPPOSED TO BE!” and then the camera stops rolling and we DON’T see the Mommy Meltdown.
Well, I’m full of Mommy Meltdowns around here. I had one this afternoon. And yesterday, too.
My child has NEVER been a good napper, so why, WHY I thought that he’d suddenly snapped out of it when he took TWO three hour naps this week (Monday AND Tuesday) I have no idea. Honestly. Because today, he was right back to crappy not-long-enough napping, just like always.
And that caused ME to have a meltdown because I had phone calls I needed to make and the last time I tried to make a phone call to anyone other than my mother or best friend, Joshua squealed all through the voicemail I left the person and that’s probably why she never returned my call. And by the time Dan gets home in the evenings, it’s too late for business calls, so I was all “AAAAHHHHHHH GOTOSLEEP CHILD!” and he just wouldn’t do it.
So then I let him dump his beloved Goldfish crackers all over my couch because that was the only way he didn’t whine my ears off.
And that’s a NORMAL day for me.
I’m not a super mom, y’all. That’s the whole point of this blog.
But here’s the thing.
I’ve stopped trying to be.
I used to get all tense when I realized the toys strewn about my living room had been there for days, despite the fact that I have NEVEREVEREVER in my life been a neat-freak (Am I right, Mom?? Dan??) but I didn’t do anything about it because I didn’t have the energy to do anything about it. I cared because I thought I was supposed to care. And the anxiety over wanting my living room to be clean when it wasn’t left me unable to do anything about it.
Now, we have bins and totes even more toys, and guess what? When I gave up on trying to be perfect, I started picking up the toys every day. Sometimes more than just once a day.
For me, being a Theta Mom isn’t just about being honest with everyone else. It’s about being honest with myself. It’s about saying “You know what, Miranda, you’re just not going to be able to do everything you need to do anymore.” And being okay with that.
And slowly but surely, I AM becoming okay with that. Because what I NEED to do isn’t really a necessity most of the time. Most of the time the things I need to do are really things I WANT to do. Like paint my toenails. Or shower without a visitor who crawls between my feet while playing with his duckie. Or use the bathroom without having to yell “Joshua, shut that cabinet, please. JOSHUA SHUT THAT CABINET NOW” over and over and over while he dismantles everything under there.
I’ve gotten okay with going out in public with my hair in a messy, dirty, ratty bun and bags the size of Alaska under my eyes. I don’t care. (Most of the time.) And sometimes I don’t even attempt to cover the bags with makeup.
If seeing me sans makeup isn’t seeing me be authentic, I don’t know the definition of the word “authentic.”
Y’all, I cannot tell you the joy that has filled my life since I realized that the greatest gift I can give myself every day is snuggle time with my son.
And not just snuggle time before he takes a nap, which is precious in its own way.
I’m talking about the times when he crawls up on the couch (all by himself!), plants himself on my lap, and just sits there, playing with his own toes while watching whatever’s on TV and then looks up and smiles at me. Those times are awesome.
And let’s not forget about when he spontaneously runs up to me just to give me a kiss.
MELTS MY HEART.
Those times are TRUE. They are AUTHENTIC. They are times when I look around at the toys scattered throughout my living room and think of the laundry piles creeping down the hall and those things don’t matter.
Because I’m a Mom. I’m HIS Mom. And that’s the face I’m going to wear.