Late last year I reluctantly agreed to be the “cookie mom” for my daughters’ Girl Scout Troop. This means I get to handle all the orders and financial transactions, and I get to coordinate all the cookie booths that we all try to avoid when entering supermarkets through the entire month of March. Like I said I reluctantly agreed to do this. And as I looked around me at all the eager moms who do this every year and couldn’t wait to do it again this year, I thought, “I wish I loved this.” Yep, that’s right. I wish I loved Girl Scouts. I wish I loved basketball practice and soccer (ok, I loved soccer for a season or two, but c’mon, it gets old). I wish I loved… all this… mom stuff.
Yes, I love BEING a mom. I love my children more than anything. There’s just so much STUFF that goes along with it that I don’t particularly like. I never liked playing dolls with them when they were little. Kill me and put me out of my misery before I have to play another game of Candyland (but oooh, Monopoly is a great game with the kiddos now!). And no, I am not THAT excited when my daughter says for the 23rd time “Mommy! Watch me jump off the slide!” I’ve seen it, it was cool the first time. Enough already!
Ok, so now that I feel like an absolutely terrible mom, and everyone reading this and nodding their heads feels terrible too, how about some good news? The fact that we do these things anyway is what makes us the best moms ever! That’s the reminder my dear friend Erin gave me via a text conversation, and it went something like this:
Me: Sorry, I can’t make it, we have a cookie booth.
Erin: You’re such a good mom.
Me: Don’t think I’m happy about it! I’m not doing it because I want to.
Erin: That’s why you are a good mom.
Whoah! That’s the simplest yet most profound encouragement I’ve probably ever received. We may not like doing these things, but we do them because we like to see our kids smile. Because we like to see our kids earn patches from Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts. Because we like the grass stains they earn while kicking that winning goal or the trophy they so proudly place on the bookshelf. Because we love our kids.
We don’t have to LOVE everything our kids do to be great moms. Hell, we don’t even have to LIKE everything. “Great Mom” is not a title you receive from being the loudest cheerleader on the sidelines or the best cookie-maker in the class. You don’t have to relish craft time or look forward to story time. You are a Great Mom because you’re there. You showed up to the game. You stayed up until midnight making cookies (hopefully with a glass of wine in hand because, girl, you earned it!). You glued glitter on craft paper and told her it’s the prettiest unicorn you’ve ever seen. You read “Goodnight Moon” for the 100th time. You’re a Great Mom because you don’t want to be there, but you are anyway.