Proud to be a B- Mom

I may be a B- mom. And after 17+ years of parenting, I’m ok with the B-.

I came to this revelation a few days ago when I stood impatiently in a Starbucks line, waiting for my Venti dark roast with room for cream. I overheard two moms of fourth graders (the line was long and they mentioned the importance of fourth grade, well, grades) talking about their high expectations of their kids this year.

“They need to get good grades to prove they are capable,” one said.

“True, it’s no game at the middle school next year – grades determine who you are,” said the other.

Hmm. What if my own capability and the determination of who I am as a mom was based on grades? Yeah, I think I ‘d be getting a pretty steady B-.

What is a B- mom? According to our high school grading scale, a B- is an honor grade for achievement considered above normal in terms of course objectives.” The ‘-’ indicates the lowest above normal achievement

I think it means that there are some things you do spectacularly…

Some days you make a healthy breakfast, smile and genuinely guide the kiddos through the morning routine with no shouting or sarcasm.

Some days you bite your tongue when your child comes home and unloads every bad thing that happened to him and you can tell he wants to pick a fight because he has some pent up energy – but you listen quietly and patiently with love and reverence and respect. Argument diffused, afternoon salvaged.

imagesSome days you get in all the permission slips, make the appointments (on time!) and get a healthy home cooked meal on the table.

Spectacular! Go mom! A’s across the board for you!

And then there are other days.

The days when your daughter is complaining about one of her friends and you agree with her and say something like “Yeah, she always does that, how annoying!”  To which she gasps, cocks her head, rolls her eyes and says “Mom, OMG! That is so rude! She’s not like that at all. Ugh. As IF.” Uh oh.

Or the day you get the call from the school nurse reminding you a second time that you haven’t turned in your son’s health form and they may have to pull him out of school because the deadline was the first day of school, and now it’s day 32.

And the day (days) when you have no staples in the house. No bread, no milk, no lunchmeat, no eggs and not even a frozen Eggo waffle. Um, yogurt for breakfast? School lunch of mozzarella sticks? How about two granola bars and some apple juice?  Oh, and then you remember it’s Thursday, which means it’s pizza night and yeah, no one is eating healthy today….Sugar, sugar, processed, processed. Uh oh.

So there’s a mix here friends. There are A+ moments, A days, B days and flat out moments and even days that border on the D-. But what about the C days? Getting a C, according to the high school website, is “The grade for achievement considered normal in reference to course objectives.”

Um, hello? Normal. “Normal in reference to course objectives.” Not that there is a true definition of normal when it comes to mothering or parenting, but what is normal to me? What is normal to you?  My idea of normal parenting objectives means parenting my kiddos with a lot of love, kindness, attention, healthy boundaries, fun and truth. Truth. Truth is messy.

Truth has nothing to do with perfection. I think parenting from a place of truth means honoring who we, as moms and dads are – all the good and all the not so good. It means sitting in our imperfection and not judging ourselves (too harshly) when we don’t measure up. It means repeatedly getting up after we fall down and working to do the best we can on any given day. Sometimes our best is an A. Sometimes it’s a C or a D and somedays we fail miserably. But most of the time, it’s an average of it all. A hearty and truthful B-.

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