Monday, January 7, 2013

Mom Swagger

Heading back to school after Christmas was always fun as a kid.  It was a time to show off new stuff, like the year I couldn't wait to show off my blue Cocoa-Cola shirt and my Swatch watch.  I wore my new stuff with pride and excitement. I remember walking with a little strut, like look at me in my super-trendy, I'm-as-cool-as-the-rest-of-you-sixth-graders-now new clothes.

As a grown up, it's a different story.  There's no cool, colorful watch.  There's no walking the halls in a new, most awesome-est shirt ever.  There's no strutting.  

Except for this year.  This year, the post-Christmas strut is back.  It's not from any new stuff I got under the tree.  No, my strut is more of a swagger--a mom swagger.  It doesn't happen very often and that's why when it does, it's kind of a big deal.   
                         mom swag ger
                          Walk or behave in a very confident and typically arrogant 
                          way like you are a badass mother.  Stick your chest out with pride and hold              
                          your head high knowing that you did your kids right--you paid attention, you  
                          played, you comforted, you listened with your whole badass mother self.

                          A feeling of certainty in the quality of one's mothering ability; a feeling that is 
                          incredibly rare and fleeting.

Sometimes I fall into that stereotypical role of naggy, practical, un-fun mom. Okay, a lot of times.  And many times that's okay.  But other times, it's so not.

I understand that without the nagging and practical thinking we'd be in more of a mess than we already are.  Laundry wouldn't get done, homework would be forgotten and video games would have no limits.  Not that my husband doesn't set boundaries and get shit done, I'm just better at it.

Being in charge of all the rules can really start to wear a person, a mom, down.  And sometimes a person, a mom, can get lost in all the "have tos" and "you shoulds" and "be carefuls" and forget all the greatness of being a mom.

Over the past two weeks, after all the Christmas-ing was over, I rediscovered the fun, the greatness, the sweetness of mothering.  I reconnected with my kids.  My mama love tank is all filled up and yeah, I'm strutting around with my bad self.  It's called swagger, mom swagger.

During the holiday break, I got really good at not having to be anywhere on time.  We stayed up past 9 p.m. as a family, slept in until the late hour of 8 a.m. (which really is late, no joke, we are generally super early risers), ate meals when we got hungry without a meal plan--reckless behavior I know.
Pancakes at 10:30? Yeah, we can do that.

Hours and hours of Rummikub-we rummikubed the heck out of our holiday.
Middle of the day jam sessions at the blue piano? We got that covered too.

We played outside together, we played board games together, we danced together, we read books together.  
We even had fun at the grocery store.

The kids went all MacGyver and rigged some sort of bucket/pulley contraption in the backyard.  

And they crocheted f-ing bracelets for all of us.  We were like some amazing homeschooling or Amish family these past few days and I loved it.

I loved it so much I tweeted about it, not very Amish of me I know.
Sometimes when I'm all worn out from the business side of mothering I forget about the value of mothering---all of it,the nurturing, the laughing, the playing, the caretaking, the meal planning, the scheduling, the dancing, the chilling at home, the running around...

I could easily list a million and five things that I don't do well, but I feel confident (at least in this moment) that I am pretty damn good at mothering.  

Having a little mom swagger every now and then is a good and necessary thing.  I'm going to hold onto this moment and be confident, maybe a little arrogant.  I'm going to strut my stuff.  Because that's the thing about mothering, it's sweet, but it's really f#&*ing hard, tiring, confusing.  I will mess up the schedule this week, forget someone's practice, make a dinner they hate, snap at the kids at breakfast and then feel guilty while they're at school, resent their neediness as I try to respond to really important emails, etc.  

Ah, yes, my mom swagger is fleeting and who knows when it will come again.  But for now I'll swagger into the car loop and drop off my happy, fulfilled kids off at school.  

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