A week or so ago I was procrastinating via social media and scrolled by some mommy blog about being happy with mediocrity. It turns out I was just too busy to click on the post and later, when I went back to procrastinating, I couldn't find it. I never found the original post that piqued my interest, but it turns out there are at least five blogs dedicated to the subject. Here they are, in case you want to check them out:
http://mediocremomblog.blogspot.com/, http://mediocremommy.com/, https://confessionsofamediocremom.wordpress.com/, mediocremum.com, and http://www.mediocre-mom.com/
After a quick peruse at these blog sites, I realized their common themes resonate with much of my own musings: we are all just trying to be the best moms we can be and sometimes we ace it and other times we suck and of course, we like to write about it.
Except, a long, long time ago, I let go of being a super mom. My lackluster desire to be the bestest mom stems from a combination of being tired, overwhelmed, lazy and having a child with a disability. Somewhere between years 4 and 6 of mommydom I stopped giving a shit about whether my kids were learning a second language or developing quick footing skills on the soccer field and somewhere between years 7 and 10 of mommydom I stopped giving a shit about bed wetting and public meltdowns. If you've read my past blogs, you know that my motherhood mantra is "I'm doing the best I can."
While I have come to terms with my mediocre mom skills, I have to say that I am not ok with being a mediocre adult. I am almost forty and I often think to myself, well, this is as good as it's going to get for me. Yep, this is it. I'm staring 39 in the face and the face looking back at me has not done most of the things she said she was going to 20 years prior.
I had so much potential and I knew it. I was gifted. I was anything but mediocre. I was like a phoenix, rising from the ashes, achieving success after success. The accolades, the brushes with greatness, started when I was young and continued for over a decade:
Winning first place in the Goshen/Chesterfield fourth grade spelling bee. I beat out about 1/2 a dozen kids by correctly spelling tractor. It was a real shining moment when I took home the ribbon and the $10 gift certificate for the local bookstore. When I cashed it in for Sweet Valley High #15, I could sense that the cashier knew I was going places. (psst...foreshadowing)
My crowning as the Queen of the Williamsburg Grange-being selected among a vast pool (4 give or take) of young ladies, after showing off my smooth square dancing skills. I sparkled like the tiara that graced my permed head.
My selection as Editor of the Yearbook during my sophomore year, kicking off my career in journalism, demonstrating my ease and ability at management, and scrapbooking.
Receiving multiple copies of the Dr. Seuss classic, "Oh, the Places You'll Go". Yes, multiple copies- because multiple people knew that I was going places. KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
Getting a letter in the mail from the editors of Who's Who of High School Students Volume 30 because obviously I was nominated by someone important not because I was solicited using a list acquired by a marketing firm helping a publishing company to sell books.
Accepting an offer from Mount Holyoke College. Because those women walk on water. (Enough said)
Getting a 4.0 one semester and graduating with honors because I wrote a kick ass paper on women's dress sleeves from 1840-1860 and became a gym class favorite of local legend and golf coach Bob Bontempo.
I did have a small fall from grace after graduation, and a few not-to-be-named indiscretions, before getting back on track by attending the Cooperstown Graduate Program (ahem, not to brag, but CGP is the jewel in SUNY Oneonta's crown) and receiving a Thesis Award at graduation- because I wrote a kick ass paper called, "Chairs to Stencil 'Til the Cows Come Home and Plenty of Graining to Do In Between". You see, I've been a skilled writer, crafting interesting and engaging works for decades now.
Then, I got married and had kids and did nothing noteworthy ever again. The end.
Listen, it's not that I resent my life. I love my kids and I love Andy and most days, there's nowhere I'd rather be than Upstate and nobody I'd rather be than me. Yet, there's a little voice inside me, who calls out on the busiest of days and on the quietest of days, "I want so much more than they've got planned." (Because we've all got a Disney princess inside of us.)
Twenty years ago, I was young and full of potential and I was going to be somebody important, somebody who traveled the world, changed the world, left a positive mark on the world. Twenty years ago, others expected this from me. Now, others expect me to make their bed and their dinner.
What happened? (Here comes that foreshadowing again.)
Let's not forget-
“You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...”
That must be it. I raced down long wiggled roads too fast and now, as my kids grow, I am in The Waiting Place, waiting to continue on my quest toward greatness because as Dr. Seuss said, "remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.”
I hope you've gotten this far in this post and don't think that I'm a pompous a-hole who is complaining about how I traded in a life of potential to be a boring mom. I hope you realize that I didn't become mediocre after I stopped winning fourth grade spelling bees. I hope you realize I'm not in The Waiting Place. I'm in the Living Place. I can't wait to read Caro's and Char's research papers, watch them participate in spelling bees, give them pointers when they join the yearbook, and cry when they graduate from Mount Holyoke. Call me what you want. Call me mediocre.
I'm staring 39 in the face and this is what I say to her:
I have brains in my head and I have feet in my shoes. I can steer myself any direction I choose.