By Melissa Ballard
“Of course honey. Get situated and we can watch a movie together.” I was beaming. Recently she has had little time for boring old Mom. My greetings most days after daycare are “I’m hungry,” but here she wants to spend time with me.
“What’s this? Can we watch it?” she inquired.
I reflected for a minute and tried to think of any nude scenes or graphic violence that may scar her forever. I decided a superhero movie would be ok. “This is Superman babe. We can watch it if you want.” She snuggled up to me and started her super hero indoctrination asking who everyone was and amazed at what he could do.’
Mandy entered the room and sat on the couch next to our chair. She started to move over some of the relics of Saturday playtime left next to her. As she lifted one of the books, Ailani sprung up and ran over to read the book with her. I tried to cherish the little time that I had gotten and watched them read the book together. After a few minutes Mandy got up to move the laundry and Ailani was in tow. As they talked and joked while folding towels, I was left with alone in the chair to contemplate my failures as a mom. I never seem to do the fun stuff. I cook dinner and Mandy bakes cookies. She knows all the kids songs and I don’t. She has read a million children’s books and I only know the ones I have read to Ailani. A day earlier I was told “Mandy is so fun and you are boring Mommy.” Kids know how to strike you right where it hurts.
“SO I STARTED TO ASK MYSELF, HOW CAN YOU BE A GOOD PARENT WHEN YOU LIVE WITH A “SUPERMOM?”
So I started to ask myself, how can you be a good parent when you live with a “Supermom?” Before Ailani I had never been around children more than a few hours here or there at a family function. My knowledge of navigating school systems and daycares is almost none existent, yet people look at you as if you are supposed to know. The first week of Ailani’s school I was reprimanded for sending teddy grahams as a snack instead of something healthy. My craft projects usually fall apart before we can ever appreciate them and I cannot bake to save my life.
After a few nights of self-doubt, I realized that the exact thing that bothered me was the proof I was a good mom. I had raised a child so strong and independent that she can form bonds with others. She believes in herself so she is willing to take on new adventures without me holding her hand. Her love of reading and school is because I taught her to see she was smart. I know I make great Mickey Mouse pancakes and we have epic tickle fights. Sometimes we get consumed with seeing how the other parents spend time and what they do that is great. We often fail to look at the things we provide that are irreplaceable to our kids