Webster's dictionary defines a mother as a woman in authority.
I actually like that definition. I thought it was going to be some long-winded, tear-jerker of an explanation. But instead it is very cut and dry. I'm in charge. You got that right. It makes me sound tough and like I know what I'm doing.
Then, I looked up father. It is defined as a male parent. That's it. Dad's have it made, even in the definition of their job title. Might as well say sperm donor. If I was a dad, I'd be pissed about this definition. But I'm not a dad. I'm a mom. A freaking authority figure. Boom.
There are so many awesome things about being a mom. This is just a little glimpse into the last week of my life and the reasons I wake up every morning with so much hope. Maybe this will be the day motherhood pays off. Maybe this will be the day that I figure it all out. Only to lay in bed again at night deflated. Today is not that day.
10. Being hungover. There is nothing worse. Trust me.
9. Remembering everything on my kids' social calendars. Mom, why didn't I go to blah blah's birthday party? Well because I forgot all about it, darling. Let's just be happy I remembered your birthday.
8. Offering criticism. Maybe baseball isn't your sport. You struck out looking, every single time at bat. Except the one time you were walked and you ran to third base instead of first base. Yet you got a trophy anyway. Let's be real. Let's find a new outlet for your energies. Like, you're really good at talking back and antagonizing your little brother.
7b. Explaining why the tooth fairy didn't come. You really gotta get creative for this one. Why do my kids only loose teeth on the nights when I have just finished a bottle of wine?
7a. Explaining why Santa didn't come. Thankfully this hasn't ever happened. Yet. But came really close last year after a few too many eggnogs resulted in a little napsie at around 1:00 a.m.
6. Homework. I not only don't understand how to get the answer, I don't even understand the damn question half the time. But mom, aren't you a teacher? Aren't you supposed to know how to do this? Beat it kid. And I'm a counselor. I listen. I don't answer. And if Suri doesn't know? Then we're really screwed.
5. Making lunches. I cannot emphasize this enough. It is the worst. I thought I'd have my kids make their own this year. But the anxiety and clean up, before and after the fact, was worse than actually making them myself. Lesson learned.
4. Paying the copay at the doctor when my kids are sick. I have the money. Yet, I wait. I know my child is sick, but I can't bear to part with the cash. And I don't know what's worse. Taking them and the doc telling me it's viral and will work itself out, or them telling me they actually have something and can't go to school. Yet I have no problem burning $50 on take out for dinner even though I have $50 worth of groceries in the fridge that we could be eating. That's messed up. But that's the way my mind operates. Because I'm an authority figure.
3. Having a kid, that's not even mine, puke. I have no emotional attachment to this child, so it's just so freaking gross. Get him out of here. Go puke on your own mom.
2. Parent/teacher conferences. Now this is cray. Because I did this for years before I had kids of my own. But it's way easier being the teacher. I get all nervous going to these things. Like it's really me they're evaluating. Like when they show me homework with wrong answers that I signed off on (see #6).
1. Being called mom. I thought changing my last name was bad when I got married. But now I have a name that isn't even really a name and I share it with millions of other women. Talk about impersonal. That's why I insist my kids call me Mommie Dearest. Way more endearing.
Eileen O'Connor is an amazingly talented woman, wife, and mother living on the mean streets of Chicago's south side with her equally adorable family.
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