World’s Okayest Mom

Have you ever had a day when you felt like everyone else in the universe is better at stuff than you are? Sometimes I look around and wonder how everyone else ended up with so much more talent than I have.

I know I surely can’t be alone in this feeling. I recently saw a friend on Facebook shyly confess that she has never made a gingerbread house, nor has she provided that opportunity for her children.

This time of year, I think it’s easy to feel deficient in the Awesome Department when there are all sorts of creative parents posting about their Elf on the Shelf abilities, sharing their houses decorated for the holidays that look like they come straight out of a magazine, and taking (perfect) photos of their exquisite holiday recipes.

About that last link with the darling Christmas decor? Yeah. My house looks N.O.T.H.I.N.G. like that. I’m just trying to figure out if I can scrub the Kool Aid stains off my living room wall or if I need to paint over them. Yes, on the wall. Because we are talented like that.

Last weekend this feeling of inferiority hit me pretty strongly when I volunteered to help decorate for our church’s annual Christmas musical.

photo-22

I was given very detailed instructions about how to lay out these wreaths on each table. I even had a paper to look at that listed what items should be included in the wreaths. 6 small pinecones, 3 large pinecones, 3 shiny gold balls, 3 matte gold balls, and 6 red bows.

Easy right?

Well, apparently not when you are as dense as I am. My first problem was when the explanation included, “… the middle pine cone…” I was all, “IT’S A CIRCLE! How can a circle have a middle???”

It took 3 different people explaining it to me and demonstrating specifically how the wreaths should look before I finally got it! (The circle was divided into 3 segments, each having a middle pinecone.) I was beginning to understand how my children who struggle with algebra feel when I can tell they are truly trying to understand the concept I am repeatedly explaining, but it is just not clicking.

It turns out it is very important to stagger matte balls and shiny balls, and small pinecones and large pinecones. You see, it isn’t pleasing to the eye to have them right next to each other. Anyone with artistic sense would know this! Which is why I didn’t know it.

Also, it looks better to arrange pinecones instead of just tossing them in the air and letting them fall where they may in the greenery. Lesson learned.

Then, on the way home from that exercise in humility, I got lost taking a shortcut to a friend’s house. A friend who lives less than a mile from the church. A friend whose house I have been to a dozen times.

And while I was lost, I got pulled over by the Po-Po for making erratic turns without using my turn signal. That’s right.

That right there is what you call insult to injury, friends.

After all of that fun, when I finally got home and was belting out my favorite power ballad from the new movie “Frozen,” my sweet, darling, innocent 13 year old said, “Why are you singing it like that? Are you signing bad on purpose to be funny?”

If you are keeping score at home, let’s review the things Connie is bad at:

  • All things decorative. 
  • All things directional.
  • Turn signal usage.
  • All things musical.

Days like that can leave a girl feeling pretty much like a loser!

So, to make myself feel better, I decided to make a mental list of the things I am good at.

  • Getting out of traffic tickets.
  • Encouraging laughter in my home. (See above video.)
  • Keeping up with old friends. (I recently Facebook chatted with my husband’s 8th grade date to his athletic banquet in 1978 and my friend from first grade, who was also my college roommate in 1984 and my maid of honor in my wedding.)
  • Nursing a baby, making a peanut butter sandwich, and giving a spelling test all at the same time.
  • Not losing sleep over Kool Aid stains on the wall.

These may not be things that would win “The Voice” or look pretty on a magazine cover, but it gives me no small comfort to know that I am good at them, dang it! And maybe, just maybe every once in a while I can encourage some of you that it’s okay to be the world’s okayest mom right along with me.

Let’s be imperfect messes together!

What are you good at? Please, share!

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Comments

  1. I’m good at-
    Making my children laugh really hard.
    Cooking.
    Making up silly songs about ANYTHING on the spot.
    Reading aloud, with different voices for each character.
    Making people feel comfortable.

    I am really terrible at making decisions, but I know that, so I try to pass all the big ones off to hubby or a big kid. LOL!!

  2. Oh, I needed this encouragement this morning because I am terrible at being crafty…especially with my children. All I see is the mess that we will create!

    But I am good at reading to my children, taking them to the library frequently, and cooking (fairly) healthful, delicious meals.

  3. THANK YOU! I appreciate the reminders of “being human” this post gave. I am so with you on the terrible at decorating, and directions, and crafting thing!

    I am really good at making my own messes (to compliment those my kids make, of course!), I can change the nastiest of diapers like a pro, I make yummy (though probably not healthy) goodies that my family enjoys, I can give and receive hugs galore! I am good at being faithful to my husband, working on being more faithful to my God, and am grateful for the new mercies God gives every morning so that I can forget whatever hassles we have faced together the day before. So grateful for my loving Father Who makes all things beautiful and doesn’t mind my weaknesses, for in them He is shown to be strong.

  4. Thank you for this post today. There are days I too feel like everyone got the talent and God gave me…. well, not sure exactly what he gave me talentwise sometimes. But I am good at walking, making fairly delicious food, grocery shopping with some coupons. Getting better at minimizing food waste/using up left overs. Hopefully I am good at many other things, even if I don’t know exactly what they are.

  5. Thank you for this! Today I’m on the couch resting (fighting off a cold), and caring for the 7 week old baby. House guests are expected this evening. The other 7 kids are playing Legos and watching a Christmas movie. Our guests may not arrive to a clean house, but hopefully it will be a happy one!

    I am good at planning and organizing for my family
    I am good at cooking healthy meals for my family
    I’m good at cuddling with little ones (and some not so little ones)
    I’m learning to be good at letting things go when needed

  6. Definitely lacking in: – all things decorative!
    – keeping religiously to the schedules I make
    – keeping a spotless house

    Good at: – reading to my kids
    – making snowmen with my kids
    – taking my kids skating
    – dropping everything to talk with my adult children who call, especially those who call from other countries where they live.
    – not sweating the small stuff

  7. And her I though you were super woman cause you blog along with all the other things you do :)

    No one more than I appreciate you being an okay mom ;) I’m in that group for sure!

    My walls are bare, yes, bare! Decorate? What’s that? I’m to busy trying to survive each day. LOL

    How long were the police following you? LOL

    Have a fantastically okay Christmas!

  8. I’m really good at shopping:D At getting the most for the money I have, and getting things for free, not the best mind you, but good:D I am also good at getting my kids to laugh at me, with me, and at themselves. I am crafty, but bad at following directions, much prefer to do things the hard way.

    Thanks for the post!

  9. Needed this today! Thank you =)

  10. Thank you for posting this about being an OK mom. After an incident last night with my husband reminding me what a joke and loser I am as a mother while wounding my soul with careless words, your words are sweet as honey. So thank you for reminding me I have the freedom to be me as mom — messy and imperfect as the rest of ‘em. I just am not able to hide my imperfections as well as others.

    • Oh, Lynn. This breaks my heart! I know what it is like to have a dear one’s words leave you wounded.

      You are not a loser! Keep your chin up and keep trying to be the best mom YOU can be!

      I am praying for you tonight.

  11. I have to say thanks for this post as well! I just loved it! It takes humility and courage to share those things we aren’t so good at and also to share the things we ARE good at! And it’s such a great idea to actually write down the things we do well… so much better to focus on those than the opposite!! I’m totally with you on the directions thing. You’ll lose me at “turn right”. LOL. I’m good at… um… trying new recipes :), visiting with my three-year-old, not stressing when it takes hours to put kids to bed (sometimes), and decorating on a small budget.

  12. Have you tried a magic eraser (or store brand version) on your kool-aid stained wall? I don’t normally go for gimmicky products like this, but I find they work really well. Just try it in a hidden area first. Depending on your paint they might change the texture of it, leaving a weird looking spot on the wall (although maybe not any weirder than kool-aid stains).

    I also love these for cleaning soap scum out of the bathtub.

    And if it makes you feel any better about the stains on your wall, when I was maybe 8-10 my siblings and I were playing around with straws and orange juice, and (somehow) managed to splash some on the ceiling. I’m over 30 now, and I see those spots on the ceiling every time I go home to visit my parents.

  13. Crystal Seaton says:

    Hmm….if the kool-aid stains are red or green, I would leave them and call them Christmas decorations.

  14. Thank you. I play the harp. I’m pretty good a childbirth. I have clean grout. And I can make my husband laugh.

    And when I’m not a good mom, I’m a good babysitter:
    trialanderrorhomeec.blogspot.com/2013/03/im-bad-mom.html

    Half an hour after I posted the blogpost linked above I was in active labor, so I think we know why I wasn’t up to much the previous day ;)

  15. I am the crafty one. Everyone looks to me to help them with a project. I made a wreath out of baling wire and packing tape with wide burlap coloured ribbon. I love making something out of nothing but at I have learned over my years is that time is the best gift of all. Memories of time that you spend with your loved ones is priceless and I don’t sweat over lopsided gingerbread houses or smeared gingerbread men. I have an orange goop stain on my white ceiling and it’s been there for over 15 years, and I love it! Time, stop rushing and just spend time with your family.

  16. So, I start the video, and my 7-year-old daughter who is French braiding my hair (after figuring out how to French braid without any instruction) leans over my shoulder and asks, “Is that a teenager?”

    You’re welcome.

  17. Oh Connie — you just made me laugh VERY hard.

    I am good at:

    delegating tasks to others
    playing Christmas music on the piano with my kids
    reading out loud
    NOT doing school in December!

    I think, if more of us were honest — we would share more stuff like you did in this post.

    Thank you!

  18. Hooray – my FB status inspired a blog post!

    I’m okay w/ being okay! Thanks for sharing life isn’t about pintastic days but being real!!

  19. Thank you so much.
    I am creative and crafty.
    I am good at encouraging others that their efforts at creativity are beautiful no matter what their ego is trying to tell them otherwise.
    I am good at reading aloud with expression and interesting voices.
    I am good at breaking tension and getting my family to laugh.

    I won’t dwell on the things I am doing to compare myself to what seems like other moms have all together. I just decided to stop beating myself up.

  20. I’m very crafty/artistic. I can knit, papercraft, collage, & daydream with the best of them! I’m teaching myself to sew & embroider, and doing an okay job of it. However, I am terrible at crochet; I am worse at housekeeping; and I cannot – simply canNOT – wrap presents prettily. My 6-year old wraps gifts better than I!!!!

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