#ThatMom

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November 17, 2017 by themommahen

I’m not #thatmom. I’m not the pinterest mom, the crafty mom. I can make some things. On occasion. More along the lines of #PinterestFails, usually. I’m not the baking mom. I can bake. Mostly because I can follow a recipe like nobody’s business. I stick to the basics and follow the rules. I’m not a decorator. By any stretch of the imagination. Just no. I made Minion cupcakes this year, but that’s realllllly easy. Yellow icing, candy eyes, couple of squiggly lines. Beyond that, I can’t even write with icing on a cake. I don’t sew. I can replace a button, but it usually doesn’t hold, or I can sew an appendage back on a stuffed animal, or repair a ripped seam, but don’t expect it to look flawless. And I certainly can’t create anything resembling a garment.

If I can do this, anyone can.

But one year, I did make Halloween costumes. H1 wanted to be Silvermist of Tinkerbell’s fairies, and H2 wanted to be a red-tailed hawk. It was our first Halloween back in NC, I wasn’t working, and I was determined to transform myself into #thatmom. You know, the one I imagined myself to be. The one who could make Halloween costumes better and cheaper than store-bought, without the hassle and expense of shopping. I envisioned me, fresh-faced and relaxed, dressing my kids for trick-or-treating fun, snapping the perfect picture for posterity. The reality was far from that.

I Googled and Pinterested for hours. I combed craft stores, fabric shops (probably the third time in my life I’d been inside a fabric shop) and the local Walmart for supplies. I went back to those stores for more supplies after I’d ruined the original. I got to week of Halloween and realized I was doomed if I didn’t finish, because it was too late and I’d made a promise. I was doing all this with a still-nursing baby who wasn’t sleeping through the night and three kids under the age of six. I had temporarily lost my mind.

But I finished. And in truth, Silvermist looked pretty awesome. The red-tailed hawk was a cool concept, but not very practical. I had made a mask from felt, feathers and elastic, with eyes made from huge faux-amber stones. Cool idea, but when H2 put it on, the stones gouged his eyes and the beveled surface gave him kaleidoscope vision, seeing 12 of everything with each eye. So he wore the feather pullover I made him (I can rock a glue gun and scissors), the brown pants with yellow felt legs attached (again, glue gun).

And promptly fell up the steps of the first house we visited, gashing his leg on the rough bricks. Halloween was basically over.

Fifteen minutes, one measly picture.

All that work for 15 minutes and a picture. I quickly added Halloween costume maker to my list of the type of Mom I am not. (That didn’t stop me from one last horrifying attempt at a red elephant the next year. Let’s just say that the trunk, made out of stuffed tights was not suitable for children.)

But guess what? H2, who’s not had the easiest school year, came home yesterday talking about the Turkey Trot at his school. A lot of schools do something similar, where the kids run a mile trail and the top finishers win items for Thanksgiving dinner. First place gets a frozen turkey. This year, though, there was a new piece — prizes for costumes. H2 was excited, and quickly developed plans for his costume, but life and H1’s sports schedule made it pretty impossible to have any time to execute. He went to bed, a little nervous about the race, as he still doesn’t quite trust his body after his procedure a few weeks ago, and sad that he didn’t have a costume.

After he went to bed, I was thinking about it, wishing I could make him feel better about it. Because if nothing else, I am #thatmom. The one who wants to ease fears, instill confidence, teach resilience. And I was going down the path of teaching resilience. You don’t have a costume, no big deal. You don’t win, no big deal. But then I remembered. The red-tailed hawk costume could easily be a turkey. He could wear the feather pullover.

So I pulled it out (because I am #thatmom who still keeps EVERYTHING) and surprised him with it this morning. He was thrilled, I got a picture of his beaming smile, and I posted it to Instagram and Facebook along with a few of the other parents whose kids had dressed up, happy to have that part of the day dealt with.

One turkey, ready to trot.

Then a friend commented about her being #thatmom because her kid didn’t dress up and she was worried she was probably the only one. And I immediately thought, well, now I’m #thatmom, the one who posts the awesome stuff, and she’s feeling like #thatmom, the one who isn’t living up to the expectations and the truth is, we’re all #thatmom, the one who’s just trying to do the best we can with what we’ve got to work with.

So, all you moms out there? Go ahead and post your pictures to celebrate the little wins on the days you’re #thatmom. And take in that awesome spread and display for the class party if you’re #thatmom. Send in snacks still in the containers if you’re #thatmom. Go run the PTA if you’re #thatmom. Show up at school functions in your heels you wore to work if you’re #thatmom. Show up in a stained shirt and yoga pants if you’re #thatmom. Miss the field trip because you have obligations and meetings if you’re #thatmom. Go on the field trip and take pictures for those who can’t be there if you’re #thatmom. Buy store-bought if you’re #thatmom. Make homemade if you’re #thatmom. Volunteer your hours if you’re #thatmom. Write your check to support if you’re #thatmom.

Just be #thatmom, whoever #thatmom is, as long as #thatmom supports their kids, sets a good example (most of the time), loves their babies and raises good adults. 

Because being #thatmom? #Goals

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