The Myth of the Fabulous Mom

I’m the one who shows up late to teacher conferences. In yoga pants.
The Myth of the Fabulous Mom
Image: BRAUNS / ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

Over the last 20 years, I’ve been all sorts of moms. I’ve been a new mom and a not-so-new mom. I’ve been a room mom, a team mom, a scout mom, a snack mom, and a PTA mom. A soccer mom, a hockey mom, a softball mom, and a cheer mom. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom and a working mom. A cool mom and a strict mom. A fun mom, a worried mom, and a tired mom.

I’d love to say, at the end of the day, I’ve been the Fabulous Mom. Unfortunately, I just don’t fit the bill.

Fabulous Mom Dos and Don’ts

For one thing, Fabulous Mom is always on time. She’s first to a birthday party, swim practice, and violin lessons. I, on the other hand, feel pretty good if my kids get to dance class or a scout meeting before it’s over. Fabulous Mom has never left a child standing at the ball field with a coach looking at his watch and calling her cell. My kids’ coaches have me on speed dial. Fabulous Mom is punctual for dentist appointments and at least ten minutes early to parent-teacher conferences. I give myself points for being so aware of my schedule that I actually check the calendar and show up on the right day.

Fabulous Mom never forgets things. Field trip permission slips and picture day order forms? She’s on it. My kids, however, have become somewhat comfortable with waiting until the last minute for ink cartridges that need replacing or poster boards that need decorating. Fabulous Mom remembers to bake, frost, and send in the personalized heart-shaped cookies well before the Valentine’s Day party. I pat myself on the back for buying heart candies before they go on clearance February 15. Fabulous Mom has no idea what it feels like to turn the car around after she leaves the house. Making U-turns to go back for somebody’s shoes is a built-in part of my day.

Fabulous Mom scores high in homemaking as well. Her house is consistently tidy, her fridge perpetually cleared; neighbors drop by only to find clean floors and emptied trashcans. My neighbors are welcome too—they just have to share the couch with last weekend’s movie night popcorn and a few piles of unfolded laundry. And yes, it’s true: Fabulous Mom whips up tasty, fully organic meals even when Daddy’s out of town, but I’m pretty proud of my children’s sense of appreciation for microwavable mac and cheese. Ah, the wonder of technology.

As far as decision-making goes, Fabulous Mom does it right every time. For whatever reason, she doesn’t overreact when her kids break something, lose something, or crash into something. I can remain calm, listen diligently, and dole out consequences fairly, lovingly, consistently too—I just need a bit more, uh, let’s call it processing time. Maybe I don’t solve problems as quickly as Fabulous Mom, but there isn’t a friend/sibling/homework assignment/chore/grade/relationship dilemma I can’t tackle, guess at, or muddle through. I, like Fabulous Mom, would never dream of yelling while disciplining my children. I’m just a tad more in touch with my “outside voice,” that’s all.

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Child-rearing; Motherhood
Today's Christian Woman, September 16, 2015
Posted September 16, 2015

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